Dave French

Fifth Generation Pot Maker

Withy pot making is in Dave's blood, being the fifth generation withy pot maker in his his family. Originally a Budleigh Salterton boy, now living in Plympton, he has spent many years displaying the craft that he is so passionate about at local shows and events. 2023 see Dave take on an apprentice, Sarah, to ensure that the endangered craft is enjoyed into the future. He is to continue displaying at the many events for which he has become a popular attraction, including Plymouth Seafood Festival in September 2023.

Jean French


Jean is very much a heritage craftswoman in her own right alongside husband Dave, with her collection of bee hives and bee keeping skills. Over 30 years of administration and secretarial experience working for a leading confectionary company, Jean keeps the rest of the team "Ship Shape" on the office management side, not forgetting of course the amazing bacon butties that she makes for the team during pot making.

Sarah Ready

Apprentice Withy Pot Maker

Sarah is very fortunate to have secured Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust support, assisting her with business mentoring and Scholarship support to learn the craft from Dave over the winter as an "apprentice". This will enable all aspects of the heritage of withy pot making to be explored, including the different styles of regional pot, all aspects of willow selection, tool choice, pot making, mending of pots and heritage reflection over the years. A very hard but very exciting journey ahead in 2023 and beyond.

Milla James

Creative Writing Intern

I am 20 years old and this is my first internship. I am the youngest of the team and hope to use this to the advantage of spreading the interest of British fishing history with my generation. I am tech-smart, have strong media-ethics and a wide understanding on what grabs the public's attention, particularly people of my age-group. I am the type of person that loves to learn new things. And by journalising the craft of withy pots, I am sure that many more people will love to learn new things about a craft over 400 years old. By spreading the knowledge and interest of this dying craft, we will keep it alive.