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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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True-Form

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

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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

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