2019 was a very special year for R E Tricker Ltd as we celebrated our 190th anniversary as England’s oldest shoemaker.
We were extremely proud to welcome HRH The Prince of Wales, now King Charles III, to our Northampton shoe factory on Monday 28th January 2019 to unveil our commemorative plaque.
Tricker’s has held a Royal Warrant with Prince Charles, now King Charles III, since 1989 and his visit highlighted The Prince of Wales’ continued support for British craftsmanship and manufacturing.
Upon arrival, His Royal Highness was greeted by Northampton’s Lord Lieutenant, the High Sheriff, the Mayor and Nick Barltrop, Chairman of Tricker’s who is the fifth generation descendent of founder Joseph Tricker.
Managing Director Martin Mason and Master Bespoke Shoemaker Scott McKee gave the Prince of Wales a full guided tour.
Whilst visiting the various production areas, Prince Charles was introduced to Michael James, owner of Spring Line.
As the only remaining British company to produce both plastic and hand carved wooden shoe lasts, Michael showed The Prince some of the exceptional lasts in their archive. These ranged from lasts made for the Gringotts goblins from the Harry Potter films, the actor Daniel Craig, Prince Charles’ mother Her Majesty the Queen and a pair of size 22 lasts made for the former American basketball star Shaquille O’Neal.
Prince Charles then visited the Bespoke shoemaking room. Here he met apprentice Adele Williamson who is a QEST (Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust) scholar and Tricker’s first female bespoke shoe maker.
His Royal Highness is a huge supporter of encouraging young people to consider manufacturing as a career option and had a very animated conversation with Adele and the other apprentices in the team about the process and skill of hand making bespoke shoes and boots.
The rest of the tour included visits to the Clicking, Closing and Finishing rooms, where His Royal Highness managed to talk to many of our long-standing members of staff.
This was followed by a visit to our Factory Shop where HRH signed the visitor’s book and met David Fryman, manager of our only boutique based on London’s Jermyn Street. The Prince was invited to be fitted, at his convenience for a bespoke pair of Tricker’s shoes or boots of his choice.
Towards the end of the tour, HRH The Prince of Wales unveiled a special plaque commemorating this historic visit in front of our 89 employees and commented:
“Many congratulations everybody on reaching your 190th birthday. Sorry it has taken me 190 years to get here! Marvellous to see such a highly skilled operation. I do congratulate you and I hope you manage to keep it all going for many, many more years.”
We would like to extend our sincere gratitude to everyone who helped make this day one that everybody involved will cherish for many years to come.
We were honoured and delighted by HRH’s genuine interest in our company, the skills and qualities of our manufacturing and our craftspeople.
What an incredible start to our anniversary year.