Tanner Bates - Leather Bound

Oak Bark Leather Notebook

Gents, our loyal reader from Beirut suggested we take a gander at the notebook you see here from Tanner Bates. The Pen Loop Notebook is available in various leather bindings. Our friend has one bound in oak bark tanned leather supplied by the J. & F. J. Baker tannery in Devon. Pleased as Punch with his notebook, our man marvels at how it 'evokes a certain je ne sais quoi reminiscent of craftsmanship from a bygone era'. It certainly does.

Baker's leather is tanned using using oak bark from the Lake District in a process that takes almost two years. The leather isn't corrected, so there is nothing to hide its natural beauty. Imagine how wonderfully the notebook will age and the patina it will take as you pen your innermost (or outermost) thoughts over the years. And Mark Zuckerberg will have no control over the content — yet.

Tanner Bates was founded by John Haggar who trained in Walsall, the traditional home of English saddlemaking, as a saddler and bridlemaker. Based in Devon, John places high importance — as you and I do — on provenance:

I know the people by name who make my raw materials. The buckles in Walsall and Paris foundries, the leather from Colyton. I even know the man in the Lake District who coppices the oak trees to provide bark for the tannery.

The notebook is available in A5 and A6 sizes, and designed so you can replace the paper with refills should you have a lot to say. The pen loops cleverly keep the notebook closed. You can choose from unlined, lined or squared paper and a ball pen or mechanical pencil from Caran d'ache of Switzerland.

Notebooks in the Movies

A notebook plays a central role in Jim Jarmusch's film Paterson [Amazon]. A charming film about a poetry-writing bus driver. If it hadn't been for the Anglo-Saxon expletives, it could have been one for the family. My niece writes the kind of unfettered poetry only children can write. It would have been nice for her to see it. So close. Anyway, the film teaches a lesson about notebooks. If you are going to fill one with poetry, be careful where you leave it. If you're going to invest in a notebook from Tanner Bates, take double care.

Pocket Money

It's very hard to locate a good coin purse, yet they're an essential for, say, a trip to the coast. You need coins handy for buying ice creams and cockles for a stroll along the beach, renting a deckchair for a well-earned snooze on the prom, and then buying a pint of sparkling perry cider from that excellent pub in Swanage I can't remember the name of before heading home. As you see — essential.

The purse you see here from Tanner Bates is a ruddy marvel. Made from full grain leather, clever folds and well-placed studs create five pockets for your sterling or equivalent. The genesis of the purse is rather interesting too. A customer of Tanner Bates presented an old purse he had purchased in France twenty years back and wondered if they could make something similar.

Hence the Santini Wallet Purse. Plenty of room for those new pound coins being pumped out by the Royal Mint (but maybe not enough room for those £1000 coins).


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