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
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Many thanks for this itís a wonderful touch as far as customer service goes, having been in business all my life recently early retired, itís refreshing to see this and I will definitely subscribe to your newsletter. Regards Ian
Ian C., Lanarkshire
Itís arrived and I am delighted with it thanks. (Barbour Betty liner.)
Paul - thanks for this notification. The jacket arrived safely today. I am delighted and impressed with the service. Thanks very much. Best wishes
Chris R., Kent
Just wanted to let you know that the parcel arrived safely in the mail today. Thank you for your good service regarding my order. The jacket is brilliant, I definitely know who to contact for my next Barbour purchase.
Cathrine O., U.K.
Paul, Many thanks for your personal and swift response. Order arrived today as promised. Keep up the good work both of you and nice to find a small family business competing with the "giants". You have every right to do well and I wish you every success. Would definitely recommend you.
Iain P., Bristol
Hello again Sara, Just to let you know that the gilet has arrived safely. Thank you for such exemplary service. Thank you to you and all the team for your help. I have been impressed with every aspect of the service, and the communication is absolutely first-class; the "big guys" could learn a lot from you.
Peter D., Aylesbury
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