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Anne’s Clogs

My name is Anne Fielding and I’ve lived in St Annes for almost 30 years.

My Mother was not a sentimental woman. Any toys, books, clothes that had been out grown were immediately passed on to someone who would make good use of them. There are no bootees, locks of hair or bald teddies either to remind me of my early years.

It was therefore with surprise that I discovered a small pair of painted clogs amongst her possessions.

It must be that the clogs, by the time I had outgrown them, had gone out of fashion. No-one would have wanted them in 1947.

It was the time of buckskin sandals bought along with a new dress for the Whitsun walks. Winter meant Mary Jane leather shoes that had a bright button. If you were very lucky it was shiny patent.

These are Derbyshire clogs, rather scuffed and sad looking and not at all sentimental.

Clogs are a wooden shoe traditionally associated with Northern parts of England. The Oxford English Dictionary describes them as……..   ” A wooden-soled overshoe or sandal worn (chiefly by women) in some localities, to protect the feet from wet and dirt. b. A shoe with a thick wooden sole protected by a rim of metal, worn in the north. [Probably the name belongs originally to the thick wooden sole alone…]” and provide an instance of the word being used in 1416. Lancashire Library members have free access to the Dictionary through the Online Reference Library.

Large industrial towns would have had many clog makers in the mid to late nineteeth century. Over 50 are listed in this  extract from an 1870s directory of Preston.

Clog and Patten Makers in Preston in 1877 (from the Mannex Directory held at St Annes Library)


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