Staffordshire Centre

The History of Jabez Cliff - 12th December

A Talk by Cliff Kirby-Tibbits

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The world renowned, Walsall based saddlemakers, Jabez Cliff, were holders of the Royal Warrant as Saddlers and Loriners to Her Majesty the Queen.

The Cliff Family can trace their association with the leather industry back to George Cliff, a boot maker who left Stafford in 1750 to seek his fortune in Walsall. His son, George Cliff, became an apprentice bridle maker in October 1793. The family business he created was so successful that larger premises were required and the expanding company acquired one of Walsall’s major saddlery firms. In the following years they supplied the MOD with equipment – specialised items for war and ceremonial items, including the funeral of Princess Diana and, in 2011, the wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton. The company diversified into footballs, luggage, leather goods and golf bags, all carrying the Cliff name, supplying footballs for The World Cup, Olympic Games and the F A Cup Final.

Cliff Kirby-Tibbits is the sixth generation of the family who ran the company from its inception. He will tell us why, during the Falklands War, they had to refer to their archives. And how they helped the Royal Navy with its first submarine.