New merchandise available

Independent saddlers supporters association

Ref new merchandise

A large luxury satin pennant with white braiding, with our iconic crest and the wording. Saddlers and 1888 proudly displayed

A great item this one ideal for. Man caves. Kids bedrooms , office etc. In fact it can be hung up anywhere you choose to proudly display your. Saddlers allegiance

Available for immediate dispatch

Head over to our online store to secure yours at
Issawalsall.org

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Hi @Dhforever (and I’ve only chosen to direct this at you as you have made this and most of the other ISSA announcements - happy for anyone else from ISSA to reply).

This is absolutely a genuine question, not knocking you personally, ISSA and what it does, or the merchandise you are supplying (apart from what has been discussed on separate thread recently - which hopefully now has a line drawn under it) so please don’t take this as being any way negative, trying to be clever, or anything like that. I am not a member of ISSA (or any other of the supporter groups still going) so it is not for me to tell you what you (or any other group) should be doing.

It’s just that I am interested in why this particular version of our crest has been chosen as the default one on most of the merchandise you are selling. From other posts you have made, I absolutely understand that there might be issues in using the club’s current official crest (for copyright reasons?) and that you have made it absolutely clear that ISSA are making a distinction between your stuff and what the clubs sells so that you aren’t stepping on their toes (and indeed have their backing to do so). And I can understand that with some of the older replica kits you have produced that this would have been the correct crest from that time (e.g. the 1988 promotion shirts as modelled by Ned Kelly).

But it was only the club’s crest (as worn on shirts rather than letter heads or other merchandise) between 1982 and 1995 (and the 1987/8 season was the only one we got promoted wearing it). We had various other crest and badges before that (e.g. the one that @Chunkster has as his avatar) and between 1995 and when we switched to the current badge in 2007 (a period during which we experienced 4 promotion seasons) it incorporated both a swift AND a saddle so would probably be more iconically associated with both the club and the town (although I can see that by being a more complex design it might be more costly to reproduce).

Although the swift has only pointed upwards for the past 25 years, and for the previous 107 it was pointing down (although not always to the left - or just 1 swift) the reason the club changed it was to signify ambition and looking up (forward) rather than down (backward).

So the question is (and it is not loaded in any way) - why the crest from that particular time in our history and not one of the others, especially one more in line with the club today?

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Hi Andy,

I’m not sure Dhforever will be online for a few days, so I will have a go at answering the question, I am sure I will get pulled up if I am wrong in anything I say !

I am secretary, so designing badges isn’t part of my role as such, but I am allowed input, and a say in things. My thoughts are this. As you correctly said, there are copyright issues regarding the current badge, apart from that, we want our items to be unique anyway.

The reason that the badge from the late 70s is used so much is in my view because it is popular. Younger fans of course may not remember the badges, but we can’t use the ones they know anyway. Although there may not be many promotions to remember from that time, it is still a time that is looked back on quite fondly.

We have also used the 1960s crest with the two lions on it for badges, mugs and if I remember rightly there was a T-Shirt.

If there is anything the fans want, then anyone is free to make suggestions any time, and you don’t have to be a member to do so. We would obviously like people to become members, but every Walsall fans opinion is listened to.

Hope that is of some help, until the main man can answer

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Thank @Blazing_Saddler, very much appreciate you taking the time to reply (and hope @Dhforever will be back on here before too long).

Understand where you are coming from, and no other agenda in me asking other than curiosity.

Thanks again.

I’d always have the swift pointing down to the bottom left but that’s probably just rose tinted “it was better back in the day” stuff from an ageing man. I’d also go for simplicity.

So I like the ones on these pendants.

Also pleased that ahead of the kit announcement, I went for the white polo shirt with the red and green piping.

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An interesting point I missed from Andy’s post was regarding the saddle. I’m in my mid 40s, and have been going since I was 4, so 40 years of joy :slight_smile: I’ve had badges with the Saddles on but they seem few and far between and it seems like it never really stuck. I know a lot of people who follow Walsall don’t really even associate Walsall Football Club with the Town it is meant to represent. I do, in fact I think Walsall F.C should represent the whole borough of Walsall. I’ve not lived in Walsall for 12 years now, my two boys have never lived in Walsall (They were born there, I insisted !) , but it is still home to me, and whatever people think of Walsall now, I still love the place and the people.

It’s not the only thing, but I certainly think more links with the club and the Town and Borough of Walsall is part of the key to getting more people to follow Walsall. I’m not one who dislikes Bescot Stadium, it’s not Fellows Park, but football isn’t like that anymore. We’ve had great atmosphere’s at Bescot. The thing I dislike about it is it’s location, I think it would have been far better in Beechdale where it was originally planned to be built.

It’s an interesting concept to use the Saddle to promote the club and the Town, the problem being it would require people to be interested in buying such items (they may or may not I don’t know) The thing with football fans, they are full of emotional attachments that link heavily to the time they have followed their club, and the experiences they have had a long the way.

