Hastings Senior Men’s Forum

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ON October 9 we had a talk and demonstration on making trugs from Sarah Page of the Truggery.

The word ‘trug’ is derived from the Anglo-Saxon word ‘trog’ which means a boat shaped vessel, and of course a trug is boat shaped container, not a vessel.

It is a light and strong basket made from willow and sweet chestnut and has been made in this part of Sussex for at least 200 years at several centres originally, but now concentrated at Herstmonceux.

It was mainly used for agriculture in the early days, but now comes in all shapes and sizes and is used for many things.

The trug became famous when a gentleman named Mr Smith displayed them at the Great Exhibition in 1851 and Queen Victoria ordered them for her family.

Mr Smith put this cargo into a wheelbarrow and walked all the way to Buckingham Palace from Herstmonceux, trusting no one but himself.

Sarah showed us all the tools used in manufacture and how they are applied by her workforce of five people; most of which have been producing trugs for many years. All our members present were very impressed by the detailed information given by our speaker.