Gray-Nicolls is the longest-walking bat-making corporation withinside the United Kingdom, at 162 years old. The manufacturing unit is primarily based totally in Robertsbridge in East Sussex, continually making cricket bats from the best exceptional English Willow, grown on our very own wind-up and down the country.

One of the motives we can make such tremendous cricket gadgets is that we’ve been doing that for one hundred sixty years. I become taught via way of means of a gentleman that’s presently executed fifty-six years’ service; they’ve visible everything, they’ve learned everything, and that’s tremendous for me as a brand new bat maker to study from.

We use English Willow, especially cricket bat willow, it’s a particular form of a tree, Salix Alba Caerulea. That’s grown for 15-20 years. The butt of the tree might be added to the yard, reduce to 29inch lengths. These are then break up, so that is in which we can get our first have a take a observe the exceptional of wood that we’ve grown, checking for faults or any problems at all.

What we’re then aiming to create is as many clefts as feasible with every breakup or spherical. A cleft is a sawn breakup, and every singular cleft makes one cricket bat.

The wood is then dried – this lets us get the wood to the center moisture content material that we experience is top-rated for cricket bats for overall performance and lifespan.

With exceptional manipulate, we’re searching at knots, blemishes, and stains, in which they are, what they are, and the way that’s going to affect the completed product. We’ll then compress the wood – the higher it takes the compression the higher overall performance of that bat goes to be., and you could pay attention to the fibers tensioning because it is going via. Willow itself is pretty soft – without placing it via this compression the bat will in no way hit the ball very far.

Once it’s been compressed we can healthy the deal with, and as soon as its deal with is geared up it’s given over to a very last bat maker who will do the very last shaping, balancing, sanding and sprucing, to present you that adorable completed product.

It’s a tremendous feeling while you get to the give up of a make. You might be searching, from a tree to a completed product, consisting of the drying time, everywhere among 2-three months.

Every piece that we’re making via here’s a tailored piece, searching after our worldwide gamers like Jonny Bairstow and Zak Crawley, who’re after a personalized piece of kit.

Historically we’ve sorted masses of worldwide gamers, at one factor withinside the 1970s each Test in shape establishing pair have been Gray-Nicolls gamers. We’ve sorted human beings like Geoffrey Boycott, Richie Benaud, proper again into records human beings like W.G Grace, Prince Ranjitsinhji, proper the manner via to David Gower, Michael Atherton, Nasser Hussain, Alastair Cook, and it’s all popping out of a small village in East Sussex.

I’m very pleased with what we acquire here. Players come to Gray-Nicolls due to the exceptional of the kit. We are obsessed with making cricket bats – it’s cricket bats that the call is constructed on, and that’s the thing –  if you’re a batsman it’s the device of your trade, it’s what you need to be maximum assured in the use of so that you come to the best.

The bulk of the Woodstock willow comes from willow professionals however every cleft continues to be decided on via way of means of lead bat maker, John Newsome, individually. The cleft has already been break up from the spherical use of a wood wedge, difficult sawn, and the ends waxed to prevent splitting.

The system of seasoning withinside the outdoors takes location to lessen moisture content material and this takes among 9 months and a year. When equipped to be was bats the ends are reduced and that they skip via a 5 cutter milling gadget to present the cleft a uniform form.


Each bat deal is spliced and geared up with the use of bendy timber glue ensuring it’s far set barely ahead to make certain an appropriate line of the bow. The deal is then lightly tapped into location and left to dry in an upright position.


Our bats have formed first of all the use of a conventional draw knife then diverse woodblock planes and spokeshaves to make certain the form is attractive to the bat maker, consequently making sure an appropriate weight, stability and choose up in each bat we produce.


The shoulders are formed and mixed first of all with the skillful use of a drawknife after which is completed with a conventional rounded spokeshave. Each deal is then painstakingly formed with a rasp to make certain the form suits flawlessly withinside the fingers of the batsman.


Once the bat has been formed and mixed the sanding system begins. This is a time-ingesting system that makes use of numerous grades of paper running to an exceptional end. Finally, brush sanders are used to present a stunning easy end.


Our bats are sure at the lathe the use of a 4 ply cotton yarn. Glue is unfolded at the deal with previous to the binding to make certain that the binding is held in location for the existence of the bat deal with. The deal is then left to dry for some hours.


Using an unfastened leaf sprucing mop at the outboard facet of the binding lathe we polish every bat meticulously to present a wealthy satin end this is the envy of different bat makers. Toe guards are then geared up except special otherwise.



The Woodstock bat is then equipped for labeling, gripping, and knocking in. Every bat additionally gets a very last check-over to make certain that it’s been completed to an excessive popular and that there aren’t any formerly unspotted imperfections.


The bat is completed and equipped to grace cricket grounds across the world!

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