J. Salter, established 1884, now owned by Sean Arnold Sporting Antiques
There are few sports that have not undergone changes in one form or another, and
Polo is no exception.
However, this high-tech world has not swallowed all traditions and England retains
its reputation for highly skilled craftsmen. One name in particular, that of Salter,
is known wherever Polo is played.
James Oliver Salter was born in Exminster, Devon, in 1847 and at the age of twenty
enlisted in the Royal Artillery. By November 1869 he was serving in India, where
he soon became known for his prowess at rackets.
Polo was still a new but rapidly growing game among the British in India at the
time. Breakages to sticks were common and Salter, thrifty by nature, repaired a stick
rather than buy another. His industry soon brought him a steady flow of sticks to
In 1876 Salter was married in Hyderabad to Alice Walbridge. Four years later with
a growing family, they returned to England, where Salter was stationed at Abbey Field,
Colchester. After twenty one years he retired from the Army – receiving a silver
medal and a gratuity of £5 for exemplary conduct – having already decided where his