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Northamptonshire Footwear Manufacturers Association 1973
Careers in Footwear 1973

Cover Northamptonshire is Famous for its Shoe Manufacturing Industry

A wide variety of footwear is produced ranging from soccer boots to top fashion shoes. Total production for the county is in excess of twenty million pairs each year and over three million pairs of these go overseas.

There are a few very large factories but generally they are of a medium size employing between 100 and 350 people.

The choice of your first job is the most important decision you will make and we hope that this booklet will highlight the many opportunities open to you in the Footwear Industry.

We are sure that your association with our industry will be a long and happy one and wish you every success in your chosen career.


The Designer creates the idea from which a new style of shoe is made. His artistic flair must be coupled with a sound knowledge of footwear manufacture.

The Pattern Cutter translates the Designers drawing into patterns from which the shoe can be made.

Designing and Pattern Cutting are both highly skilled Jobs.


Clicker is the name given to the men who cut the parts of the shoe upper from leather skins, man-made materials, plastics, etc.

This job is now done by hydraulic press using cutting dies.

Sometimes the clicker cuts by hand using a clicking knife.

It is highly skilled and requires a keen eye and a steady hand.


The parts of the shoe cut by the clicker are thinned or skived on the edges to be joined. Then sewn together. Buckles, eyelets and any fancy trimmings are then attached. The "upper" or top part of the shoe is now said to be "closed"

A skilled machinist needs good eyesight, concentration and nimble fingers.

lasting In the LASTING and MAKING ROOM

The bottom part of the shoe (sole and heel) is made and the "upper" is stretched over the last which is the shape of a foot. The last is made of wood or plastic. The sole and heel are then stitched, tacked, stapled or cemented to the "upper" on the last and the whole unit begins to look like a shoe.


Girls are taught to machine by a qualified instructress in the factory, some companies have training centres for girls.

In addition most companies offer day release to technical college.

You will be taught the necessary skills to enable you to operate the highly complex machinery used in modern shoe-making by qualified instructors. Day release to technical college is also available.

Clerical workers are trained in the office where their work and training is supervised by a qualified instructor. Day release to technical college is given for relevant courses of study.

A course prospectus, available free from any local technical college, gives full details of both day release and evening study courses.

Modern machinery, new materials and methods of production are changing so rapidly that a new technology is being created. It is no longer enough to know how to operate a machine as the highly complex machinery now being introduced demands far greater technical knowledge.

Day/block release to technical college enables you to study the technical aspects of shoe manufacture and to develop your individual skill, enabling you to become the operative, technician, designer or manager of tomorrow.

A course prospectus is available free from any of the local technical colleges and gives details of both day release and evening study courses.

day release lecture
accounting machine No business can operate smoothly without office staff they are the link between customers, suppliers and the factory. Administrative staff are involved in:-
Sales — deciding which styles of shoe to make and sell to the customers.
Planning and Control — translating customers orders into production information and ensuring that delivery dates are met.
Accounts — controlling the many financial transactions in purchasing raw materials and selling finished shoes.
Wages — calculating and paying the wages of all employees.

It is managements job to plan for the future. To effectively use the labour and materials at its disposal and meet the production targets it has set. Trainee managers are taught to work as a team They often work in the factory to gain a better understanding of the production processes used and are encouraged to study managerial skills at technical college.

Companies Offering Training (in 1973)
Botterill, W. & Son, Ltd., Bozeat

Bozeat Boot Co. Ltd. (The), Easton Maudit Lane, Bozeat


Avalon Footwear Ltd. Cross St., Littlewood St., Rothwell

Cheaney (Joseph) & Sons Ltd. Rushton Rd., Desborough

Clarks Ltd., Tresham Works, Kettering Rd., Rothwell

Desborough Shoe Co. Ltd. Queen St., Desborough

Dunkelman & Son Ltd. The Manor House, Desborough

Groocock, T. & Co. (Rothwell) Ltd. (incorporating S. E. Gamble & Sons Ltd.)

