3. Make do and mend

When we were young, we did not consider ourselves ‘poor’ as everyone we knew was the same. However my father did not have much income as a rent-collector and my mother did not work – except of course as being a housewife and mother. The war was not long over so, even if we could have afforded to buy things, none were available or they were rationed.
All clothing was repaired. Socks were darned using a needle, similar coloured wool and a wooden tool, that looked like a large mushroom, to hold the heel in place. All jumpers were hand-knitted, often with wool from an older jumper. Jackets had leather elbow-pads; the edges and cuffs had leather edging.
Dad cobbled our shoes. Most shoes had leather soles and sheet leather could be bought, cut to size and fitted with nails or special glue. Heels could be leather, but were often rubber. Later stick-on soles appeared which were easier to fit. I still have a cobbler’s ‘last’ somewhere (iron with a big sole, small sole and a heel for nailing on).


2 thoughts on “3. Make do and mend

  1. I too have a cobblers last as you describe, plus another which is simply the one-size sole (large sole). Haven’t used then in years though.

  2. Another sentimentalist here – mine is painted black and is used as a garden ornament. Want you didn’t mention Jim are metal ‘segs’ which some people used to hammer into the leather soles to make them last longer.
    Cheers, Danny

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