Traditional
'Withy'
Lobster Pots

Dave French &
Sarah Ready

About image

Withy pots have been recorded in old painting dating from 400 years ago, but the craft would go back further as humans have used traps to catch fish and crabs since we first inhabited our shore line. The problem with a definitive date is nothing was written down in the regions or families… it was learnt from father to son, although in some areas the wives also made them. Fish traps have been found in peat bogs.

All of our coastline had these withy pots up until the late 1960s but demand for saving time in their making and needing stronger pots which could withstand attaching multiple pots together in a line (string of pots) which withy pots would not be able to withstand, meant changing to wire and net pots then the plastic ones you see today.

The withy pot had a life span of just over one season with ongoing repairs meaning every winter you started all over again. Unless you had a withy bed to cut your withies from you had to purchase them, normally from Somerset at some expense.

Dave French and Sarah Ready are now underway with working to revive the craft, to ensure that the tradition lives on, not just in Devon where they are both based, but around coastal communities further afield.   

  • 51 Berry Head Road, Brixham, UK
  • Admin address for enquiries

Please make contact with either Sarah or Dave with any enquiries sarah@traditionallobsterpots.co.uk Thank you for your contact

Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust Training with Dave French

Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust Training with Dave French

08/01/2023

Very excited to announce that a Scholarship has been awarded for Sarah Ready to learn the craft of withy pot making from Dave French, fifth generation traditional lobster pot maker. It will enable the endangered craft to continue within coastal communities locally in Devon and beyond, and for traditional potting to be celebrated from Brixham harbour and surrounds.

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Critically Endangered Craft - Made in Plymouth

Critically Endangered Craft - Made in Plymouth

08/01/2023

Interesting blog on the traditional pot makers, including Dave French, who are determined to ensure that the endangered red list craft of withy pot making continues on for future generations to enjoy.

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Reclaim Magazine - Withy Potting in Brixham

Reclaim Magazine - Withy Potting in Brixham

08/01/2023

The last twelve months have seen Dave French and myself working towards the revival of withy pot making in Devon, together with some diversification by Dave with pot making for furniture and lampshades, for coastal home interiors.

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For the Love of the Sea

For the Love of the Sea

08/04/2023

Delighted to be appearing in For the Love of the Sea II Cookbook which is available from May 2023 in all good bookshops and available via Amazon. The book features many recipes provided by characters from coastal communities who are sea inspired in one form or another.

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Firework Glass Studio

Firework Glass Studio

27/04/2023

Very happy to endorse this great family run artisan business. If you are looking for amazing and different pieces of glass to add to your collection.........look no further! The sea horses and crab claws are stunning along with all their other creations. Bespoke work undertaken too!

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Suppliers of the finest Willow

Suppliers of the finest Willow

29/04/2023

Great family run busines based in Somerset, suppliers of all our high grade willow used in the making of our traditional Lobster pots

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Traditional Cornish Lobster Pot maker

Traditional Cornish Lobster Pot maker

03/05/2023

Very happy to endorse Nigel Legge , he is a true master of his craft of making traditional Cornish Willow (withy) Lobster/Crab pots as featured in several tv productions including Poldark and Monty Halls the fishermans apprentice .

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Available pots

Available pots

04/06/2023

From time to time we may have pots surplus to our needs , these may be older worked pots now due to be retired or newer ones left over from the shows. please message us via contact emails if you are interested ....please note the used older ones are just that , they have had a lot of hard work and well worn , and obviousely not in their prime anymore but can provide a garden feature for the birds etc to investigate , and then for nature to break them down and return them back to the ground where they came from.

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  •  14/09/2024 09:00 AM - 15/09/2024 06:00 PM
  •   Barbican, Plymouth, UK

Great event held on the Historic Barbican area of Plymouth, this event grows from strength to strength each year attracting thousands of visitors, lots to see for all the family , lovely fresh food stalls , cooking demos and of course me where i will be making a traditional East Devon Budleigh style willow crab/Lobster again over the two days .....not forgetting a fantastic auction of fresh fish each day.

  •  08/06/2024 10:00 AM - 09/06/2024 05:00 PM
  •   Bovey Tracey, Newton Abbot, UK

A fantastic chance to see some great crafts people at work along with lots of traders in a great setting , this is a whole family event over several day's. I will be there along with the team making traditional willow Lobster pots over two of the days Sat 8th and Sun 9th June i will add more details closer to the date

  •  18/05/2024 10:00 AM
  •   The Ham

Great family day out in glorious Sidmouth lots to see and do , i will be there as always making a traditional East Devon style willow Crab/Lobster pot , i am one of only a handfull left that can still make these lovely old pots now listed as critically endangered on the Heritage Crafts list My apprentice Sarah will be along talking to people about the craft and other matters relating to the commercial fishing industry

  •  29/09/2023 02:02 PM - 15/10/2023 02:02 PM
  •   English Riviera Torbay
  •  16/09/2023 10:00 AM - 17/09/2023 10:00 AM
  •   Barbican, Plymouth, UK

A two day event celebrating seafood. this free festival is a vibrant celebration of the incredible sustainably caught fresh fish and seafood on offer in Britain’s Ocean City. There will be plenty of fun activities for children to get involved with too, throughout the two days, there’s something for everyone.

  •  09/09/2023 10:15 AM
  •   Teignmouth UK

I will be there on Saturday 9th September making a traditional East Devon willow crab pot.

  •  30/07/2023 10:07 AM
  •   The Strand, Exmouth

A full day for all the family where I will be making a traditional East Devon willow crab pot.

  •  16/07/2023 10:00 AM

Making a traditional East Devon Lobster pot

  •  20/05/2023 10:00 AM
  •   The Ham, Sidmouth, UK

The Sidmouth Sea festival is an annual event that celebrates the sea and our beautiful coast and the vibrant community of this very special place. This festival is a family friendly event that values communal work and promotes environmental awareness and actions that value our marine and coastal environment. The festival is open to all and includes free entry. Sidmouth Sea Fest is completely ran by volunteers and has been running for nine consecutive years since its first year in 2014.

Withy Pot Plant Climbers Available
£45 each plus £24 postage and packing.
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Withy Pot Plant Climbers Available
£45 each plus £24 postage and packing.
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