From The Abbey Archives #2
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.
This month Lucy tells us all about her conundrum in finding the right fitting for her customer’s horse harness…
Hi all, This month it was Abbey England to the rescue! A customer had been looking for some square white metal terrets (the metal rings the reins go through on the pad of a horse harness). After looking through all the catalogues, websites and raiding the fittings room I couldn't find any. I posted up on Facebook groups to ask if anyone had any or knew where to get them, when no other than Richard Brown himself told me to give him a call. Not only did Abbey have the pattern to make them, they already had some in stock and could send them out to me that day. Customer sorted!
One of my favourite things to do is look through old saddlery catalogues. They are full of beautiful pictures of saddlery, harness and leather goods but also bits and buckles. The great thing is whilst you don't see such a huge variety in modern catalogues any more, companies such as Abbey hold patterns for these lovely bits of lorinery and are able to cast them with age-old superior techniques. I've visited the foundry a couple of times and the pattern room is by far my favourite, there are just so many and I keep getting told that isn't all of them! Abbey England's pattern room. It got me thinking if I hadn't been asked for those terrets, I wouldn't have known that Abbey England were able to supply them in the first place and now I know I’ll certainly be ordering them again. Without keeping this knowledge alive we risk losing these valuable things and techniques. So - I challenge you, reader, to have an extra think about your fittings on your next make.
You would be surprised at how much you can talk about a buckle or a fitting. “Will it slide onto the strap easily?”, “Does its shape compliment the design?”, “Is this the correct metal for the environment it’s in?” If you're not sure, why not post up on Facebook, look in some old books, or even give Abbey England a call, one way or another you'll get it right in the end. As for me, I’ve been working away as usual. I’ve had lots of harness to do recently – my favourite. There’s lots to do as I’ve lots of amazing things coming up which I can’t wait to tell you about, but it’s all hush-hush for now though!
Until next time, Lucy