Endangered crafts in the UK – cricket balls and riddles – IanVisits


A report into the UK craft industry has published a list of hand-crafts that are in danger of disappearing, and surprisingly, cricket ball making is now deemed to be extinct in the UK.

Specifically, hand-stitched cricket balls.

In some cases, the raw materials are sent from the UK to the Indian sub-continent for fabrication, and the balls are then finished in the UK.

The report said that there is shortage of workers, and customers willing to pay the premium needed for a hand-stitched ball.

The venerable Dukes Cricket Balls was originally based in Kent and then moved to East London. They brought in workers from South India to make the balls, but when the government changed its immigration regulations to require a degree, this source of workers disappeared.

They stopped UK manufacture 4-5 years ago and now supply raw materials to India where the balls are fabricated, and then finish off in the UK

Back in 2009, there was just one man left in the UK making the sieve and riddle, a wooden sieve used mainly by gardeners. But more people prefer a cheaper metal sieve than the classic wooden one. The Heritage Crafts Association now says that the trade is extinct in the UK.

Many crafts are endangered, such as clogs, Devon maunds, and Oak swills.

Surprisingly, the craft of making bikes, beer coppers and cricket bats are also under threat.

The full report is here



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