Neil Thwaites - The Corn Dolly Man

1931 - 1999

Corn Dollies

Neil at Market Weighton, May 1995

Neil demonstrates Corn Dolly making at Market Weighton
during the VE Day + 50 Years Celebrations, May 1995


Neil's trademark was a small straw harvest mouse on an ear of wheat, and he would make these to give to local children during his many appearances at local fairs.


The Harvest Mouse

Mouse up a Straw

The mouse was made using nine lengths of straw, seven being used for the mouse and two for its tail.  Neil's instructions for making the mouse were very precise and always accompanied by beautiful drawings.
He always had a mouse on his straw hat, and one would often appear in his drawings.


The Presidential Peacock

Neil Tutoring The Presidential Peacock
The Peacock (sketch)

Neil tutoring the "Presidential Peacock" for his workshop at Earnley, 1997.
His hand-written instructions were a delight for all those who took part in his workshops.


Neil, the Peacock and Emu

Neil, the Peacock and Emu

Neil salutes "Emu" before giving his Presidential Farewell Address to the members at the Earnley Conference 1997, with the "Presidential Peacock" keeping a watchful eye on the proceedings.


Surviving examples of Neil's Corn Dollies are rare,and photographic
records are equally difficult to track down.

This tea towel designed by Janet Twigger, for which Neil did the artwork, is a wonderful example of the Corn Dollies that he used to create.

Tea Towel

Neil's display of Corn Dolly making at Market Weighton, during the VE Day + 50 Years Celebrations May 1995, demonstrates his traditional Corn Dolly craft.

Corn Dolly Craft


Last Update : 30 December, 2006