Gordon Shoe Works, Gordon St., Rothwell

Little Duke Shoemakers Ltd. Little Duke Works, Desborough

EARLS BARTON Barker, A. & Sons Ltd., Earls Barton NN6 ONU

Brookes, W. J. Ltd., Earls Barton

Partridge, T. & C. & Co. Ltd. ,Earls Barton

White & Co. (Earls Barton) Ltd., Progress Works, Earls Barton

FINEDON Gammidge (John R.) & Co. Ltd., Summerlee Rd. Works, Finedon

Nutt (Arthur) & Co. Ltd., Finedon

Rockleigh Shoe Co. Ltd. (The), Finedon

Tower Boot Co. Ltd., Wellingborough Rd., Finedon

HIGHAM FERRERS Borough Shoes Ltd., Commercial St., Higham Ferrers
IRCHESTER Wholsale & Export Shoe Co. Ltd., Irchester
IRTHLINGBOROUGH Norton Shoes Ltd., Fine Footwear, Irthlingborough

Wearra Shoes Ltd., Express Boot Works, Irthlingboro

KETTERING & DISTRICT Allen & Caswell Ltd., Stamford Rd., Kettering

B.S.C. Footwear Supplies Ltd., (Factories Division), North Park, Kettering

Coles Boot Co. Ltd. (The), Standard Works, Burton Latimer

Drage Shoe Co. Ltd. (The), Stamford Rd., Kettering

G.U.S. Footwear Ltd., Universal Works, Wood St., Kettering

Gravestock, E. C. Ltd., Avenue Works, Kettering

Hall (Ken) (Shoes to Measure) Ltd., 39 Regent Street, Kettering

Hulett Shoes Ltd., Garfield and Kingsway Works, William St., Kettering

Individual Shoes Ltd., Alexandra St., Burton Latimer

Loake Bros. Ltd., Unique Works, Wood St., Kettering

Webb (George) & Sons (Walgrave) Ltd. Walgrave, Northampton

Whitney & Westley Ltd., Burton Latimer

Wright, F. & Co. (Kettering) Ltd., Connaught St., Kettering

Wright, T. G. (Kettering) Ltd., Cross St., Kettering

Adams Bros. (Raunds) Ltd.

Spencer St., Raunds

Coggins, R. & Sons Ltd.

Nene Works, Raunds

Gravestock, E. C. (Raunds) Ltd.

Midlands Rd., Raunds

St. Crispin Footwear Ltd.

Sackville St., Raunds

Smith (Owen) (Raunds) Ltd., Stanwick

Tebbutt & Hall Bros. Ltd.

Coleman St., Raunds

Allebone & Sons Ltd., Oakley Rd., Rushden

Clarke & Co. Ltd., The Green, Rushden

Co-operative Wholesale Society Ltd., Portland Rd., Rushden

D. B. Shoes Ltd., Rectory Rd., Rushden

Eaton Footwear Ltd., College St., Rushden NN10 9SA

Fox Shoes Ltd., Park Rd., Rushden

Green (William) & Son (Grenson) Ltd.,Queen St./Cromwell Rd., Rushden

Horrell Shoemakers Ltd., Fitzwilliam St., Rushden NN10 9YP

Jaques & Clark Ltd., Midland Rd., Rushden

Knight & Lawrence Ltd. 6 Manton Rd., Rushden

Sanders & Sanders Ltd., Spencer Works, Rushden

Sargent (Alfred) & Sons Ltd., Portland Rd., Rushden

Selwood (Geo.) & Co. Ltd. Harborough Rd., Rushden

Tarry, R. & Co. Ltd., College St., Rushden

Tecnic Shoe Co. Ltd. (The) Bedford Rd., Rushden

White (John) (Footwear) Ltd., Newton Rd., Rushden
(Head Office: Midland Rd., Higham Ferrers NN9 8DW)

Wilkins & Denton Ltd. Totector House, Rushden

Woods, C. K. Ltd. North St., Rushden

WELLINGBOROUGH Chamberlain, F. C. & Co. Ltd., Palk Rd., Wellingborough

Cox (Geo. J.) Ltd., Castle Works, Wellingborough

Craddock & Martin Ltd., 50 Park Rd., Wellingborough

Lattaway, E. S. & Co. Ltd., Blandford Works, Stanley Rd., Wellingborough

Norton Shoes Ltd., Grant Rd. and Cannon St., Wellingborough

Thompson, R. & Co. Ltd., 15a Park Rd., Wellingborough

Wellingborough Boot & Shoe Manufacturing Co. Ltd., Herriotts Lane, W'boro'

Yorke Bros. Ltd., Northampton Rd., Wellingborough

WOLLASTON Austin (Luther) & Sons Ltd., Eastfield Rd, Wollaston

Bayes Bros. (Footwear) Ltd. Irchester Rd., Wollaston, W'boro' NN9 7RP

Griggs, R. & Co. Ltd. Wollaston

N.P.S. (Shoes) Ltd. Wollaston

Nutt, W. E. & Co. Ltd. Park St., Wollaston, Wellingborough NN9 7RR

Rivett (Septimus) Ltd. Wollaston

Shelton, G. W. & R. Ltd. Wollaston, Wellingborough, NN9 7QH

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