The Abbey England Podcraft is dedicated to discussing industry insights with our fellow suppliers, customers and leading industry experts.

All episodes are available to stream on Spotify, Podcast, Anchor, Radio X and Google Podcast.

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Abbey England Knutsford warehouse, leather wholesaler


Michael Kilger: The other third to Sedgwick Leather.

We are back this month talking to Michael Kilger, the owner of Kilger Tannery in Germany.

Kilger Tannery has been around since 1856 and now for part of the vertical supply chain to Sedgwick Leather.

We discuss Kilger's tanning process, how they filter out only the best hides for Sedgwick Leather and peoples' biggest misconception about the leather industry.

Claire Williams: Maintaining industry standards within the equestrian sector.

To kickstart 2023 and Season 3, we speak with the British Equestrian Trade Association’s (BETA) Executive Director and Secretary, Claire Williams.

With over 800 members, BETA is the official representative body for the equestrian manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade.

We discuss the importance of the BETA symbol, what it means to be a member, how the representative body maintains industry standards and what you can expect from BETA International 2023.


Richard Brown: Celebrating 40 years of Abbey England

In this episode, we celebrate our 40th Anniversary with Abbey England’s CEO, Richard Brown.

Richard starts from the very beginning and tells us how Abbey England started round his parent’s kitchen table. We also discuss the positives and negatives of working with 11 family members across 3 generations, as well as the biggest challenges and achievements Abbey has faced so far.

Mark Romain: What it takes to become a Master of Crafts

This week on the Abbey England Podcraft, we speak with Mark Romain, MBE and Master Saddler.

Mark’s career started in 1973, and he has been a key player in the British Saddlery industry ever since. Having trained over 300 saddlery apprentices and well over 2,000 saddlery short term applicants, Mark KNOWS what he’s talking about when it comes to discussing the different pathways to become a Master Saddler. In 2014, Mark was awarded an MBE in recognition of his contribution to the saddlery industry and in 2019, received the Lifetime Achievement Award from BETA.

We discuss all of this and more in episode 5.

Lucy Cushley, The Irish Saddler: What it means to be your own boss.

This week, we speak with The Irish Saddler, Lucy Cushley. Winner of the RDS Craft Award and crowned ‘Future Maker’ by the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland. We discuss how she got to where she is today, how she funded her saddlery training, mental health and what it means to be your own boss – the good and the bad!

For those interested, QUEST Scholarship applications open Monday 11 July to Monday 15 August 2022. For more information visit

Jason Stocks-Young: Digital Marketer to Leatherworker – finding a new vocation.

In this episode, we interview leatherworker Jason Stocks-Young.

Jason’s leather career started in 2014 when he started his business Diamond Awl Workshop and subsequently JS-Y Leatherworks. Since then, Jason has starred in the BBC’s Made in Great Britain and Saved and Remade TV series. We discuss Jason’s career, his time on the show, why making products in the UK is so important and his response to vegan leather.

The Crawford Hide Company and the Importance of Traceability.

This week, we speak with Operations Director, Michael Crawford from the Crawford Hide Company in County Down. Crawford Hide are the leading hide and skin processing operation in the UK and supply tanneries all over the world.

Back in 2018, Crawford Hide, Kilger Tannery and Abbey England, saved Sedgwick Leather and together invested £1.5m. We discuss everything from saving Sedgwick Leather to animal welfare and traceability AND the impact of Brexit.

Nigel Armitage: Sharing Secrets of the Leather Trade.

To kick off Season 2, we interview Nigel Armitage from Armitage Leather.

Nigel is a published author and a seriously GOOD leatherworker. We discuss Nigel’s early career, challenges along the way, his new book ‘Leathercraft’ and some useful tips for all you aspiring leatherworkers!

For more information, heda over to Nigel's YouTube page for tutorials and more.


Helen Reader: Women in Saddlery.

In episode 6, we celebrate International Women's Day with Helen Reader.

A female saddler at the top of her game. In 2018 Helen became the only SMS member to hold the titles of Master Saddler, Master Harness Maker, Master Bridle Maker and Master Saddler Fitter. This year, Helen has also been named one of the UK’s 100 inspirational entrepreneurs by Small Business Britain’s f:Entrepreneur #ialso100 campaign,  as well as being named as the next President of the Society of Master Saddlers.

Meet and Greet with Christie Farren and Ross Miller.

In episode 5, we meet and greet our 2021 Scholarship Winners Christie Farren, a British Army saddlers apprentice to The Kings Troop RHA and Ross Miller, a website designer turned leatherworker.

We discuss their drive for saddlery and leatherwork and their future plans.

Changing Tack with Suzie Fletcher.

In episode 4 we interview Suzie Fletcher, Master Saddler and leatherworker.

We discuss Suzie’s expansive career from her harness work being used by the Queen of England to her move to Colorado and why restoration, is so important in today’s world.

Heard about leather? Jo Heard, leatherworker to YouTube star.

In this episode, we interview award-winning Saddler, Jo Heard from J H Leather.

Jo’s wealth of experience in the leathercraft and saddlery industry has enabled her to build up 40,000 YouTube subscribers. Jo tells us about how she got to where she is today and the challenges she faced along the way.

Biothane Belting with Scott Hanna: What's all the hype about?

Today we discuss the phenomenon behind Biothane belting and why more customers are choosing to make their goods from the PVC coated webbing.

Hear from Biothane's International Sales Manager Scott Hanna and Abbey England's Marketing Manager Ishbel Watson.

Sedgwick Leather : Premium price for premium leather.

In our first episode, our guest host Business Development Manager, Jessica Aiers from Leather UK, is joined by Sedgwick Leather General Manager, Phil Bevington and Operations Manager, Mark Abraham.

They delve into the reasons why Sedgwick leather has the premium price it has and why customers using Sedgwick leather, can market their goods at a premium price.