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These Shoes were meant for sharing !

October 4, 2021

Hi everyone, I hope this find’s you well and easing into the week ahead. About a fortnight ago I had a few days away from the grindstone and hopped over to Northampton, largely to visit friends there, but also to take in the city and it’s wealth of surrounding parks.

I discovered that the town hall was rather lavishly decorated with stunning details.

There were beautiful stone carvings, depicting scenes from nature and many of the local professions of the area.

The top one being a shoemaker, which led us to visiting Northampton’s Museum and Art Gallery where there is a fabulous collection of shoes from throughout the ages.

The exhibition starts with the notion that there are perhaps only 11 types of shoe. The Bar Shoe, Boot, Clog, Court Shoe, Derby, Moccasin, Monk, Mule, Oxford, Sandal and Trainer. Northampton Museum and Art Gallery is home to one of the largest collections of shoes and shoe heritage in the world. Arts Council England designates the collection as being of local, national and international importance.

The first thing that struck me about shoes from the 1600’s is how thin and tiny people’s feet used to be. There is such a variety of styles, I just picked out some of the fancier ones. Spot the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang ‘child-catcher’ early Winkle-Pickers below and those famous flapper girls!!

As a county, Northamptonshire is built on the shoemaking industry with many towns and villages at one time or another being home to shoemakers, leather merchants, designers, tanneries and other related businesses. Northampton, has a proud heritage dating back almost 900 years. This photo dated around the 1920’s.

The county is still world renowned for the shoes it creates. Today over 25 manufacturers produce a huge range of quality footwear. Famous names such as Dr Martens and Church & Co still continue to thrive. Who recalls a trip to Clarks shoe shop and having their feet measured ?

Some of the information and a rather scary looking reptile boot !

Examples from Trainers…

To something a little more specific !! The red shoes derive from the film “Kinky Boots” and parts of it was filmed locally too.

From desirable and almost sci-fi footwear…

.. to those from further afield.

Spanning many eras.

Possibly my favourite idea was this “decorate your own pair” of Adidas trainers, complete with paints and brushes, all neatly packaged in an artists box. Clever designing !

Something for all and well worth popping in for a browse as the educational videos were as entertaining as the shoes. What shoe stories do you have to share ?

3 Comments leave one →
  1. simonetta baracchi permalink
    October 4, 2021 8:03 am

    Great !

    Il giorno lun 4 ott 2021 alle 08:37 WordPress.com ha scritto:

    > Fishink posted: ” Hi everyone, I hope this find’s you well and easing into > the week ahead. About a fortnight ago I had a few days away from the > grindstone and hopped over to Northampton, largely to visit friends there, > but also to take in the city and it’s wealth of surro” >

  2. October 4, 2021 3:27 pm

    I have a collection of around 350 collaged shoe postcards that I sent to a friend undergoing cancer treatment. I sent her one every day along with a funny or meaningful message to brighten her day. After her death, her family returned them to me. Here is a link to a few.

    armored shoe
    • October 4, 2021 3:45 pm

      Hey Marcia, such a lovely thing to do for your friend. They are super, you should go into shoe design.. lol thanks for sharing. 🙏

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