Boot and Shoe Trade

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Boot and Shoe Trade' page

For over 100 years the main industry in Kettering, the boot and shoe trade has now departed. We need to collect information about this iconic aspect of Kettering life.

- Have you:
Photos, of factories, workmates, machinery, shoes made in Kettering?
Documents connected with the trade?

- Can you:
Tell us what it was like to work in the factories; doing your particular job; using the different machines?

- Have you:
Stories about working in the trade?

If so, please contribute to the Work section of this site.

Please remember to put the place which you are talking about, and the date when it happened.

This page was added by Chris Leuchars on 21/02/2008.
Comments about this page

No-one would like to wear those shoes in our days

By Karen Grove
On 02/05/2008

Today I bought a pair of size 8.5/5.5 wooden shoe forms style "Tay" at Battlesbridge Antiques in Essex. They have a great quantity of these. They are a pointed style and would love to date them. The stamp on them is Hobbs and Lewis Ltd, Kettering.

By Christine Harle
On 05/03/2009

I have a size 7.5 iron mould with the stamp mark that says MOBBS&LEWIS and stamped with the word .PATENT.  I believe that this word means it could not be copied. The word we use today is copyright.  If any one knows the dates or information about this, I would be grateful to hear back.  Thanks.

By phillip
On 29/04/2013

As a 15yrs old school leaver I started work at Freeman Hard & Willis in Thorngate Street.  Once a week we attended the Boot & Shoe School in Thorngate Street- boys and girls.  There we learned the basics of shoemaking.  Girls: machining, stamping, skiving. Boys: clicking and finishing.

We were taught by a lady called Mrs. Munday,we gave her hell but she was a good sport and it was fun.

By Norma Fearns
On 29/04/2013

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MLA Department for Education and Skills DCMS Learn with museums Kettering Borough Council