The excellent Made in Great Britain programme visits Northampton in the latest episode of the BBC series about the craft and manufacturing skills that have helped to shape modern Britain.
As well as taking viewers through the complex shoemaking process, Made in Great Britain provides an engaging and educational history of the Northampton shoe industry, and the craftsmanship and innovation that remains the heart and soul of the town today.
Shaping the Northamptonshire shoemaking industry
Starting in the Medieval ages, the series makers get a taste of how the very earliest examples of shoe manufacturing began in Northampton, and how the abundant supply of raw materials required for the shoemaking process were key to shaping the Northamptonshire shoemaking industry.
The master shoemaker
Under guidance from Tricker’s master shoemaker, Scott McKee, the episode then takes a closer look at shoemaking in the Victorian age, and the impact that industrialisation had on maintaining Northampton’s position as a global shoemaking powerhouse.
The four series makers are then shown how Northampton’s shoe industry became a vital part of the war effort during World War II, when army boots were mass produced to support the national war effort.
And finally, the episode rounds off with the makers working through the finishing process where attention to detail is required to finish the finest quality Northampton shoes and boots.
Craftsmanship and innovation
Throughout the episode, the high level of craftsmanship, and innovation shown by the town’s shoemakers is a constant thread. For anyone who owns a pair of premium Northampton shoes and can see and feel the quality in every step, Made in Great Britain is well worth an hour of your time.
Made in Great Britain, Series 1, Episode 6: Shoes is available to watch on the BBC iPlayer now for a limited time.