Cox the Saddler

About Cox the Saddler

Address

Cox The Saddler
23 High Street
Chesham
Buckinghamshire
HP5 1BG

Open Mon-Sat 9.30am to 4.30pm

Use this address for correspondence and returns - or just to shop!

Telephone

UK: 01494 775577

International: +44 1494 775577

Find us on the map

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 whips, brushes, chamois leathers and every stable requisite... dog collars, leads and chains... portmanteaux bags and all kinds of fancy leather goods... manes and tails pulled, also heels clipped out... rates according to amount of work and the behaviour of the animal.

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

Registered Address

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.

Cox the Saddler Limited
Milweye Court
73 Southern Road
Thame
Oxfordshire
OX9 2ED

Company No. 01579441

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CUSTOMERS SAY

Hi Paul, Thanks for the update. Thank you for a quick & easy purchase. Have a great day.

J. Wilson, Inverness
Hello Paul,

The keys just arrived. Thank you for shipping so quickly. I am thrilled to report that one of the keys fits my (decades old) trumpet case. The other two are somewhat too thick to fit into the key slot. I'll try tapping them thinner, but I am quite satisfied with this purchase. I had lost my spare key some time ago; I ordered three in hopes at least one would work -- and it does! Now I'm no longer flying without a net, for the first time in years. Not that I intend to lose my other key, but now if I do, I'm not out of luck.

Hope all is well on the other side of the pond. I'll keep your contact info in case I need any other keys.


All the best!
Steve

Steve O., California
Hi Paul and Sara, Thank you very much, package arrived last week, and product is perfect - fits nicely in my Ashby jacket. Thanks for your efficient service.

Regards,

Dave P., East Sussex
Just to let you know that I am delighted with the replacement leather seat which is a perfect fit. Thank you for the excellent service. Regards

Thomas B., Glasgow
Itís arrived and I am delighted with it thanks. (Barbour Betty liner.)
L.W., Glasgow
Thank you for the message, Sara & Paul.

The shooting stick you sold me (which had fun in Australian Customs because of the description) is being well used.

I do delight in buying things from your store.

Kind regards,

Tim

Tim F., Australia
© Cox the Saddler 2019