Crockett & Jones

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Crockett & Jones is a shoe manufacturing company, established in 1879 by Charles Jones and Sir James Crockett in Northampton, England. They were able to establish the company with a grant from the Thomas White Trust. It specialises in the manufacture of Goodyear-welted footwear. It is currently being run by the great grandson of its co-founder, Charles Jones.[1] Crockett & Jones produces both mens and womens footwear with three collections offered for men (Hand Grade Collection, Main Collection and Shell Cordovan Collection) and a limited range of boots and low heeled shoes produced for women.[2]

Crockett & Jones factory, view from Magee Street

Method[edit]

Though the manufacturing of shoes has changed since it was founded its aim is to produce shoes of the highest quality. They use a skilled workforce in labour-intensive operations. A Goodyear welt in their shoe assembly gave a high level of reliability and strength in the shoe.[2]

History[edit]

Northampton is traditionally known for its shoe-making skills, one reason for setting up the factory there in 1879. At the start of operations they produced men’s boots.[2] In the 1890s the second generation of Harry Crockett and Frank Jones began to modernise with more advanced machinery, particularly equipment produced by Charles Goodyear. It produced shoes at a faster rate with lighter manual work.[3]

In 1897, Crockett and Jones expanded the company into a larger factory and purchased the facility, which is still in use by the company.[3]

In the 1910s the company began exporting a a large part of their production to Australia, Argentina, South Africa, USA and the far east though the UK still remained its principal market.[3]

In the 1930s with the third generation of the founders and still a family business, production reached 15,000 pairs of shoes each week. The majority of these were women’s boots and shoes. They also supplied the 1940s war effort producing over a million pairs of officers' boots. The company stopped production of their usual footwear during this time.[1]

The company has continued to evolve and absorb the changes necessary to make it competitive, but still maintaining a high quality product. The is also where all operations for the company take place, including production, design and development.[4]

The factory in Perry Street, Northampton, dates back to the 1890s with additions to the main building in 1910 and 1935, giving a large internal working space. It has a large proportion of glass to give good natural lighting throughout the building and a pleasant working environment, but can get rather cold in the winter and extremely warm in the summer.

Family involvement[edit]

In 1947, the grandson of Charles Jones, Richard Jones, joined the family company. In 1977 he was appointed Managing Director and is still involved with it today as acting Chairman. Jonathan, Richard's son, also became involved with the family business in 1977.[3]

Company today[edit]

Crockett & Jones men's dress shoes, type Dalton, black calf leather, leather outersole with Goodyear construction

Jonathan Jones says: We're flat out at the moment and our biggest problem is managing that demand and finding the skilled labour we need to do it[1] The majority of shoes produced today are being exported worldwide.[1] The majority of shoes sell in the $400–550 range.

Aa at 2014 there are 11 Crockett & Jones retail shops and concessions based in London, Birmingham, Paris, Brussels and New York. The shops provide a stylish and contemporary showcase for ready to wear footwear, including velvet slippers and driving shoes and accessories.[4]

The James Bond film, Skyfall features James Bond played by Daniel Craig and wearing Crockett & Jones shoes.[5][6]

Awards[edit]

Crockett & Jones received the Diploma D’Onoro for their designs in 1911.[7]

External links[edit]

References[edit]