Two former schoolfriends with a passion for cricket have created a business making bespoke cricket bats from home-grown willow.
Garrard & Flack of West Row was born when pals Ed Garrard and Liam Flack chatted about making their own cricket bats.
And the follow-on has created a small but perfectly formed combination, whereby cricket willow grown in Suffolk is converted into handcrafted bats for the discerning player.
Self-taught, the two began experimenting, and at the end of 2016 the business was created. Last year they sold between 150 and 200 bats and this year are aiming for 300. They make the Suffolk Select bat using wood from willow grown at the riverside in Cornard. Each bat is crafted with wood also supplied by Foskett Willows of Woodbridge, where the willow is kiln-dried.
Ed said: “We can custom make the bat, its profile, weight, shape, handle length and grip. It helps that we are both players, so have an interest in what we’re doing.”
The 23-year-olds were friends at Mildenhall College of Technology. Liam is an engineer at RAF Lakenheath. Ed used to be a golf pro, but now works full time at the business. He said: “ I think the best part is sanding the bat until you can see your reflection in it.”
More at www.garrardandflack.com .