2013 – 25th Anniversary
2012 – The family grows
From a family perspective 2012 was a busy and productive time. In June, Ben and Janelle, Chad and Dustin welcomed Bonnie Jane into the family and Daniel and Sonia, Jacob and Ethan were delighted with the arrival of Lucas Graeme in October. Together with Naima, Ena, and Aida Furness, Josh and Leahs three girls, there’s a total of nine grandchildren for Lyle and Helen, and a whole lot of noise when they’re together.
2011 – The Supa Float
The Supa Float at the Negri River (The Duncan Highway).
The days of the Landcruiser and trailer, and two successive trucks and gooseneck trailers are now gone. We now travel for 4 months each year in the comfort of our custom made truck shop, carrying supplies of Kent Saddles, leather gear, and other products to Outback cattle stations. We designed the shop to open to the outside with living quarters on the inside.
1991 – First Outback Trip
Our first outback trip in 1991. We travelled to the Kimberley region, W.A., setting out with Landcruiser, trailer, our four sons, Ben, Daniel, Jamie and Paul, and family dog ‘Jock’. Our eldest daughter, Leah, was working in Toowoomba, and stayed behind. Helen was pregnant with our youngest daughter Jessica, born in derby, W.A. in August of that year. For the first two years of “The Trip”, we travelled with a Land Cruiser and trailer.
We’d heard that horse work in the North was finished; that helicopters and motorbikes had taken over; so with some uncertainty we ventured into the Kimberley to look for work repairing saddles. Our first break came with a caretaking job at Bedford Downs, owned at the time by Angus McClymont – A big bloke with a big voice, and a big heart to allow Lyle to repair some of the saddles. We soon discovered that horse work was very much alive in the Kimberley, and we spent 6 months moving between several stations doing a lot of saddle repair.
Kent Saddlery was established in 1988, when we, Lyle and Helen, decided to make a big change from vegetable farming to saddlery. Lyle had developed a keen interest in leather work during the 1960’s when, as a ringer on Humbert River Station, he regularly repaired saddles and other leather gear and during the 17 years in which we farmed, Lyle always maintained an interest in leather work.