|My parents, Hugh Leslie Ward and Ada (nee Cave), set up a shoe repair business at 19 Combermere Road, Stockwell, London, together with another shop and repair factory in Cockfosters, North London, and pick up points across the city.
Due to World War II my mother, my brother, and I were sent back to Rushden in September 1940. My parents kept the Enfield site for many years, servicing it from Rushden every Saturday using an old Ford 8 Van.
My parents then purchased 194 Wellingborough Road, Rushden (now 'One Stop' store) together with 196 which was rented to Fred Hales the greengrocer.
The main repair facility was 1A Brookfield Road (still standing today), and they employed two men, Freddie, an Italian, and Tommy who came from Higham Ferrers.
My father with his brother Stanley Ward then branched out and set up pick points in Sharnbrook and Clapham, with another shop at 141 Castle Road, Bedford. The Castle Road shop (managed by Mr Savage, who lived in the flat over the shop with his wife), was sold in about 1976 to the chemist next door.
They also made spiked running shoes for Lillywhites of London and specialist cycling shoes for a Mr. Lawrence of Stanwick.