After opening in 1964 William Shepherd, and his two sons Norman and John rapidly grew the factory, and within a short time, it was the largest employer in Richmond.
By 1972 the factory employed over 300 people making 25,000 pairs each week, However the recessions of the late 70’s and 80’s took their toll and in 1989 the factory was one of the last remaining shoe factories, (of our type), to close.
"When I first started working at the shoe factory in 1969, there were over 500 shoe factories all around The UK and Ireland - 20 years later in 1989 there were less than 25 remaining".
"I walked around the empty factory in late 1989, shortly after it closed - the machines were still there - but they were silent - a large part of my working life had been spent there - it was a feeling I shall never forget".
Altberg - Founder and Senior Bootmaker.