Who made harnesses and saddles in Ditchling?

Little Rowlescroft, to the right of the picture, was for many years, the village saddlery.   Today there remains a ring on the front wall where the horses were tethered.

In 1845 John Comber and Okel Tester were working here making saddles, harnesses and ropes.  It would not have been unusual at that time for the poorer class of people to walk to London for supplies not obtainable locally.  The village grocer George Mayston commented that ‘… a harness maker named Okel Tester and … John Comber … often used to make the journey doubly strenuous by carrying heavy loads.’