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The hay rake maker

Trevor Austen,
(featuring his brother, David)

The Rake Workshop / Church Rd / Smeeth / Ashford / Kent / TN25 6SA

Dates of filming: 24th May 2006

Some crafts have endured through the fortunate combination of a particular person working in a particular place. But things can change very quickly and their onward survival is even more a matter of chance, with the odds often stacked against.

The wooden hay rake has been around in much the same form since at least medieval times. Before the haymaking process was mechanised, many thousands of new rakes were needed on farms around the country every year and they were supplied by rural craftsmen based close to the woodlands which provided the raw material.

Nowadays, although these rakes still find a use in gardens rather than on farms, demand is much lower. There are just a very small handful of rake making workshops left around the country. This one in Kent has been in the hands of Trevor Austen for the last 40 years, helped here by his brother David.

Hay rake makerHay rake makerHay rake maker

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