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  • Writer's pictureLucy

From The Abbey Archives #3

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 had a trip to see our friends and fellow Sedgwick investors, Crawford Hide Company in Northern Ireland. She was given the ultimate behind the scenes tour which gave her a great insight to just how much work goes into producing hides which later end up at Sedgwick HQ to be finished off...

Hi all, This month I’ve been thinking about success and failures. I’m sure we all know how to be critical, I certainly am, especially when it comes to myself and my own work. What I’m not good at however is shouting about my success, it always seems to be a struggle. Fortunately, I do like to shout about others and their achievements. This month I’m very excited to shout about the crew at Crawford Hide Company! Only a few miles away from the workshop in Newry, Co. Down, CHC has been embedded in Hilltown’s countryside since 1989, surrounded by livestock grazing in the neighbouring fields. What you don’t expect is to see how high tech and vast their facilities are. Even the lightbulbs are top spec. I had the pleasure of visiting the company and getting shown “behind the scenes”, including the huge chilling “fridges” and the team trimming hides. It’s incredibly easy to underestimate the amount of work involved in this facility, the first main stage in a hide’s journey.

The figures are remarkable. With the tens of thousands of hides being produced every week in Ireland and the UK the number is cut down at every stage leaving only the best suited and top-quality hides for the likes of Sedgwicks leather. However, before you think any hide “goes to waste” you’ll be glad to know that there is such high demand at CHC that there is always a buyer for these top-quality skins. An ideal hide is grown “long and slow” so beef bull cattle are the best for the job. Hides come from slaughterhouses from all over the place and together with CHC the slaughterhouses have changed some of their processing methods to cut and skin in different ways to produce a good raw product for the leather industry. How great is that! In fact, the leather industry helps to reduce tonnes of waste product from the meat industry. Being shown around the facility really hits home the volume of hides the team are processing, and demonstrated that they are they are always thinking about the future and on further expansion! I’m very proud to have a facility like this so close to home, especially one so vital to the industry and I’m glad to shout about their success.

A previous employer once told me that you should always be hard on yourself when you fail but to remember to celebrate a success, no matter how small. This month I’ll challenge you to shout about an achievement you make, whether it be fulfilling a big order or getting a good run of straight stitching. Don’t forget to mention others success either, it could make someone’s day after all!.

Till next time Lucy

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