I love making cricket bats. I didn't think I would as much as I do as I'm the kind of person that likes to move on to the next thing and I generally get bored with the monotony of doing the same thing everyday.
Just like signwriting (my former life), making cricket bats provides me with something different every day. That can come in the form of the varying amounts of small little jobs that make up the cricket bat, the variations in willow that you work with but the main one Is the different people that you meet.
Each cricketer has a story/journey they have been on in life and most love sharing these stories when they come in and browse in the shop. From former state junior players, players that have played for 40+ years or even the player that hit the biggest 6 ever in the world, everyone has a story.
The one that I have had recently is of a man named Garry who is about to turn 70. He brought in his bat that his dad had bought him on his birth day all those years ago. What a beauty. Garry had quite an emotional story to tell about his life's ups and downs and while he doesn't have much to give he wants to gift this wonderful cricket bat to his son in-law as a present.
The handle is splitting and needs to be re-glued and bound and also needs to have a new grip put on to it. I have repaired this in a way that retains it vintage look by blackening the new repairs & binding to match the rest of the bat & also wrapped some nice genuine leather grip around the handle. It has come up a treat & I'm sure his son-in-law will love it.
After spending an hour or so with him talking about his cricket bat, his father, family and life in general, it re-affirms to me that cricket is more than just a sport. It's a journey that can last a lifetime and I feel I have the great pleasure of knowing just some of the everyday custodians of the greatest game on earth.