Anyone heard of George Webb shoes?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Tidybeard, Dec 28, 2007.

  1. Tidybeard

    Tidybeard Senior member

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    Hi all,

    I have been looking for a pair of decent quality rubber-soled ankle boots for winter in the sales and came across some today made by George Webb of Northampton. They are well constructed (goodyear welted, dianite soles) and look like what I am after but I've never heard of them and can't find any references on the web except the fact that there was such a company around 50 years ago (and the shoes are new, there were a few pairs).

    Does anyone know anything about them? Worth going for?

    Cheers,

    TB
     


  2. TCN

    TCN Senior member

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    Heard the name before and that's about it; probably just another decent Northampton shoe manufacturer.
     


  3. alliswell

    alliswell Senior member

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    George Webbs were the coolest shoe to wear for 12 year olds in the late 70s and early 80s. The favoured style was a captoe blucher, goodyear welted, rockhard construction in both senses. There are better English shoes out there, without a doubt.
     


  4. Tidybeard

    Tidybeard Senior member

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    Thanks for the responses. I do have some nice shoes but they cost me a fortune and I don't really want to wear them when the weather's bad.

    I can pick up the Webbs for about 50GBP so I'll go and have another look tomorrow and if they fit OK I'll probably gamble...not much to lose really for English-made shoes.

    Thanks again,

    TB
     


  5. Percy Trimmer

    Percy Trimmer Senior member

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  6. Tidybeard

    Tidybeard Senior member

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    Thanks - looks like I have bought a pair of shoes that could be considered "vintage" :). Have posted pics in the shoe porn thread.
     


  7. bengal-stripe

    bengal-stripe Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Earlier today, there was a program on the BBC about the decline of the Northampton shoe industry.
    George Webb gets mentioned as one of the formerly big players, now gone.
    I have no idea where Webb was placed in the hierarchy of manufactures.

    For those, who have missed it, here is a link to the actual program:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/aod/mainf...o4/archivehour
     


  8. Tidybeard

    Tidybeard Senior member

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    Thanks Bengal-Stripe, interesting info. Looks like I have bought a pair of 28 year old new shoes!
     


  9. Anthony Jordan

    Anthony Jordan Senior member

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    I noticed a pair of brown George Webb Oxfords in my local TKMAXX on Saturday; I wonder if someone has simply resurrected the name, like Debenhams appears to have resurrected the Tress name for some of the men's hats it carries. I didn't look closely but the shoes had a combination heel, which I tend to associate with at least reasonable quality.
     


  10. Tidybeard

    Tidybeard Senior member

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    Thanks Anthony - that's where I got them. I'd put them at around the quality of Loake and they are OK for me for winter beaters. Funny how the decent shoes stand out a mile at TK Maxx, eh?
     




  11. shunut

    shunut New Member

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    I have a pair of George Webb Production, savile row Veldtschoen welted, country weight, oxblood leather shoes bought in an antique shop brand new, never worn. They are all leather including heel, fully leather lined and the stitching is so fine you can hardly see it on some of the seams. Brass pins on the instep. I have never seen quality like it. Shoes have leather laces and to cut these evenly must be a real work of art. It is almost a shame to wear them as they represent another lost area of manufacture. I paid £35.00 about 5yrs ago - bargain.

    Shunut
     


  12. John Ellis

    John Ellis Senior member

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    He was a middle rank British shoe manufacturer about where Cheaney's were. In the early seventies I was involved in the British shoemaking industry as it went into its death spiral. As I recall he went out of business sometime in the 80's but someone in China may have revived the name. They made very good rather heavy shoes of the sort one saw being sold in shoe shops in provincial English farming towns or at county shows (a bit like state fairs but without the sophistication). Usually had the heavy duty Veldtshoen style sole.
     


  13. John Ellis

    John Ellis Senior member

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    He was a middle rank British shoe manufacturer about where Cheaney's were. In the early seventies I was involved in the British shoemaking industry as it went into its death spiral. As I recall he went out of business sometime in the 80's but someone in China may have revived the name. They made very good rather heavy shoes of the sort one saw being sold in shoe shops in provincial English farming towns or at county shows (a bit like state fairs but without the sophistication). Usually had the heavy duty Veldtshoen style sole.

    Actually amend that. There is in fact quite a bit of sophistication because they are heavily attended by the local landed gentry, the sort of folks who were wearing Barbours and green wellies before anyone had ever heard of them.
     


  14. Lafcadio

    Lafcadio Active Member

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    It now seems that Barker are using the name George Webb, as evidenced by this quote from UK eBay :

    VERY RARE: This is a Barker's made, 6 tie derby brogue boot. It is cut from espresso anniversary calf . The sock celebrates 'George Webb' one of many Northamptonshire makers now part of cobbler folklore. The upper is Goodyear welted to a leather sole.

    I have come across this before, where George Webb shoes came from Barker. So much better than a Chinese import, I suggest.

    I know more about Webbs because they bought my great grandfather's shoe factory in Walgrave, Northamptonshire in the 1950s.
     


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