Walsall is a huge industrial town located in the West Midlands of England. It is exceptionally popular because the saddles and leather products that the townspeople make are simply the world’s finest. Walsall has had many industries, from coal mining to metalworking. In the late 19th century, the coal mines ran dry, and Walsall became internationally famous for its leather trade. Walsall still manufactures the Queen’s handbags, saddles for the Royal family, and leather goods for the Prince of Wales.
West Midlands of England:
The main cities and towns in the West Midlands include Birmingham, Coventry, Hereford, Shrewsbury, Stafford, Stoke-on-Trent, Telford, Wolverhampton, and Worcester.
The West Midlands comprises Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Shropshire, Herefordshire, and Worcestershire. Parts of the historic counties of Warwickshire, Worcestershire, and Staffordshire make up the metropolitan county of West Midlands.
As a matter of fact, the town of Walsall is renowned as the British leather goods capital. It has ninety companies, three of which are Royal Warrant holders. These leather companies are continuously producing an amazing variety of high-quality riding equipment and gift items like belts, purses, and handbags. These very fine leather goods are exported to nearly all parts of the globe.
The leather industry of Walsall had recently suffered from the Foot and Mouth disease outbreak. But despite this, the industry is striving even harder and continues to thrive for its worldwide reputation as a first-class and fine quality leather goods producer.
It is known that Queen Elizabeth II adores the leather handbags produced by Walsall. Also, the Royal Household regularly places orders for saddles and other riding equipment from Royal Warrant Holders like the Jabez Cliff & Co., which was founded in 1873.
Really, the Walsall people have been making fine quality leather goods for about two hundred years. Hence today, a museum was built to celebrate this tradition. The Walsall Leather Museum is actually housed in a restored factory of leather. It is located on A4148 Littleton Street and is only a short walking distance from local train and bus stations.
You will be able to witness the story of leather unfolding right in front of your eyes as the museum displays the Walsall leather trade and splendid examples of well-crafted leather goods, including the saddles and other riding equipment specially made for the Royal Family. It also features leather products with exhilarating contemporary designs.
The museum further endeavors to demonstrate to the people the tradition of leather goods making as it features actual craftsmen as living examples of the production and tanning of leather. These skillful craftsmen make different leather goods, such as purses and wallets, while you watch them as they work.
This fascinating and functional museum is open from Tuesday to Saturday, from 10 am up to 5 in the afternoon. It requires no admission fee so basically, anyone is free to come and enjoy its different attractions and facilities, which includes a Saddle Room coffee shop among others. With its activities and facilities, the Walsall Leather Museum will surely impress you as you discover how Walsall became the capital of leather goods in Britain.
Britain’s tanneries and leather workshops have a rich heritage. We pick the best butter-smooth luxury leather brands of yesteryear, today, and the future.
Here’s a round-up of some of the finest leather companies in the UK, all dedicated to creating the finer things, designed beautifully, and to last a lifetime:
• Noble MacMillan
• Aspinals of London
• Cambridge Satchel Company
• Stow London
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