Category Archives: Stafford

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

Posted in Boot & shoe making companies, People, Stafford | 6 Comments

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

Posted in Associated industries, Bostock, Stafford | Leave a comment

Thomas Benson Elley

Elley’s of Stafford were one of the largest businesses working in the area’s leather industry in the mid 19th century. In the 1860s they had branches in Stone, Northampton and Kettering. They were involved in a wide range of leather … Continue reading

Posted in Associated industries, Boot & shoe making companies, Stafford, Stone | 2 Comments

W.H. Dorman & Co. Ltd

Dorman’s, better known for manufacturing diesel engines, were originally founded to make machinery for the shoe industry, including sole and heel cutting knives. William Henry Dorman, a son of the local Congregational Minister, established his company on Foregate, Stafford in … Continue reading

Posted in Associated industries, Stafford | 5 Comments

Evode Ltd

On 3rd June 1932 Spic and Span Shoe Polishes Ltd of Glover Street, Stafford was set up to supply shoe polishes for Lotus Ltd, who were part owners. The company was formed by Adolph Axelrath, the owner of the Yankee … Continue reading

Posted in Associated industries, Evode, Lotus, Stafford | 1 Comment

J.H. Lines Ltd

By 1881, John Evans was making knives, iron lasts, presses and other machinery for the shoe trade in his factory on Fancy Walk, Stafford. By the 1890s it had been taken over by Richard Lloyd, soon becoming Lloyd & Yates, … Continue reading

Posted in Associated industries, Stafford | Leave a comment

Lotus Ltd

For most of its life, Lotus Ltd was the biggest shoe manufacturer in Stafford and Stone. The closure of the Stafford factory in late 1998 effectively ended the area’s long history of shoemaking. The company’s origins lie with Thomas Bostock … Continue reading

Posted in Boot & shoe making companies, Bostock, Lotus, Stafford, Stone, Strike, Working life | 27 Comments

David Hollin

David Hollin became one of the most successful of Stafford’s shoe manufacturers, and like many others, his origins were humble. Born in Crewe in 1844, his first job was as a messenger for the Staffordshire Advertiser. He was then apprenticed … Continue reading

Posted in Boot & shoe making companies, People, Stafford | Leave a comment

William Horton

William Horton (1750-1832) was born in Stafford, the son of Walter Horton, a shoemaker. He started his book and shoemaking business in 1767, and is generally regarded as the founder of Stafford’s shoe trade. Before the Napoleonic Wars he had … Continue reading

Posted in Boot & shoe making companies, People, Stafford | Leave a comment

Tanners and Curriers

Tanning is the process of turning animal skin into leather. Currying is the process of improving the quality and appearance of leather after it has been tanned. Tanners and curriers provided the leather shoemakers needed to make boots and shoes. … Continue reading

Posted in Associated industries, Stafford, Stone | 3 Comments