OK that’s it for Rushden so to the car – unless you want to wear those soles
down. About 15 miles up the road we have a small town (Great Leather handbag factory outlet here too, but I digress). In 1886 Cheaneys started doing business from a factory, in 1896 they moved to the site they still inhabit nowadays. Just as they remain on the same site Cheaneys also still deal with all aspects of their shoe production. No outsourcing for them; from clicking (the cutting out of the leather) up to the polishing of the finished product, all work is done in Desborough. In 1903 Father and son were joined by another son Harold, and the name of the company changed to J. Cheaney and sons.
Cheaney’s now have a shop in London (opened 2002) and the name is synonymous with good style – after all Prada owned Church and Company, who in turn owned Cheaneys (are you keeping up?) In any case in 2009 Church cousins bought out the company and are now the owners of this thriving business.
Revered today they may be, yet between the 2nd World War and the 1960s Cheaney’s produced no shoes in their own name. They manufactured for other companies and for export. In 1966 the company was bought by Church and Company and the following year shoes were produced under the moniker ‘Cheaney of England’. You just have to log on to the high end online retailers to see how respected Cheaney’s are (I’m thinking MrPorter.com) Time has moved on the integrity of the pieces has not.
Hop in then, we’re off to Kettering.