BESPOKE SHOE REPAIRS
GEORGE CLEVERLEY & CO LTD
The first pair of shoes I had made by the excellent firm of George Cleverley & Co. date from more than twenty years ago. They are still in fine condition and they still look as elegant as they did on the day on which I collected them from the shop in the Royal Arcade off Bond Street. If I may be permitted a little self-deprecation, I will observe that the shoes have survived the years rather better than their owner. But even the very finest shoes eventually require repair. What then? To entrust such works of art to “the man round the corner” would be risky indeed. But the answer is obvious: Cleverley shoes must return to Cleverley. The craftsmanship which made must be the craftsmanship which restores.
Thus I found myself back with those admirable gentlemen, Messrs George Glasgow and John Carnera – the purveyors of shoe perfection to those who demand that their feet must be shod with The Best. (In the pictures, Mr Carnera wears the white coat and is with me before the repair. Mr Glasgow is with me post-repair.) You will note that I am pointing out something within one of the shoes to Mr Glasgow. It is the date on which it was made: 1999. Cleverley shoes are made to last.
To restore these chisel-toed black masterpieces to their former glory would require the replacement of the leather sole and the leather heel. Reproducing their original state, the former would have two rows of brads at the toe and the latter would have quarter iron tips. The brads slow the wearing process and the quarter irons enable me to ‘click’ as I walk down the street (a sound which has accompanied my locomotion since I was a small child).
The photograph reveals what a fine job was done. The sole and heel are beautifully shaped, are they not? Together with the impressive polished lustre on the upper shoes (of a standard, I confess, that I find it difficult to replicate at home), they meant that my lovely shoes were truly ‘as new’. The cost was £700.
Bespoke shoes should be repaired by their makers. When those bespoke shoes were created by George Cleverley & Co., the repairs will be done with the utmost care and skill. Now my shoes are good for another twenty years or so.