Follow Queen Victoria’s example with your trug

Sarah Page ... world of trugs
Sarah Page ... world of trugs

Always carried by elegant ladies as they toured their rose arbours (and issued instructions to gardeners) the Sussex Trug is as distinctive a county asset as the Seven Sisters or Brighton Pavilion.

Used for centuries, trugs came to prominence when Queen Victoria visited the Great Exhibition in 1851 and ordered a consignment for the Royal Family. Trug inventor Thomas Smith of Herstmonceux walked from his home to Buckingham Palace with a wheelbarrow full of the baskets.

Today a book called ‘The Sussex Trug, Form, Function and Craft’ is being launched by author Sarah Page, who continues the Herstmonceux connection with her village workshop. The book costs £20 and can be ordered at: info@truggery.co.uk.

For more than 20 years Sarah has continued to create trugs at The Truggery. A founder member of the Association of Sussex Trug Basket Makers, she hopes the book will bring a greater appreciation of what she describes as a declining craft.

Trug making has been established in Sussex for at least 200 years. The word is derived from ‘trog,’ Anglo Saxon for wooden vessel or boat-shaped article. Originally used as measures or scoops for grain or liquid, they are world renowned for strength, durability and usefulness.

Truggery trugs are hand-made in the traditional way using sweet chestnut and cricket bat willow.