Author Archives: shoead

Stafford Box Company

The Stafford Box Company still stands proud on the corner of Marston Road and Wogan Street. Although the company closed in 1997, the building has been converted into flats and apartments, and is an examplar for the successful conversion of … Continue reading

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C.H. Riley & Son

The closure of C.H. Riley’s Albion Works factory on Marston Road in 1957 left Lotus Ltd. as the sole surviving boot and shoe manufacturer in Stafford. The company’s origins dated from 1864, when William Wycherley set up business as a … Continue reading

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Keats & Bexon Ltd.

John and William Keats set up a company manufacturing shoe making machinery on Gaol Road in the 1870s as Keats Bros. & Co. From about 1890 they were operating from the Albion Works on Marston Road. In 1904 the company … Continue reading

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Making a Shoe in a factory, 1938

Factory methods, heavily mechanised, greatly changed the shoemaking process. Described here are some of the stages needed in the Goodyear welted shoe process during the 1930s. Anything between 100 and 200 separate operations could be involved, virtually all performed by … Continue reading

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James Dyche Ltd.

James Dyche Ltd., later Cook & Dyche, were one of only five boot and shoe manufacturers to survive into the 1950s. They were typical of the smaller companies in the town, employing 58 people in 1939. James Dyche was born … Continue reading

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Frederick Riley Ltd., Stafford

Sales increased and the business grew, and they concentrated on making high quality women’s shoes under the ‘Gainsborough’ brand. As with many other manufacturers in the late 19th century, shoes at this time were largely made either by rivetting on … Continue reading

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Richard Vernon of Stone

In Stone, Richard Vernon was second only to the Bostocks in the boot and shoemaking trade. He was born in 1812, the son of George Vernon, cordwainer of Church Street, Stone. The 1841 census shows he was working as a … Continue reading

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Henry Venables Ltd, Timber Merchants

Henry Venables founded his timber business in Foregate Street, next to Bostock’s shoe manufactory. He made wooden packing cases for the export of shoes. The export trade to Australia was then at its height. He was born in Stafford in … Continue reading

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Making a shoe by hand

How to make shoes by hand Boots and shoes are the most complicated item of clothing we wear. A great deal of skill is needed to make a shoe, and a large range of tools are required to do the … Continue reading

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Places to visit

As well as the Shoe industry gallery at the Staffordshire County Museum, these museums all have excellent displays of shoes and shoemaking. Northampton Museum & Art Gallery, Guildhall Road, Northampton Bridewell Museum, Norwich Shoe Museum, C. and J. Clarke Ltd, … Continue reading

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