While celebrating its 120th anniversary, the British Footwear Association gathered 11 of the most famous Northamptonshire manufacturers in a special shoe exhibition, namely Northamptonshire’s Finest. Church’s, Cheaney, Sanders&Sanders, Trickers, Loake, NPS, Crockett&Jones, DrMartens, Barkers, Loake and Grenson presented their fine works during the event, which took place on March 28. Robert Perkins, president of the association, pointed out: “We celebrate this anniversary while facing a business recovery of our industry in the United Kingdom, thanks to recent investments carried out by Dr Martens, New Balance, Goral, Fosters, and Gina Shoes. Indeed, this is a very exciting moment for British footwear”.
While speaking to Footwear Today, Jayne West, a representative of BFA, clearly said: “Northamptonshire’s footwear manufacturing industry currently produces around 1.3 million pairs of shoes a year, therefore driving a 146 million pound turnover; exports amount to 52%, and some companies export considerably more than that. We therefore want to celebrate this unique group of footwear manufacturers, internationally renowned: over 50% of global shoe manufacturing in the United Kingdom comes from their factories”. In the county, children also participated in the BFA party: they took part in the “Design a Shoe” contest, in collaboration with Delapre Abbey. The winner was an eight-year-old girl, Demetria Jolley. Church’s will turn her project into production.