The Verwood and District Potteries Trust


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Hurdles, spars & coppice products.

The claylands around Verwood were good for coppice, woods of hazel which were cut down every seven to fifteen years for wood which was used as fuel or for hurdle-making.

Making hurdles from hazel is the local industry which still survives, but there are far fewer hurdlers today - even in 1955 there were still 15 of them. They also produced split hazel rods used to pin down thatch: thousands of these were needed every year when corn and hay were stored in ricks. Cripplestyle, just to the north of Verwood had so many hurdle-makers that the local brass band was called the Spar and Hurdle Band in the 1930s.

See a brief explanation of how hurdles work.
Some of the old hurdle-makers were photographed at work.

The band
The Cripplestyle Congregational Band, known as the 'Spar and Hurdle' band.