I have now accepted orders for all my remaining stocks of raw materials and intend to retire when I have completed and delivered them. So I have removed all the order buttons. I still have the equipment and premises and am happy to do any repair work.

I would like to express my boundless appreciation to all my customers – particularly the ‘returning’ ones – for allowing me to make a living from such a pleasurable activity.

But there is every possibility that later next year I will want to make a few articles for my more persistent customers so have decided to start a ‘reserve list’ for customers who might want me to contact them in this event.

I really enjoy making leather bags and am still able to do that well enough. It’s keeping all the small business plates spinning that I feel too old to do anymore.

If you would like to go on that reserve list then please email me.

About Henry Tomkins

The maker and the bags

The maker

For more than twenty years, Henry Tomkins has been personally hand crafting his exclusive range of leather bags. He has an open approach to design, leading to innovative and original results. He is very keen on the user-friendly aspect of design, believing that, if a bag ‘works’ then it usually looks good too. He builds his bags to last a lifetime. His comprehensive guarantee includes a repair service even as a result of normal wear and tear. He made it – he can fix it.

In the market place, he maintains that reputation is everything and believes it is better for a sale to fall through than for an inappropriate sale to happen.

Most of his designs lend themselves to incorporating personal preferences and there is an extensive custom service. If you have any queries, or wish discuss a particular design, you are welcome to phone Henry at his Exeter workshop (+44 (0)1392 496620) or email him:

The materials

Henry uses only full grain leather and nubuck and chooses leather with a natural look and feel that improves with age and avoids leather that has so much protective finish that it looks like plastic. Brown and black leathers are always in stock but sometimes other colours are also available.

If you wish to feel the quality and see the actual shade of the leather, you can request swatches by sending a stamped addressed envelope to Henry Tomkins at Henry Tomkins Leather, 17 Prospect Park, Exeter, EX4 6NA, Devon. It is essential to specify the design (e.g. satchel) and colour range (e.g. browns) that you are interested in.

The fittings are of solid brass which is first copper-plated and then given a gun-metal grey finish.

Care of your bag

The leather may need feeding from time to time. Henry recommends the use of a neutral shoe cream (e.g. Kiwi) sparingly applied with a shoe brush. The leather will tell you when this is necessary.

Surface marking that appears on some leathers from daily use is often very superficial and is a result of the displacement of the oils in the leather. This can be remedied in the same way but be very sparing with the shoe cream and use brisk strokes with the brush. Or you could try rubbing the mark with the ball of your thumb.