I was trained by Master Pod Shaver Ian Callen, who played for Australia # 291. He has over 40 years experience making cricket bats and I am a accredited Willow Blue Bat Maker. This allows me to use Willow Blue Timber, salix alba caerulea.
The Willow Blue Story
Began in 1976 when Ian Callen discovered that English Willow had been sent to Australia in 1902 by the English Test Captain, Archie MacLaren.
MacLaren whilst honeymooning in Healesville was struck by the similarities to Healesville's English climate.
Archies cuttings had been sent to Bob Crockett (Test Umpire) and as a result a plantation was established along "Jim Crow Creek" at Shepherd’s Flat near Daylesford in Victoria.
This plantation produce bats for Australian Test players until it was bought by Slazenger in 1956 and cut down putting an end to an Australian industry.
Eventually in 1994 after 9 years of frustrating setbacks... it was on 25 acres of Watts River flood plain in Healesville that our first "salix alba caerulea" English willow trees were planted.
English Willow or Blue Willow as the tree is known... and because we are from a land "Down Under we have taken the name "Willow Blue".