Simply Thatch in Cambridgeshire specialises in creating and restoring roofs
Based near Huntingdon, Simply Thatch provides advice, patching and repairs, right through to new ridges, extensive restorations and a complete thatch.
William Mckie, who worked in close protection – essentially a bodyguard – in the RAF for 10 years, is a co-founder of the firm.
“We set up about 10 months ago, myself and my brother, Robert,” he explained. “He has been thatching since he was 16 and his work is outstanding. We decided to set up on our own while youth is still on our side. And as you can see from our website, we already have a number of happy customers.
“We do everything, from repairs all the way up to full thatches. When the thatch needs renewing – if you’ve had it 30 years – we do the complete thatch. Between 25 and 30 years is normally time for a complete renewal.
“Thatched roofs are part of our British heritage and many of them are listed buildings, so we don’t have the option to remove the thatch, and why would you want to? It’s the prefect chocolate box image.”
William and his brother are very close and have always enjoyed being outdoors. William says he left the military in order to restore properties that are part of our heritage to their full glory.
“We get to be outside – it’s not so great in the winter but in the summer it’s brilliant,” he says, “so it’s a good way to earn a living.”
The pair intend to keep growing the business. “We currently work with a few guys who also love to restore listed buildings but we are keen to find others who share our interest and would like to join our venture,” said William.