The memoirs of a Tim Hardy Worcester Bridle Leather Belt - as told to Ian Hawkins
I started life at the skilled hands of an artisan based at the foot of the Malvern Hills. Here I was cut, dyed, stitched and polished to become a legendary Tim Hardy Worchester nut-brown belt.
After being purchased and sent to a chap in the Home Counties where I thought a life of luxury was for me and at first it was, from afternoon tea at the Ritz to meals and west end shows. However, little did I know the chap had a rather strong travel lust and taste for the outdoors. I started my first journey to India, ahh the architecture, the people, elephant rides, linen suits, and oh it seemed so civilized now looking back. Then we went to live in Indonesia trekking through the rain forests of Sumatra and Sulawesi where the moisture seemed to reach my very soul. The travel just continued over the years, to numerous and various countries even circumnavigating the globe, which felt like my owners expanding waistline!!!. And so I have visited many places that an inferior belt may not have withstood the rigors expected. After all you can be used to carry fire wood, soaked through in a rain forest, dusty in a desert, sun drenched on the Savana, squashed in the Souks or off-roading and abseiling in the Atlas mountains (not the camel trophy, please) and then be expected to look your best when required for dinner in more formal and grand buildings, although I do have a soft spot for afternoon tiffin at Raffles, or having to look stylish for that adventure outfit when standing next to the late Dr. Otto Schaden (American Egyptologist who discovered KV.63) in the Valley of the Kings.
The love of the outdoors, my goodness I have lost count of how many camping trips and hikes? I have been on Ray Mears bushcraft courses, meeting Ray was a great honor but having to be used as a hone and strop seems so undignified for a belt of my quality but then that quality made the knife edge razor sharp. While out beagling one day I suffered two awful scars from a barbwire fence but a bit of wax and loving care later seemed to reduce the impact on my finish and my owner still seems to choose me for the belt of his choice when going out (I became most alarmed after the purchase of a Croc hide belt while in Australia, thinking I may be discarded to the back of the wardrobe). I still cut a dash and only required a new leather keeper after one was lost on some excursion, although Tim was very understanding and happy to assist and help (a true gentleman) replace it. Even though my skin and character shows the ravishes of time, it tells the story of my travels and adventures, while the travel is not so frequent any more, wish I could say the same for the camping!, I am still paraded as part of that stylish cycling event, the Tweed Run and I hope to continue to be of good service and hold up trousers with style and panache wherever or whenever needed.