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Our Centenary

Celebrating 100 years! 

2018 marks 100 years in the BTAA’s journey of determination, excitement and innovation. From a visionary small beginning the Association has become the pro-active and responsible voice for the travel goods, handbags, leather goods and fashion accessories industry here in the UK.

To mark this momentous occasion, the BTAA will be holding a celebratory Members’ Lunch at the House of Lords, Westminster (sponsored by the British Allied Trades Federation), on Wednesday 6th June 2018.

The BTAA can trace its history back to the 16th October 1918, when the original trade association of Saddlery, Harness and General Leathergoods Manufacturers was born. Its objectives were the watching over and protection of the general interests of members in the various trades incorporated within the association.

Since its inception there have always been willing members who have given their time, talents, and money towards the success of the Association. Amongst the founders were such names as J B Brookes & Co (later known as Antler Luggage and Brooks Saddles) and Pearsons of London.

During the first world war, leather was in heavy demand for fabricating saddlery and harness for horses, valises and kit bags, footwear and a wide range of military equipment.

With the rapid development of mechanical transport immediately prior to and during the war there was a rapid decline in horse drawn traffic, which resulted in a rapid fall in demand. In order for manufacturers to keep their factories running and their labour force intact, they switched their production away from saddlery and harness, to consumer goods.

The Association has seen several name changes over the years including; British Leathergoods Manufactuers’ Association (1955), British Luggage & Leathergoods Association (1978), with its more established name the British Travelgoods, & Accessories Association (2005) – created to encompass the diverse industry that we represent today. A full history can be found at btaa.org.uk.

Chief Executive, Diana Blair said “It’s great that we are celebrating 100 years! The strength of the Association relies on the support of its members’, which has enabled the BTAA to continue its growth and be representative of our diverse sector, today. As we enter a further 100 years of the BTAA, we look forward to developing ever stronger ties with old and new members alike, andworking together in shaping our industry’s future”.

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British  Travelgoods & Accessories
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B18 6LT

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