By Ken Kilby
Wooden casks (or barrels) are containers of exceptional strength, versatility and mobility but have become a rarity in Britain, displaced so completely by metal containers that it is hard to imagine their importance in former times. The coopers who made them were once numerous and independent craftsmen, while latterly many were employed by breweries. Their craft was not only economically vital but was physically demanding and required skill acquired only through years of practice. This book seeks to preserve the memory of their skills, tracing the history of the craft and describing and illustrating how a barrel was made.