Statue of the Cordwainer
The Cordwainer Statue was a joint initiative by the City of London Corporation and the Ward of Cordwainer Club to mark the 100th anniversary of the Ward Club. It was funded by the Corporation, the Ward Club and some individual members of the Club and businesses. The bronze statue, the work of Alma Boyes, was unveiled in 2002 in a temporary location in Bow Churchyard.It was subsequently relocated to its now permanent home in the newly paved area of Watling Street alongside St Mary Aldermary Church.
Historically, there was a distinction between a cordwainer, who made luxury shoes and boots out of the finest leathers, and a cobbler, who repaired them. This distinction gradually weakened, particularly during the twentieth century, when there was a predominance of shoe retailers who neither made nor repaired shoes.Until 2000, a Cordwainers’ Technical College existed in London. For over a hundred years, the College had been recognised as one of the world’s leading establishments for training shoemakers and leather workers. It produced some of the leading fashion designers, including Jimmy Choo and Patrick Cox. In 2000, Cordwainers’ College was absorbed into the London College of Fashion, the shoe-design and accessories departments of which are now called “Cordwainer’s at London College of Fashion
Cordwainers were among those who sailed to Virginia in 1610 to settle in Jamestown. By 1616, the secretary of Virginia reported that the leather and shoe trades were flourishing. Christopher Nelme, of England, was the earliest shoemaker in America whose name has been recorded; he sailed to Virginia from Bristol, in 1619.
In 1620, the Pilgrims landed in Massachusetts. Nine years later, in 1629, the first shoemakers arrived, bringing their skills with them.
If you found this interesting it has another effect in that you are walking for your health at the same time – look forward to seeing you