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From an undated brochure
Alfred Sargent & Sons

History of the Company

Alfred Sargent & Sons was founded in 1899 in Rushden, Northamptonshire, which is at the heart of England’s famous shoemaking region.

The company today still remains a family business with the fourth generation upholding the skills and craftsmanship required to produce the high quality Goodyear Welted footwear.

We are committed to offering shoes of quality and styling to ensure that the name of Alfred Sargent is held in high regard by our customers worldwide.

Alfred Sargent - company founder
The Founder

The Factory in Portland Road about 1920
The Factory in Portland Road was built in 1915
Alfred Sargent & Sons is a family business founded in Rushden, Northamptonshire in 1899. Today in our fourth generation, we still employ the skills and craftsmanship required to produce traditional high quality footwear.

We are constantly seeking to provide the first class service and quality insisted upon by Alfred when he first started to manufacture. In pursuit of this, we have launched a new range of 'In-Stock' Shoes, to compliment our extensive 'Made to Order' range already available to our customers world-wide.

Are made by the 'Goodyear Welted' construction which is a traditional method of manufacture taking its name from the inventor who mechanised the original hand sewn method.

The building in 2007 is little changed
The building today is little changed
The essence of this construction is that the upper is shaped over the last and secured by sewing a strip of leather or 'Welt' to the upper and inner sole. The process is then completed by attaching a sole to the welt.

The very nature of this method of shoemaking takes us many weeks and involves over two hundred highly skilled operations in which we use only the finest quality materials, thereby creating a unique blend comfort, strength and durability.

The stitched construction offers the unique opportunity of having the shoes repaired by replacing the sole, greatly increasing the life of the shoes.

Regular cleaning and polishing will ensure the shoes maintain their original qualities and the use of wooden shoe trees helps to preserve the shape of the shoes.

In February 1925 Harrison Powell left this company and went to work for John Shortland at Irthlingborough.

This testimonial states he had worked for Alfred Sargent for three years as chief clerk and cashier, and "during that time he has had entire charge of our books and has handled large sums of cash. .....we much regret he is leaving us - for no other reason than to better his position".

Xmas 1945 in the closing room
Xmas 1945 - includes Gladys Man, Lottie Ekins, Flo Nutter and Ivy Tear

A few pages from the 2000 Catalogue

Additional notes from their 2000 catalogue:

The new factory was purpose built in 1915 with up-to-date machinery and electric light.

Alfred Sargent's two sons, Frank and Harry joined their father, and the company went from strength to strength. Later grandson Derrick also joined the company.

The fourth generation, Paul and Andrew Sargent, now continue the business.

Mr Richard Webb is Sales Director, Mr Simon Tennant is Sales manager, and Mrs Norma Horn deals with telephone sales.

UK agents are Michael Watts, of Rushden, and Mr Stuart Chanter, in Lancashire.

Overseas agents are in Belgium, Germany, Italy, Sweden & Denmark.

Country Collection
Premier Collection Contemporary & Caribbean Collection
Knightsbrige Collection making the shoes

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