Workshop 2

Director and Training Advisor of The Saddlery Training Centre

Mark Romain MBE

Mark & Dawn

Mark began his apprenticeship in 1973 when he was employed by S. Ingram & Son of Salisbury, after 14 years working at the bench he applied and was subsequently appointed the Saddlery & Leatherwork advisor, for CoSIRA (Council of Small Industries in Rural Areas), The Rural Development Commission and The Countryside Agency.

Since 1986 until the present day Mark has been involved in delivering training within the saddlery industry, whether instructing apprentices on the Modern and Millennium Apprenticeship Schemes or trainees on the New Entrants Training Scheme or those who have attended shorter Saddlery Courses. He has contributed to the training of over 200 apprentices and well over 1500 saddlery course candidates.
He has visited Saddlery businesses all over England providing technical advice, on-site recruitment, and monitoring / assessment of the training programmes.

This has placed him in a unique position to offer help, advice and guidance on matters ranging from training, qualifications, sources of supplies of materials and technical enquiries in general. 

He has a comprehensive understanding of the Saddlery Modern and Millennium Apprenticeship Schemes, City & Guilds Saddlery qualifications and National Vocational Qualifications. He is frequently involved with the revision and review of these schemes and qualifications as well as funding issues.

Mark was awarded an MBE for "services to the saddlery industry and saddlery training in the UK and overseas" in June 2014

Other Information:
Mark has been a member of the Executive Committee of The Society of Master Saddlers since the early 1990’s and was their President 1999/2000. Since 2002 he has been Training Advisor for the Society.

He is also a member of The Saddlery Steering Group (lead body on training and related issues for the Saddlery industry sector).
He played a major role in developing National Vocational Qualifications for the Saddlery Industry during the mid nineties, in several revisions and re-launch of The City & Guilds National Skill Assessment and Qualification Scheme for the Saddlery Trade, the development of The Saddlery Millennium Apprenticeship Scheme launched in 2000 and the implementation of the new Modern Apprenticeship Scheme.

Prior to this Mark was employed in the trade for a total of 14 years (including completing a four year apprenticeship) during which time he learned many aspects of Saddle, Bridle and Harness manufacture and repair, as well as general leatherwork including bag, box and case making.

Mark's Professional Qualifications include:


Individual Qualified Master Saddler and Harness Maker


(N.V.Q. Level 4).


Side Saddle Course Consultant

Richard Godden

Side/Saddle specialist

Richard Godden

Richard was apprenticed at Champion & Wilton in London under the guidance of his uncle Les Coker during the 1950’s.
He is now semi retired although for many years has specialised in the refurbishment of side saddles.
During his career Richard has trained several first class apprentices.

Other Information:




Professional Qualifications:



Collar Course Consultant

John McDonald

Harness/Collar Maker

John runs his own very successful business making driving harness for show, competition and general use.

John took over the running of collar making courses for the Saddlery Training Centre in 1998 and has delivered many successful courses, for the last five years John has run the courses from his own workshops often on a one to one basis.


Professional Qualifications and achievements include: