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The horse collar maker

Terry Davis

Saddle, Harness and Horse Collar Maker / Bridle Cottage / Leamoor Common / Wistanstow / Craven Arms / Shropshire / SY7 8DN
01694 781206

Dates of filming: 2nd & 3rd April 2007

The knowledge and skills in a traditional craft can sometimes find new uses in the developing world where technological advance may involve trying, for example, to harness the working animals more efficiently.

When horses still provided power and transport, harness making was one of the most vital and skilled of crafts, in town and country alike. At the beginning of the twentieth century, a million horses were at work on farms, supported by an army of saddlers and harness makers scattered through the villages and market towns of rural England. Their numbers fell sharply as cars, lorries and tractors took over and the craft almost disappeared completely. Today, just a very few remain to supply leather harness and collars for the small numbers of heavy horses still to be found. One of them is Terry Davis who for the last 20 years has been plying his trade from a workshop next to his cottage in deepest Shropshire. From there, he has found that his skills and understanding, based on centuries of accumulated experience, can also have a very contemporary value in some far flung parts of the world.

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