I recently embarked on a weekend away to Maitland & surrounding towns to uncover some of the traditional makers in the region. One such craftsman is John Wright, of John Wright Brooms.
John is of the fifth generation of the Wright family to farm in Phoenix Park, just across the river from Morpeth NSW. While he keeps vegetables & bees, it is his millet crop that proves to be a bumper harvest each year and fuels his handcrafted brooms.
With the introduction of plastic brooms the millet broom factories of the past were nearly wiped out. Yet with the encouragement of Trevor, own of Campbells in Morpeth, John reintroduced broom making and began working out of some acquired sheds. Once the word go out, an offer of a grandfather’s old broom making tools dating from 1879 was made and after some clumsy attempts, John Wright was in business. That was about 40 years ago now, and his brooms are still in strong demand today!
To visit John’s workshop & pick up some fresh vegetables from his farm, look for the honey sign after the timber Morpeth Historic Bridge bridge when heading out of town.