I wanted to thank everyone for all the knowledge I've gained from having been a long-time lurker on the forum. I recently took a vacation to London to visit some friends and family and decided, as a direct result of reading posts here, to take a day trip to Northampton (February 23, 2007). I took the train--about an hour long ride--into Northampton and from there took taxis to visit John Lobb, Edward Green, and Crockett & Jones at which point Tony Gaziano very kindly offered to pick me up and take me to his shop and home in Kettering. I took a bunch of photos that I wanted to share with you guys. I'm still very new to digital cameras and am learning how to format photos for easy viewing on-line so bear with me if the EG and G&G reports are slow in coming (re-adjusting back to work life has also kept me busy). I know this has come up in several posts already, but I wanted to include this e-mail in case there was some confusion about where the shop was located and when it was open: Thank you for your interest in John Lobb's products. Very kind of you to come and visit us, however, the factory is not open to the general public. You can still visit our factory shop situated : J L & co Ltd Westminster Works Oliver Street Northampton Northamptonshire NN2 7JL Tel = + 44 (0) 1604 715011 The shop is open Monday - Friday : 9am - 12.45 and 13.15 - 5pm Saturday : 9am -12 noon Hope to see you soon Kind regards, Valerie Guerin-Goff, Commercial assistant. During my time in London, I swung by Udeshi and he indicated that JL had begun to outsource the production of some of their shoes--that the loafers, for example, were made in (don't quote me on this) Mexico or something along those lines. This might be why factory tours are not offered, although there does seem to be some sort of factory still extant as you will see below. I should note that Valerie was great and did come by and say hello while I was trying on shoes in the factory shop. The humble exterior. I left my bags and coat in the conference room. Which, upon closer inspection, revealed the... John Lobb 2007! Am not sure if this is in stores yet. We don't have a John Lobb retailer in Toronto so it was news to me. After one of the caretakers offered me a coffee, they showed me into the shop... Which was pretty much a do-it-yourself affair. It took quite a while for me just to get a good idea of what size fit me depending on last. All the grey boxes in the corner were of current season models; the rest of their stock was in the stacks organised by size. There were small pockets here and there for overstock direct from the Paris store as well as a small section of old vintage John Lobbs (mostly 1999, 2001). No distinction is made between regular and prestige line shoes--Chapels were going for 235 pounds! Most shoes sold for 235, although very old models ran slightly cheaper and those vintage JLs cost 300 pounds if they included shoe trees. Shoe trees were also sold. They only had trees for the 8695 last at 28 pounds and for the Vintage 1999 at 30. Managed to grab a shot of what I thought might be the factory before I left: All in all, it was a worthwhile trip. I am a small size and so it was hard to find the styles I was particularly interested in. I would have died if there were a pair of Chapels that fit me. Instead, I left with a pair of dark oak antique Derwents on the 8000 last in UK size 6E and a pair of chestnut museum calf Brackleys on the 7000 in UK size 5.5EE. I hope that helps demystify a bit of the experience!