A willow hook

Baskets used to be used for many purposes and many a village had its resident basket maker. In Easterton and Market Lavington we had four generations of the Mullings family fulfilling the role and making baskets for a wide range of purposes. Many of the tools used have ended up in our museum and here we look at their willow hook.

Early 20th Century willow hook used by the Mullings family in Market Lavington

Early 20th Century willow hook used by the Mullings family in Market Lavington

This is smaller than a standard sickle or reap hook and we can guess that Sid Mullings or his father or grandfather used it for willows they cut locally in an area below the Manor House.

One of the things that makes this tool particularly attractive to us is the repaired handle which had clearly split.

The hook handle repaired - perhaps by Sid Mullings

The hook handle repaired – perhaps by Sid Mullings

The repair, carried out by a basket maker uses his technique. The handle has been bound with split willow, nailed into place and then held tight with a wedge.

What a lovely item this is and that repair – let’s guess Sid Mullings did it – really adds local value to it.

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