My other Job is a Children's Footwear and Accessories Designer, and last week I was lucky enough to visit Ruston Ablett LTD a Footwear suppler and one of the few UK shoe factories still running. The factory and offices were originally build in 1902 and was a wooden last factory, moving into out soles in the 70's and then moving into wellington boots. In its hay day Northamptonshire was the mecca of the shoe manufacturing world, sadly one after the other the factories slowly closed, as production moved first to europe then east to China. Ruston Ablett also produce out of the far east for customers including, Barbour, Superdry, Vivienne Westwood, and Marks and Spencer.
Down a sleepy side street in Northampton in a beautiful victorian building you will find a work force of only 10 producing PVC wellies and Jellies for the UK market.
Outsole Moulds originally made in Italy.
Production being made.
Injection Machine for making PVC Wellies.
After a delicious pub lunch in what use to be the old BARRETTS Head office, we then visited the Northampton Museum which explains the history of the Shoe industry and production as well as impressive collection of shoes through the ages. It was amazing to step back in time and in a way an nostalgic reminder of why I love shoes so much.
A few pictures from the Museum, love the Dr Martens stilts and the 1970's M&S high tops which are very much on trend now!
I'd like to take this opportunity to thank the guys for spending the day with us and showing us around!