Craven Curiosities

Craven Curiosities

Last week's Craven Curiosity was a collection of cobblers tools

Craven curiosities

First published in Dales Life Craven Herald: Photograph of the Author by , Deputy Editor

WE had no guesses about last week's Craven Curiosity.

It was, in fact, collection of tools used by cobblers to repair the welts of shoes.

The four items all have squared-off steel heads with wooden handles and one has a leather loop attached to its end for hanging.

Experts at Craven Museum and Gallery tell us: "Two of the tools bear makers' marks and were both produced by George Barnsley & Sons Ltd from Sheffield. The company specialised in producing tools for shoemakers and leather workers.

"A welt is a strip of leather, rubber or plastic that is stitched to the upper and insole of a shoe, as an attach-point for the sole. Originally, shoes were made by hand using an array of tools. Cobblers could then fix shoes when required using tools like these welt irons.

"Traditional, skilled shoemaking continued until the 19th century when the process became more commercialised and almost completely mechanised, with production occurring in large factories."

Guesses regarding this week's mystery object should be emailed to

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