The Brady family – how much do you know?

Our guest blogger, Neil Summers, digs into the Brady family history.

You may be aware of Brady’s iconic, hand made outdoor bags and accessories being amongst the finest in the world but how much do you know about the actual Brady family themselves?

Brothers John and Albert started up their business in Price Street, Birmingham during the 1870s where they made high-quality gun cases and other leather goods for use in field sports. As soon as they were old enough John’s son Ernest and Albert’s son Leonard both joined Brady Brothers with Ernest eventually going on to take over the business in 1928. Under Ernest’s guidance the brand expanded and moved into larger premises on Shadwell street in the heart of Birmingham’s gun quarter in the 1930s. Which is where Ernest first designed a range of fishing bags all of which were named after English rivers

The fishing bags proved incredibly popular and became the mainstay of the company alongside their world-renowned hand-made gun cases. In fact such was their reputation that they had requests for oak and leather cases from royalty including the Sultan of Oman and the Duke of Windsor. Their skills were highly in demand from the world of theatre and cinema too which resulted in Leonard eventually leaving the business to start a new life in Hollywood where he made accessories and props for legendary movie stars such as Douglas Fairbanks Junior and Greta Garbo.

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An original advert for Brady’s Ariel Salmon Bag which is still being produced today

Throughout the 1930s and 40s many of the styles that are still in production today made their first appearance despite Ernest having to move the business into his house during the World War II. Despite the house being bombed and only having one stitcher and a part-time machinist at their disposal Brady Brothers managed to survive. Soon after the war Ernest built a caravan and took his family to London for a month where everyday he would go into central London with a large wheel trucked (also made by him) loaded with samples of their entire range. Leaving no stone unturned Ernest visited everywhere from the largest department stores to the smallest fishing and gun maker shops throughout the capital. It was this persistence and hard work that both saved the business and became part of Brady Brothers folklore that would continue to raise a smile amongst Brady customers for many years to come.

Ernest died in the 1980s where his daughter Helen and brother Philip continued to run the company up until the 1990s when it became part of Goold Holdings also based in the midland in Walsall itself the centre of the saddlery and leather goods trade where the Brady name continues to be a byword for high quality and longevity.

The Sporting Lodge proudly continues to sell these iconic bags, why not have a browse?

I Love My Kanken – How Did it All Start?

In the late 1970s, Fjallraven noticed that many school children were suffering from back problems when carrying heavy, unwieldy backpacks on their commute to and from school. In 1978, that problem was solved with the trusty Kanken! Its unique and ergonomic style of straps aided children when carrying their heavy books; the word quickly spread, and soon the Kanken became a household name across Sweden.

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In 2000, The Sporting Lodge identified this gem of a backpack and, so impressed by its unique design and impressive range of colours, decided this fantastic bag deserved a website of its own – I Love My Kanken was born!

Since then, Fjallraven’s range has grown to provide a Kanken backpack to suit the whole family, ranging from Kanken Kids to the Kanken No. 2 (the posh one!).

I Love my Kanken’s era is now over but we still have the full range for you to enjoy at The Sporting Lodge.

The Kanken bags are now popular worldwide, and a common sight in any city!

Where will you take yours?

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