'The Mysterie of Saddlery (from hide to horse)'
The Society's film was premiered at The Barbican, London on Friday 16th January 2015. Following the drinks reception generously sponsored by BETA the audience of 100 became the first to see The ‘Mysterie’ of Saddlery – The Art of Saddlery from Hide to Horse by documentary film maker, Paul Kelly. It has taken a few years from initial idea to make it to the screen but was worth the effort being well received by the audience. It is hoped the film will be shown on terrestrial TV before being broadcast via the internet and then subsequently released on DVD.
Many of those who appeared in, sponsored or assisted in the production of the film made the trip to London for the first showing.
Saddle and harness making is one of the oldest surviving artisan professions in the world with British saddlery among the most respected and sought after of all.
In 1966 The Society of Master Saddlers was formed as a trade association to help maintain the high standard of craftsmanship within the industry and ensure the safety of both horse and rider.
Through fascinating interviews with some of the Society's members, 'The Mysterie of Saddlery (from hide to horse)' looks at all aspects of the trade and the highly skilled craftsmen and women who work within it. Saddlers and saddle fitters, harness and bridle makers all share their love of working with horses and leather to give a peek behind the scenes of this vital part of the equestrian world.
From one of the oldest oak bark tanneries in the world, where leather is still being made using methods that have remained almost unchanged for centuries, to the latest technology being used to measure the pressure points on a saddle while in use, the film shows the varied reach and involvement of the Society.
Travelling around Britain, the film makers have captured a diverse collection of stories; from some of the larger firms involved in the trade, including curriers and saddle makers in Walsall, to individual saddlers who create unique and beautiful items from their small workshops up and down the country.
One of the most comprehensive studies of this craft to date, the film runs at just approximately 60 minutes.
N.B. Mysterie (particular skills or secrets of a given trade)