Film and Photo Collections

The Horse Collar Maker

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Host: Museum of English Rural Life


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, such as Mexico and Ethiopia.


harness moon knife leather straw saddler horse collar feb2 idfilm wheelsept

SHIC codes:



The University of Reading
Redlands Road
United Kingdom


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