Cliff Kirby-Tibbits

Location: Walsall, West Midlands
About me...

The Walsall based company Jabez Cliff & Co is in my blood, I am one of the 6th generation to have worked for the company founded by my forebear in the eighteenth century. My talks are all ‘stand alone’ and I don’t require any particular equipment.

About my talks...

My talks last approx 45 minutes but I am happy to extend them if required to do so. The talks are illustrated with computer graphics and in some cases I bring along objects of interest. I am prepared to travel anywhere in the UK subject to expenses

Fee:

£50 within 15 miles of Walsall. For venues further afield I will require a modest contribution to my travel expenses.

My Contact Details:
Phone:

01922 642144 or 07769181066

The History of Jabez Cliff & Co

Copyright Tim Sturgess Express and Star...Walsall.... Princess Anne visits Jabez Cliff and co saddle makers.

The Walsall based company of Jabez Cliff have been established for seven generations. They are holders of the Royal Warrant as Saddlers and Loriners to Her Majesty the Queen
The Cliff Family can trace their   association with the leather industry back to George Cliff a Boot maker who left Stafford in 1750 to seek his fortune in Walsall. His son George Cliff became an apprentice bridle maker in October 1793. The family business suffered early bereavements when father and sons died within 3 months leaving a widow, daughter and future son-in-law to run the business. So successful were they that larger premises were required and the expanding company acquired one of Walsall’s major  saddlery  firms.  In the following years they have supplied the MOD with equipment – specialised items for war and ceremonial items including the funeral  of Princess Diana and in 2011 the wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton.The company has diversified  into Footballs, Luggage, Leather goods and Golf Bags all carrying the Cliff name. They have supplied footballs for The World Cup, Olympic Games and the F A Cup Final.

Why, during the Falklands War did we have to refer to our archives?
How did we help the Royal Navy with its first submarine?

The 7th Generation of the Cliff family is now in charge – I was one of the 6th generation

 

1.Kirby-Tibbetts 320x240
COPYRIGHT EXPRESS&STAR TIM THURSFIELD 16/08/11 
The scene today, after the huge former leather factory fire, Lower Forster Street, Walsall.

The Ghosts of Jabez Cliff & Co

COPYRIGHT EXPRESS AND STAR PICTURE BY PAUL JOHNSON 15/08/2011.Smoke billows for the fire ravaged building off Walsall Town Centre's ring road.

Take a Victorian factory, a business  that had been situated in the same premises for 118 years and 5 generations of employees, put them all together and you have a recipe for ghosts. There have been fourteen witnessed sightings
When I started work in 1966 employees would relate old Ghost stories about the factory in an  effort to scare me. At the time I was a sceptic –   in one ear out the  other – but nearly 40 years on and thats all changed.
A brief meeting with a member of a BBC film crew whilst recording an episode of Dalziel And Pascoe changed my cavalier attitude towards the persistant legends of ghostly activity and sightings. The crew member said he was psychic and had seen a mother and child sitting on the stairs in one room and two men in another. He described one of these characters to me and the following morning, when I related his experiences to an old employee, he promptly told me that the person described was an employee who had died in the 1930’s. That started the ball rolling and some time later, we had visits from Most Haunted.  Why couldn’t they film?
What did the engineer from the Burglary Company say?  He had fought in Iraq and Afghanistan.
This is an actual account of living and working with ghost’s including an attack that I personally witnessed. All the stories have been corroborated from at least two sources.
Sad news the factory (photographed above) was destroyed by fire on 15th August 2011.

A History of Walsall

History of Walsall

WHY WAS WALSALL REGARDED AS THE SADDLERY CAPITAL OF THE WORLD?

Early Origins
What wealth lay below the Ground ?
Early industry
The Black Country
Canal Problems
Industrial Revolution
Where was the towns first Railway Station?
The Saddle Industry
Walsall Today
All will be revealed in this informative and light hearted talk

Never a Dull Moment - Forty Years of Business Travel & Experiences

I am the 6th generation to work in the family business of Jabez Cliff & Co Saddlers and Loriners to Queen Elizabeth II. In forty years  of foreign  business travel throughout 25 countries I have learnt to be prepared for the unexpected

Fire in an aircraft at 35000ft when  returning from Mexico
A wheel dropping off a taxi in India
Diving into a swimming pool  in my street clothes  to save a child from drowning.in the USA
Being driven by a one eyed  taxi driver in Lisbon
Meeting  members of the Royal Family
Working with leading equestrian riders both here and abroad
My grandfather’s problem  Moscow 1917 Russian Revolution
Not to mention my cousin’s problem with a coffin!

I retired in 2011 and this is a light hearted and sometimes nostalgic tale

Leather - its Versatility and Uses

I was a Director Of Jabez Cliff & Co one of the world’s foremost saddler. I spent my early years working in tanneries both here and in France to enable me to follow in my grandfather’s footsteps as the rough leather buyer
From the Neolithic Age to the modern day leather has been used – initially for clothing and since then its versatility knows no bounds. How is leather tanned? What is a Currier? Do you have a query about a leather item? What is the most unusual item that has been made in leather? You won’t believe it I didn’t, I had to Google it!
Customers leather problems and Old wives tales. A selection of unusual skins will be available for your perusal.

From Master Spy to Weakest Link

I have been a contestant in various Television Quizz shows and Game shows:-
Master Spy with William Franklin
Generation Game with Bruce Forsythe
Who Wants to be a Millionaire with Chris Tarrant
Weakest Link with Anne Robinson

This talk gives my audiance an insight, in a very light hearted way, into what happens behind the scenes
One of only nine people asked to return for a second show of Weakest Link – Why ?
Just a single phone call to Who Wants to be a Millionaire gets me on the programme – How?
What is Bruce Forsythe really like?
Book the talk and all will be revealed

What audiences say about my talks

The Ghost Club:I approached Cliff after searching for speakers on the paranormal on Google.  His name came up quite near the top and the subject matter seemed to be an untapped resource, so I e-mailed to request his availability.  His reply was swift and cordial and we booked him to speak to The Ghost Club, the oldest paranormal organisation in the world, in London for January 2015.
His advance communications were precise and friendly.  He made all his own travel arrangements and made no demands, grateful for anything we provided for him.  He was nervous that his talk may not be of the calibre he would usually set himself, but was confident the presentation WOULD be of interest to our members.Indeed, his talk was outstanding.
For a piece he had barely given before, his delivery skills were exemplary.  He did not deviate, had no trouble being clear, coherent and confident and, indeed, his subject matter was extremely interesting and lasted a full hour without any padding.  He held the audience in the palm of his hand and was an extremely engaging and pleasant booking to boot.The Ghost Club would be delighted to recommend Cliff to other potential clients, given our experience with him.Philip Hutchinson (Events Officer, The Ghost Club), February 2015

Nautical Club: Thank you so much for coming to the Nautical Club yesterday and giving us such an interesting and hair raising afternoon. I am so sorry that there were not more people there to hear you, but of course as we are all pensioners a lot of people go on their holidays at off peak times before the school holidays begin.

Renaissance Club: Dear Cliff, A very big Thank You for your excellent talk last night to Renaissance members. I could tell you had them all spellbound as no one fell asleep! Your stories of ghosts were fascinating – so many in one building – amazing. Everyone said how much they enjoyed listening to you. Hope you had a safe journey home. With thanks again and very best wishes. Ruth Williams.