Images of work

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Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Images of work' page
This page was added by Chris Leuchars on 28/02/2008.
Comments about this page

I believe this could be the clicking room at Allen and Caswell. I worked there in 1953 and in the background above the wooden paneling is the main office.

By Michael Barry
On 19/09/2013

I believe it is Allen and Caswell and is indeed the clicking room. The term 'clicking' stems from the sound the knife blades made when completing a cut. The blades were fashioned from Eclipse hacksaw blades finely shaped on a grindstone and finished off on a leather strop. To make a nice cutting blade was an art in itself. The lady in the front is cutting vamp linings, usually from linen.These would be sewn into the upper and was the part that came into contact with your foot or sock. The men known as 'clickers' cut out the leather components of the upper. On the left of the photo you can make out 3 presses. These were called revolution presses and using steel press knives also cut upper leather components. These presses demanded a two hand operation but many were tampered with to operate with one hand. A press action was called a 'trip' and to speed up the process especially if piece work was in force, it was quicker if the press was altered to a one hand operation.To my knowledge owners and foremen turned a blind eye to this practice as production rose through it. Once again fingers were lost due to haste and the one hand operation.

By Raw Hide
On 03/07/2015

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