From The Abbey Archives #1
After winning The 2019 Abbey Scholarship I was invited to partake in a monthly blog for Abbey England, talking about the ups and downs of business and the saddlery industry. Abbey England is one of my main suppliers of hardware and leather. Check our their website HERE.
To read the original post you can find it HERE.
All the Abbey Team were very excited to read Lucy's first blog and we look forward to hearing more over the coming months.
Hello! It’s great to have won such a wonderful scholarship from Abbey England. Specialist tools are always so hard to come by in our trade so usually my evenings are spent hovering on eBay so it will be amazing to be able to get new tools from Abbey. I have my eye on lots of tools but really do need to get myself more loop sticks. When you’re doing so many jobs at once, being able to keep making loops and getting them nice and square makes sure you can keep motoring on! I’ve also spotted a set of imperial self-centering wad punches – anything that helps stop you going off centre is a bonus.
I’d like to give a huge thanks to all the team members at Abbey England. It’s an even bigger privilege to be given a space on their monthly blog - I do hope you enjoy reading about my adventures in saddlery and sad
dle fitting. A little bit about me - I’m a trainee saddler and saddle fitter based in Newry, Northern Ireland. My mentor, Master Saddler James Adair, The Journeyman Saddler, keeps me busy working alongside him on many repairs and commissions. However due to training and exam restrictions, I pop over to England to attend Society of Master Saddlers Module training days and work under other master saddlers and fitters.2019 has seen me hitting the ground running. After the post-Christmas rush of repairs and adjustments, it was over to England for some training and to attend BETA International and The National Saddlery Competition.
What I noticed most about being across the water this time was there was always talk of Brexit (I know, I’m sorry I brought it up too!) and what the future holds for the industry.Whilst there is no crystal ball, there is one thing that everyone can do to stay above troubled water - Quality. Use quality materials to make quality items and sell them with some quality service. The Master of the SMS, Chris Taylor summed it up perfectly in his speech at Saddlers Hall in which he encouraged all members to keep improving themselves in their craft, year upon year and to keep the competition looking over their shoulders!
Anyways enough about me - time to get back to the workshop, need to sort out which buckles I need to order for the next project. I have lots of projects on the bench but I’m most looking forward to working on this Belfast driving pad (see photo). It’s had a hard life and needs a lot of work to get it ready for the show ring. She may be a big brute but I’m in love with her already and it will be a very interesting challenge. Thankfully I have James guiding me through the whole process – I’d be lost without him.