Barney's own 'Repair Shop' reveal: century old boots now as good as new
AN odd pair of 100-year-old girls’ work boots, discovered in the wall of a derelict farmhouse in the Shetland Isles, have been restored to their former glory, thanks to the craftsmanship of a Teesdale cobbler.
Adrian Andrews, who owns Star Cobblers, in Star Yard, Barnard Castle, was sent the battered boots by a customer in Scotland who regularly uses his services.
The black leather boots date to the early 1900s. The soles and heels were worn through, the leather was dried out and only one of the original glass buttons remained.
However only a week after starting the restoration, Mr Andrews has completed the work with the help of his apprentice, Angela Harland.
He said: “I had been putting off the job, but when I got started on them, I really got my teeth into it. One of the hardest things was going to be sourcing the vintage buttons. But we were really lucky that we able to find them thanks to the Friends of the Richardson Hospital, which saved us so much time.”
This year the friends were unable to host their annual vintage fair, due to the pandemic, and when they heard of Mr Andrews’ search for buttons were able to help out.
He added: “Between us we’ve spent about 16 hours working on the boots, creaming the leather and putting new leather soles on with brass tacks as they would have been originally. We’ve built up new leather heels and attached traditional horseshoe heel blocks, re-stitched the leather and attached the buttons.
“It’s amazing how many people have popped into the shop to have a look at the boots since we appeared in the Mercury and they’re amazed at the transformation. I just hope my client is happy with the job.”
Mr Andrews has now been tasked with more restoration work.
He said: “I’ve been asked to make a leather belt for a Second World War belt buckle and a create a strap for a wartime watch.”