Sunday, 24 January 2010


Click on the title for a pleasing article about the working processes employed by Mr. Trevor Ablett, who makes pocket knives in Sheffield.

Written by Mr. Jon Henley and published in yesterday's Guardian 'Work' section.

Thanks due to Mr. Mike Knight for nudging us in the direction of this informative piece.

Photo credit: Christopher Tomond

Monday, 18 January 2010


Before leaving work this evening I tore a piece from The Daily Telegraph. I believe it is by Rupert Christiansen but my clipping technique left me with only his forename.

In this sidebar piece Rupert (apologies to Mr Christiansen if it was not his work), talks of 'German industrial excellence' alongside the British manufacturing culture that 'is one of corner cutting and quick profit, which ultimately leaves the landfill sites full of broken down plastic rubbish.'

Rupert ends by stating that 'the best travel clock, the best food mixer, the best iron, with the clearest dials and crispest switches are German every time.' One would like to point him in the direction of similarly crisp and clear designs from the likes of British manufacturers Anglepoise and Dualit.

However, I do admit to having a large soft spot for the work of Dieter Rams and therefore am permitted to include the picture above.

Sunday, 17 January 2010


Back in December 2009 we had the good fortune to visit Old Town, a clothing retailer based in the quiet market town of Holt in Norfolk.

During our brief visit we talked to shop-owner Marie about branding, ink stamps, Alexis Petridis' recent piece in the Guardian Weekend, manufacturing processes and the ridiculousness of certain brands attempts to create 'history'.

Old Town's clothing is truly made in England. Marie told us that they source a great deal of their cloth from a mill in Burnley, Lancashire. Garments are cut in the workshop above the store.

The visual merchandising of Old Town sits firmly on the right side of the fine line between twee and authentic. The ordering system, whereby you select your fabric from a swatch book and the garment is produced within four weeks, is a charming way to ensure that no deadstock is produced.

We left with a pair of grey stovepipes in stout twill (fortunately they had a pair in stock that fitted perfectly) and hopes of returning in the future.

(Also of note is Old Town's homegrown publication, The Evening Star)

49 Bull Street, Holt, Norfolk NR25 6HP
01623 710001

Wednesday, 13 January 2010



Initially our experienced staff take a number of measurements – this allows for a last to the shape of your foot to be made. During the initial appointment with the lastmaker, you choose the style, leather and sole that you would like.

Twelve to fifteen weeks later, you attend your first fitting, at this stage your shoes are half finished. This allows for any adjustments that may or may not be


If an adjustment is required this usually takes seven to eight weeks and you return for a further fitting.

If after the fitting you feel comfortable with the shoes they will

then be finished. This takes a further five to six weeks.


A pair of bespoke shoes costs from £850, which includes the making of the last.


Why does it take so long?

Tricker's bespoke shoes are made to exacting standards mainly by hand, it takes over a hundred and twenty different operations, and any new shoe needs to be rested on the last to allow it to take shape correctly.

Does the last allow for all styles of footwear?

No, generally speaking you need a last for any lace up shoes, and a separate last for any slip on shoes. This is because there is a slight difference in shape between a lace up and slip on shoe.

I wear orthotics from the hospital, can you make shoes to allow space for these?

Yes, we have a lastmaker who visits us every five to six weeks, who specialises in orthotics (we usually ask that you have a spare set that you can leave with us.)

Do I have to have a leather sole?

No you can choose from a number of sole units both leather and man made of various thickness.

Am I limited on what colour?

We offer over 50 different leathers for you to choose from, we can even incorporate more then one colour in a pair of shoes, even canvas and leather together.

Do I have choice of style?

We offer over 70 different styles and combinations for you to choose from and we are always happy to advise on choice.

Will you make to my own design?

Whenever possible we try to accommodate your wishes, But regrettably we can not always do this.

Do I need to make an appointment?

No unless you have any medical requirements you do not always need an appointment, but it is always best to check beforehand, if you are making a special journey that one of our experienced staff is available when you intend to visit. If you do have special requirements an appointment will be necessary with our lastmaker.

For more details contact us at:





TEL: 0207 930 6395


Tuesday, 12 January 2010


'My clients want to know the provenance of a piece and who designed and made it. They’re interested in craftsmanship and the processes behind the making of a piece.'
London-based interior designer Suzy Hoodless in the Financial Times.

Monday, 11 January 2010


We admire the work of Amsterdam based Tenue de Nimes and are looking forward to seeing their collaboration with Grenson. We understand that the boots pictured above will be available at the end of January.

Grenson's manufacturing process takes place in Rushden, where the Tenue de Nimes team were fortunate enough to pay a visit recently. Click on the title for more.

Sunday, 10 January 2010