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ALFRED SARGENT Appreciation: Handgrade, Exclusive, etc.

Groover

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Indeed, that is the saddest part: the skilled craftsmen who have probably lost their livelihood. I hope that Bowen or Herring Shoes would hire at least some of them. If I am not mistaken, the Herring Premier range was partially on AS lasts, and produced by Alfred Sargent staff. In addition, I think the Wildsmith-labelled shoes were also produced by Alfred Sargent. Maybe Herring can ramp up this line now.
Herring don't manufacture themselves, all their shoes are made abroad or by Loake/Barkers/Cheaney. Herring was sold to Pavers a couple of years ago but continues as it's own entity.

The Herring Premier were using the AS Handgrade lasts. I read a few posts back about the herring 1966 last (?) this was the AS 53 handgrade last. This is common practice in the industry.

The original Wildsmith reboot by Chay Cooper were made by Sargents on the Handgrade lasts. I've got a few pairs, the Wildsmith 283 last was the 53 handgrade last. When Herring bought the brand Cheaney started making them.
 

EUtroll

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Bowen has also closed its shop in Brussels at least.

Shame with AS, only got one pair here on SF actually, the Redgrave chukka from the exclusive line, like a decade ago and they remain in heavy rotation and I like them better than my pairs from C&J. Especially suede vs suede.
 

Stani777

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In Memoriam
I've left the boots out, but they were not the Handgrade/Exclusive Range.

Nicely made shoes in my opinion. Shame to see them go (if they really have gone).

Clint
Could you post another photo of those incredible MTO Veldtschoen boots in burgundy Zug please?
 

George Mason

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Herring don't manufacture themselves, all their shoes are made abroad or by Loake/Barkers/Cheaney. Herring was sold to Pavers a couple of years ago but continues as it's own entity.

The Herring Premier were using the AS Handgrade lasts. I read a few posts back about the herring 1966 last (?) this was the AS 53 handgrade last. This is common practice in the industry.

The original Wildsmith reboot by Chay Cooper were made by Sargents on the Handgrade lasts. I've got a few pairs, the Wildsmith 283 last was the 53 handgrade last. When Herring bought the brand Cheaney started making them.
Actually, when Herring bought Wildsmith, it included a small amount of AS-made stock. When Herring did the Wildsmith relaunch, the shoes were made by Cheaney and Barker (a bit deflating for those of us hoping it would still be AS).

Recently - as in the last few months - Herring reintroduced Wildsmith with a couple of models made by AS. I assume that will be coming to an end, unfortunately.
 

othertravel

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Well, the kingsman shoes are made by Sargent. Now's your chance to snap them up before they switch makers.
 

oldworldelegance

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Barker have laid staff off and along with the other companies are struggling. Don't forget they only produce a small percentage locally, the majority of their uppers are cut & closed overseas and then shipped to the UK.

Grenson. Tim Little maintains a small factory/distribution center in the UK. Only G-One and specials with specific brands are made in the UK. Everything else is made in India. I was quoted a couple of years ago, 1 pair from india was c£15 cost, they then sell them for c£180 and they were selling a LOT of them.

Sargents is in the position it is because of money. All the staff are UK based, they have a largish site to maintain, they have to purchase the raw materials and so on. It requires very very deep pockets. These issues go back years, prior to the previous "going into administration". Sargents biggest customer was Bowen, hence why they reached out to them to take over last time.

The saddest part in all this is that people have lost their jobs, at a time when the industry is struggling and those people are now facing very difficult times.
When I visited various Northamptonshire manufacturers some years back, I was struck by how large the barker factory was. Is it mostly used as a warehouse then? Or are most of their shoes finished in England even if the uppers are closed in India?

It’s a shame that AS couldn’t be restructured somehow, or at least kept in hibernation with government help (furlough, no business rates, loans, etc )
 

RKILLY67

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Had two pairs of as shoes saved on watching on ebay and got an offer on a pair- I mistakenly thought they were the pair of armfields I had saved and pulled the trigger without looking properly, on inspection after they weren't the pair I thought but I'm stumped by what they are are, not armfields or moores can anyone shed a light
 

Attachments

clintonf

Senior Member
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May 24, 2007
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I was referring to these ones :
View attachment 1558910
photo owned by clintonf.
Are they made on 88FX last?
Any more photos from the sides and the back view ?
61E1AFDE-02B0-4712-AA19-22D233E0548C.jpeg
CD8C09FF-34F0-4E03-AA6C-D1758FC2B20E.jpeg
11E1F543-0121-4724-B50D-091837E81A2A.jpeg

I took these a couple of weeks ago (along with all of my footwear). If I get some time over the weekend I’ll take a few more snaps.
From memory, these were made for Hackett but I have no idea of the last. I can provide the inner labelling, but as I’ve had them for around a decade, I don’t have any recollection of the last. Sorry.
 

j ingevaldsson

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When I visited various Northamptonshire manufacturers some years back, I was struck by how large the barker factory was. Is it mostly used as a warehouse then? Or are most of their shoes finished in England even if the uppers are closed in India?

It’s a shame that AS couldn’t be restructured somehow, or at least kept in hibernation with government help (furlough, no business rates, loans, etc )
It's a bit sad that story, was a great big fuzz when they inaugurated the new factory a few of decades ago, since it's very rare with new shoe factories opening in Northampton. Barker had aim on growing a lot and was very optimistic about the future. I think it's been part a blessing, part a curse with those big premises.
 

oldworldelegance

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It's a bit sad that story, was a great big fuzz when they inaugurated the new factory a few of decades ago, since it's very rare with new shoe factories opening in Northampton. Barker had aim on growing a lot and was very optimistic about the future. I think it's been part a blessing, part a curse with those big premises.
Are you implying Jesper that most of the factory space is therefore underused ? (Pre-pandemic)
 

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