In 1989 the Richmond factory was forced to close… it was the largest employer in our town (320 people). It had been a good factory and we made 25,000 pairs of shoes each week!! ...we’d lasted longer than most, but the recessions and the growth of low cost imports had proved too much. We were among the last remaining English shoe factory of our type to close.
When I first started working there in 1969, there were over 500 shoe factories all around England… twenty years later in 1989 there were less than 25 remaining. The industry that I’d grown up with… had been virtually wiped out. And that’s when I started Altberg.
- Mike Sheehan Senior Bootmaker and Founder