Master thatcher Gary Sugg was taking a step back in time this week revisiting the cottage he worked on 35 years ago.

He was photographed putting the finishing touches to the wheat straw roof on Loaf Cottage in Sandy Lane in 1987 and was snapped again as he was completing the task this week .

Gary became an apprentice thatcher when he left school and worked his way up to become a Master Thatcher.

“The craft of thatching hasn’t changed much over the years but these days we have to do risk assessments and use scaffolding," he said.

"Years ago, we used to thatch just using ladders so it’s safer working conditions these days and it’s a lot faster working from platforms.”

He uses combed wheat reed which is grown in Lacock and Gary oversees the harvesting as it must be cut 'the Wiltshire way' to give a uniform appearance.

Gary, who lives in nearby Bromham, says he is often asked how old these cottages are.

"It’s a question I often wonder," he said.

"I was told these thatch cottages used to be in the grounds of Bowood House till landscape architect Capability Brown who was designing the gardens had them removed and rebuilt along Sandy Lane.

"I used to think that was a bit of folklore until I meet a University graduate who had done a study through the archives at Bowood.

"She told me that the story is correct so these cottages must date to the mid 18th century.”

Using Wiltshire straw means the thatch lasts about 20 years.

"The cottages must have had many thatchers working to replace the roofs over time and keep the appearance of this picture postcard village," he said.

“I just love my job it give me sense of achievement each time I complete a job.

"I am keen to promote the art and get young people taking up the craft.”