A Visitor for Year 1 from Church’s Shoes

Year 1 were so lucky today when Simon from Church’s shoes came to tell us about the history of shoe making in Northampton and of Church’s shoes. This was our seventh history lesson all about the shoe industry in Northampton and the chidlren were able to ask so many relevant questions as they had such great knowledge from their lessons. Simon showed us pictures of the River Nene and valley and how this had an impact on Northampton being a shoe town. He explained about the role of the tannery and the tanner in the shoe process. He then told us how the cottage industry of the shoe town meant that each part of the shoe making process was completed in different homes, resulting in Mr Church, 300 years ago, taking shoes to the market to be sold. Later, Mr Church built his factory and now Church’s shoes are sold all around the world.  Simon, then showed us pictures and videos of the staff in the Church’s factory today completing the same processes. Did you know that there were more than 250 individual processes to make a pair of shoes!!!

Simon brought a range of really interesting shoes to show us-

  • A size 16 shoe that was enormous and very heavy
  • A tiny shoe last
  • Queen Elizabeth 2’s shoe last
  • James Bond’s shoes
  • Two pairs of ladies shoes that were 100 years old
  • A shoe with a fully recycles sole

The chidlren were exceptionally engaged and interested in Simon’s talk and he was so impressed with their knowledge and behaviour that he gave each child two Church’s pencils as a souvenir of his visit!!!

Many thanks to Simon and to Church’s shoes for their time today!

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