New Year. New Era.Posted on Mar 14, 2016
Frank Baines, one of the UK’s leading figures in the saddle industry, is retiring as managing director of Frank Baines Saddlery Ltd. The company, which he started in 1980, is now one of the world’s leading makes of hand-crafted saddles.
Frank, 68, is officially handing over the reins to his two children who have been involved in the business for many years. Garry Baines will oversee development of new saddle designs and the workshop whilst Victoria Coleman will manage sales, marketing and accounts.
Frank said: “I’m delighted with how the company has grown over the years and that our name is synonymous world-wide for high quality and innovative saddle designs. I believe the time is now right to let the next generation steer the next 35 years of our company history.”
He added: “I will continue to be heavily involved in the Worshipful Company of Saddlers, supporting their work to improve training and apprenticeship schemes in the industry. We’re working closely with local councils and schools to raise awareness of our trade and to encourage more young people to consider careers as skilled saddle-makers which will help to sustain the future of our industry.”
Frank started working in the industry at 15 years old and has family connections with the trade going back 150 years. Since his apprenticeship, Frank wanted to spearhead the tradition of making hand-crafted saddles, bespoke to individual customer specifications. Over the years, the company has fought off competition from machine-made saddles, with customers valuing the distinct level of craftsmanship that goes into the creation of each individual saddle.
A dedicated team of experienced saddlers are based at the original Walsall workshop in Northcote Street, who source only the finest leather materials, fittings and trees to give a world-class finish to their products.
Frank is a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Saddlers, a Fellow of the Society of Master Saddlers, a Freeman of the City of London and has been President of the Society of Master Saddlers.
For more information about Frank Baines Saddlery visit www.frankbaines.com