Well-respected saddler Les continued fine family name

OBITUARY: A master saddler who was an expert at his craft, Leslie Jobson forged a prestigious reputation.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 20th October 2017, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 5:06 am
Les Jobson with his two grandchildren.
Les Jobson with his two grandchildren.

Born-and-bred in Alnwick, Les, as he was known, began learning his trade at the age of 12, when he was taught how to stitch and make harnesses.

He started working in the Jobson-family business two years later, gaining experience for when he and his brother Cyril took over the reins in the 1980s, having worked alongside their parents – Jock and Elsie – for years.

Traditional values were the cornerstones on which the Jobson family built up the business, founded by Les and Cyril’s great-grandfather, Robert, about 120 years ago. The brothers continued to grow the firm from the shop at Tower showrooms from its beginnings on Narrowgate.

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At one stage, Les and Cyril were two of a select number of master saddlers in the country.

The pair were so well thought of, they even managed to secure a contract with the Ministry of Defence, making leather shell coverings. So fixed on tradition, Les’s son Russ says there wasn’t another shop like Jobsons.

He said: “It never entered the electronic age when dad was there, it was twee. For example, the calculator wasn’t electronic, it was operated by a handle. Dad was a character at work – hopping about and joking.”

But, in the late 1990s, Les was diagnosed with cancer and had to take a step back. Cyril signed over the shop to another operator a few years later.

Medics gave Les just six weeks to live, but he battled against the odds and survived for almost two more decades. He passed away in August, three days after his 76th birthday.

Les was the long-standing secretary of the Aln Angling Association, involved with the Percy Hunt and a member of Alnwick Town Homing Society.

Les leaves behind children, Russ and Hazel, as well as two grandchildren. Russ said: “He was a great dad. He worked hard and was always there for you. He was an old-school type of bloke with a great sense of humour.”

Les’s funeral was at Alnwick’s St Michael’s Church in September and £600 was raised for Ward One at Alnwick Infirmary.