Meet the Keeley Team
Many of you already know us - but there are some of you who don't, we are a family run business based in the village of Ashburnham, East Sussex.
The Keeley family have lived here on this exact land for over 200 years, the last 4 generations have worked on the family timber mill, working with wood is in our blood!
Meet Tim and Nick - the brothers behind the bat making business.
Tim is our head bat maker, he started making bats under the wing of the late John Newbery, he has spent 45 years of making bats for world renowned international professionals. Innovating new designs and looking after some of the worlds best cricketers has mastered his skills to produce the world class quality craftsmanship that you all know and use today.
He has made over half a million bats since starting out as an apprentice aged 16 in 1975 at Gray Nicholls. He is still passionate about his work and enjoys the pleasure that his bats bring to local players and top players alike.
During his time as a bat maker the cricket bat shape has changed dramatically over the last 45 years toes used to be left or right-
handed, and all bats were a similar shape with half inch edges, weighing around 2lb 5oz. Since then, he has experienced bats with weighted handles, cutaway shoulders, bats with holes in, scoop bats and carbon fibre handles.
The current trend is for bats to have bigger edges with flat or semi round faces.The technique of hand-craftsmanship has not really changed and there is always a skill of profiling, balancing and shaping with old fashioned tools to meet modern day expectations.
Nick is Tim's younger brother and has also worked with John back in the day. He has been working with wood for over forty years having started his working career in the family sawmill.
He personally selects every cleft for manufacture and tests every bat for performance before it leaves the factory, he has extensive knowledge of grading and machining clefts to make them the best that they can be. There probably isn’t another bat maker in the world who has sorted, graded and selected as many clefts as Nick.
Kevin is our sanding man, he buffs and polishes all our bats to perfection.
He started working at Gray Nicholls before Tim started there in 1975, he has been making and sanding bats consistently for over 50 years, he is also our repair and refurb expert, there is not bat too broken he can't glue up.
Keira is our office manager, taking care of admin, social media and customer services, she is usually your first point of contact, answering all the emails and messages.
Fred is Tim and Nick's youngest brother, he mainly runs our family sawmill, however he does make bats for us occasionally, he fills in for Kev sanding the bats. He also started making bats 30 years ago working under the Gray Nicholls "boot camp".
Timmy is our customer service man, having worked and managed many cricket shops in the UK over the last 45 years he has a hefty belt of experience finding you the best bat.