Dereck Johns: Saddler and Harness Maker
Dereck Johns worked in the saddlers and harness makers shop in Buttgarden Street, Bideford. He worked with his grandfather and father from the 1940s, retiring at 70 in 1997.
The Buttgarden Street shop was opened in 1859. Derek’s grandfather, Thomas Johns, took over the shop and trade in the early1920s. At one time the saddler’s shop employed seven men working 12-hour days to meet demands.
The decline in working horses meant that the business turned towards supplying leisure and sport instead.