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I think the saddle being on the badge is also very attached to the reign of Bonser. Also remember Billy Bescot. :rofl:

I think ISSA using the old circle with swift is a good compromise. It’s not a direct copy of the current badge but is similar to it and recognisable.

I seem to remember seeing a Sandy Saddler pin badge when I was a bit younger. Think this was a mascot long before Swifty, possibly 60’s/70’s?

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I would question if it was actually a saddle that was ever used on the club logo, as I think it was the symbol that represents a leather hide, set behind the swift, that was now rotated to be pointing to 10/11 o’clock.

If anyone remembers the Billy Bescot fiasco, it was the same shape used to create the new club mascot, that got laughed out of town.

image

this was the sandy saddler badge with the saddle on it:
image

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I read Andy’s post as the badge used between ‘95 and ‘07.
You’re right about the Sandy Saddler, which was from the 60’s.

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To be pedantic, it was a saddle blank (i.e. the cut leather before being stiched into a saddle proper) that was the background of the 95-07 badge - but it links the swift from our formative years with our nickname that comes from the trade the town is most famous for.

I’ve no axe to grind about it either way, was just interested why ISSA had plumped for the 82-95 design (although it’s not the only one they use as per @Blazing_Saddler).

It’s an interesting discussion though. My Nan worked as a bridle stitcher for 60 years in Walsall, I’m sure she stitched a few of those over the years !

Similar here. My nan and aunty worked in the leather trade at The Strand for years. My nan went on to volunteer at the Leather Museum after retirement. My uncle who we go to matches with still works in a saddlery.

My mother was also a bridle stitcher. After she married my dad and had me and my brother, she used to work from home doing piecework for a while. Her speciality was martingale bridles.

Some of my other relatives also worked in the trade - including my cousin who was a saddle maker for 40 years until she retired.

There are still some saddleries and leather works in the town, but sadly not as many as when they were what the town was mainly known for (as part of the famous ‘100 trades’), though it does have the leather museum as a reminder of those times - and of course the clubs nickname also acts as a reminder too.

If I remember correctly, Walsall Swifts was formed by apprentices from the various saddleries, while Walsall Town was the gentleman’s club (not that sort!) that grew out of the cricket club - so the Saddlers and Swifts nicknames are very much part of the working class side of our history.

It’s a link between the club and town’s main employment of the past that we share with Northampton (Cobblers because the town was once known for shoe making), Wycombe (Chairboys - furniture making), Scunthorpe (the Iron - smelting works), etc.

I agree with you that we ought to be making more of the links between the club and the town to try and get more of the youngsters lost to Man Utd, Chelsea, etc to form emotional attachments to the team representing their home town and it’s history.

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My Nan made gloves and leather footballs before the war.

Don’t know if anybody watched the brilliant “ house through time”?

The Liverpool one focussed on a house in Faulkner Street. A really fascinating series honing in on the lives of everybody who had lived in this one house.

Anyway, the relevance here is that a former resident ran a saddle making business. Unfortunately for him, it went bost. This was because he couldn’t compete with Walsall saddle making. There was a slight cry of foul in that it claimed that Walsall was able to produce the saddles cheaper because it employed so many women in the industry and at the time women were paid significantly less than men.

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It’s funny you should say that. I spent a lot of time with my Nan over the years, I lived with her for a very short time when I was a kid. She often used to talk of her day and the “women” she worked with. I always wondered why it was mostly women doing such a tough job. I mean my Nan is nearly 90 now, but her fingers have been quite a mess for years, and clearly worked them very hard. I mean I doubt the man/woman pay gap was so big at the time I am talking about (but probably still existed) but obviously it just carried on from times gone by, as men just didn’t get in to the trade, on the front line at least.

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It was only in 1970 that businesses couldn’t have different pay rates between men and women. I’ve seen loads of rare cards from the 50’s and 60’s that show significant disparity.

50 years on, there is still a significant pay gap (about 15%) but because of the law, it is more opaque in how it manifests.

So I reckon your nan literally worked her fingers to the bone because over many years her labour was “cheap”. Difficult to know whether that economic “edge” meant that on the whole Walsall became more prosperous and pre welfare state whether poorly paid work was better than no work. As ever, if there was a saddler driven prosperity in Walsall there would have been a few getting seriously prosperous whilst many had to be thankful it put bread on the table.

My Grandad was a bricklayer (as was my Dad) my Nan told me of times when there were long hard winters where he never worked at all, and other times when there was simply no work and they had to live on her money. People lived far more simple lives though, my Nan was always of the opinion you could make a little money go a long way if you wanted to. They lived a comfortable life because my Grandad did pretty well, my Nan is still alive and was left without having to worry about money when my Grandad passed away 30 years ago now. She carried on working though, she was still doing some work from home when she was in her mid 70s.

Anyway, Olly is going to kill me for turning this in to a Walsall history thread.

Pennants still available, see opening post !

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Yes well worth watching, good BBC stuff.