Cox the Saddler
About Cox the Saddler
Open Mon-Sat 9.30am to 4.30pm
Use this address for correspondence and returns - or just to shop!
UK: 01494 775577
International: +44 1494 775577
History of Cox the Saddler
Herbert Harry Cox, the first Cox the Saddler, was born in 1862, the son of William and Betsy Cox of Hemel Hempstead.
Herbert came to Chesham in the 1890s highly recommended as an apprentice to William Lacey, saddler and harness maker, the third of that name and craft, who had no children but wished to ensure that his family's business should continue at Lacey's Yard. It takes five to seven years for a saddler to learn his craft, but in a sense he is learning all his life.
The earliest deed of the building housing Cox the Saddler was drawn up in 1649, the year that Charles I was executed, and it is believed that the premises has always been a saddler's. Some of the shop's old beams have been uncovered, salvaged centuries ago from broken-up ship's timbers.
The Lacey family, who stitched saddle and harness under this roof from the late eighteenth century, could not have chosen a better successor than Herbert Cox, who worked for the farms all around Chesham, especially on the Hertfordshire side and remembered them all. He eventually took over the business in 1911.
In later years he transferred the enterprise to his younger son Wilfred, but continued to work diligently at his stool at the back of the shop until the age of 85, always wearing his bowler hat.
In the early years, saddles were the main work as they were in great demand
for farmers, riding enthusiasts and the local breweries. Also advertised were
During the Second World War, Wilfred gave priority to the repair of footballs, new ones being almost unobtainable. He too showed a remarkable tenacity for hard work, continuing with a few saddlery odd-jobs until the age of 89 and attributing his good health in old age to a trade which was always a challenge and a way of life. He entrusted his business to his son Desmond who became a founder member of Chesham Round Table, chairman of the Youth Centre and a trustee of our educational charities.
In the 1950s, Desmond took on his cousin Richard Hearn as an apprentice. Over a period of forty years Richard developed the gunroom, saddlery, workshop and clothing facets of the business, remaining at Cox's until March 1996.
In 1980 Desmond Cox sold the business to handbag manufacturer David Heistercamp, who in turn transferred the business to Keith and Sandra Jeffrey in 1989. Their son Paul took over as manager in 1995. After the death of Keith Jeffrey in 1999 their daughter Sara Clark joined the business as Marketing Manager, using her IT skills to create the Cox the Saddler Ltd. web site www.saddler.co.uk
Although Cox the Saddler has been a limited company since 12th August 1981, it retains the atmosphere of a friendly family business, committed to service and customer satisfaction as always.
from stories by Dr ARNOLD BAINES, JULIAN STEPHENS and PHIL COX
Compiled by PETER HAWKES
THIS IS OUR ACCOUNTANT'S ADDRESS AND SHOULD NOT BE USED FOR CORRESPONDENCE OF ANY KIND. THERE IS NO COX THE SADDLER RETAIL OUTLET AT THIS ADDRESS.
Company No. 01579441
Your Shopping Bag
|YOUR SHOPPING BAG|
|All received, many thanks. Very impressed with the service and delivery. Pete|
Peter P., West Sussex
Hi Paul, Many thanks for your reply to my mail. Just to let you know that the parcel arrived this morning as you predicted. The item is a perfect fit. Thanks for the great customer service.
Geoffrey K., Cheshire
Thanks for despatching so quickly. Sally
Sally H., Pangbourne
Great, thank you! It was a pleasure and I will definitely be back should my Delsey lose another wheel.
Have a great day!
Danny A., Calgary
Dear Sara and Paul, A BIG THANK YOU.
For weeks I have been searching for a new wheel for my 18 month old Antler suitcase. A Google search for 'suitcase wheels' brought forward thousands, mostly from China, but none suitable. Then I came across your site which I have to admit I discounted at first. A Saddler, come on. But only closer inspection I found a Delsey wheel which looked identical to the wheel I had 'lost' at Manchester airport.
I took a chance and ordered it. It arrived next day. Fantastic. I fitted it this morning and apart from me having to drill one small hole in the suitcase for a screw it fitted perferctly. Much cheaper than a new suitcase.
Once again thanks for the great service.
Jack W., Yorkshire
Hello Sara and Paul,
I picked up the Border and hood this morning. It fits perfectly. I am very very very happy.
The coat was a birthday gift from my partner.
I hope to see you in the flesh when we visit Chesham.
Ian G. , West Hampstead
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