In Room 10 we have a fascinating display of shoes, mainly women’s, from the Museum’s extensive collection. They date from the early nineteenth century with examples from almost every decade since then up to 1980.
Some of the shoes are in perfect condition and show little evidence of wear, but others offer special interest in telling stories of their owners’ lives. For example, the lady whose sparkly-heeled shoes are really worn must have been an enthusiastic dancer; she mended and stitched her shoes by hand to make them last a long time. And there are a number of wedding shoes almost unmarked.
Looking after a collection of footwear is painstaking work for our volunteers. The shoes have to be wrapped in acid-free tissue, stored in acid-free boxes, and then stacked on purpose-built racks.
The display here gives just a small sample of the hundreds of shoes that once belonged to folk in Nidderdale; and the Cobbler’s Shop in the Museum tells you much about how the Binks family carried out their business in the dale.