At the age of 2 years I mounted my first pony from our kitchen table in an old Elizabethan farm house on the Sussex/Surry border and continued riding after I joined the Army in 1963 and ran various Saddle Clubs for the Army wherever I
In 1975 I was stationed at Harrogate in Yorkshire and my Wife had a pony trekking centre in Scotland. Spending the weekends there I used to take broken tack back to Harrogate and botched repairs during the week.
One day there was a knock on my office door and a gentleman came in and asked if he could repair my window latch. As he passed my desk he saw a saddle on my office chair. He said “oh a saddle – what are you going to do with that?” I said mend it I suppose and he said “Oh do you know how?”
I said not really but I seem to manage and he said “would you really like to know how?” I asked why and he explained that his name was Geordie King and that he had recently retired from the Kings Troop of the Royal Horse Artillery where he had been employed as the Master Saddler and was now doing odd jobs in the local Army Barracks to keep himself busy.
The rest is history and after two years of his intense professional guidance I was then a pretty experienced saddler and also rode with the Household Cavalery a couple of times as part of my duty in coordinating State Occasions in London.
I have worked with leather especially in the equine industry ever since but also making handbags, purses, briefcases, leather belts, riding chaps and almost anything else in leather.
Now having left the Army and retired I am working on leather full time with a host of happy clients in Wiltshire and as far north as Sheffield.
I also run saddlery courses in Lacock for the Wiltshire Scrapstore (a charity) and have a close relationship with Connollys in London and Mulberry Handbags.