Category Archives: Shoe Shops

Spotting Historic Shopfronts: Great Yarmouth

Baird’s / Dunn’s, 10a-11 Regent Street The Irishman James Baird (1839-1917) set up as a boot and shoe dealer in Great Yarmouth in 1862. He specialised in footwear with waterproof soles made of ‘gutta percha’ (gum harvested from tropical trees), … Continue reading


Posted in Jewellers Shops, Shoe Shops, Spotter's Guides, Streetscape | Leave a comment

The Story of “Easiephit”

“Easiephit” shoe shops closed decades ago, but traces of the house style can still be spotted. The inverted commas were an integral part of the name displayed on shops between the wars. The “Easiephit” brand of footwear was manufactured and … Continue reading

Posted in Shoe Shops | 8 Comments

Cash & Co. and Turner Shoes

In its early years, the key to successful multiple retailing was selling goods for cash, not credit. Bearing this in mind it is not surprising to find, in the 1870s and 1880s, that several different companies opened chains of boot and … Continue reading

Posted in Shoe Shops | 1 Comment

Joseph Frisby Ltd

Frisby’s was one of the earliest chains of boot and shoe shops to develop in England. The founder, Joseph Frisby (1848-1902), was the son of an agricultural worker from Frisby on the Wreake in Leicestershire. In 1871 he married Harriett Rowley, … Continue reading

Posted in Shoe Shops | 49 Comments

Manfield & Sons: Shoes of Bespoke Character

Moses Philip Manfield (1819-99; better known as Sir Philip Manfield MP), was born in Bristol, the son of a shoemaker. He began his working life as a boot closer, stitching uppers to soles. In 1843 he arrived in Northampton, the heart of … Continue reading

Posted in Shoe Shops | 7 Comments


The boot and shoe manufacturer J. Sears & Co. (True-Form Boot Co.) Ltd. was founded in Northampton in 1891 by John George Sears (1870-1916), who was soon joined in business by his younger brother William Thomas Sears (1876-1950). The Sears … Continue reading

Posted in Shoe Shops | 8 Comments

Dolcis: The World of Fashion at your Feet

Some of the most adventurous and exciting shoe shops of the 20th century – and especially of the 1950s – belonged to Dolcis. Once ubiquitous but ultimately ephemeral, scant trace of these can be found on the present-day high street. … Continue reading

Posted in Shoe Shops | 2 Comments

The Public Benefit Boot Co and Lennards

The Public Benefit Boot & Shoe Co The Public Benefit Boot & Shoe Co – what a name! It makes an overt claim to altruistic philanthropy, something that was often little more than a cynical advertising ploy for Victorian businessmen. … Continue reading

Posted in Shoe Shops | 22 Comments

The Legacy of Freeman, Hardy & Willis

Introduction Boot and shoe dealers were amongst the first chains of shops to emerge in the mid-to-late 19th century. Many sprang up when footwear manufacturers decided to eliminate the middleman and sell their products direct to customers through their own … Continue reading

Posted in Shoe Shops | 15 Comments