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Museum welcomes HRH The Duke of Gloucester

Culture and tourism

01 July 2022

HRH Duke of Gloucester inspects display cabinets at the Northampton Shoe Museum

Northampton Museum and Art Gallery welcomed HRH The Duke of Gloucester to help mark the 750th anniversary of the Worshipful Company of Cordwainers.

During his visit, The Duke met a variety of museum staff and volunteers and was given a tour of the refurbished facilities, including the new and improved Shoe Gallery.

His Royal Highness was greeted by HM Lord Lieutenant of Northamptonshire, James Saunders Watson, and West Northamptonshire Council’s Cultural Services Manager, Nick Gordon, who manages the museum.

The Worshipful Company of Cordwainers was established in 1272 to regulate the footwear trade in London and has for many years had close links with Northamptonshire, due to its history of shoe manufacture.

James Saunders Watson said: “It was a pleasure to welcome HRH The Duke of Gloucester to our beautiful county today.

"Northamptonshire’s enduring quality footwear industry plays such an important role in our identity and economy, with continuing exports across the globe.

"Our link with the Cordwainers is vitally important, so we’re extremely privileged to have been able to mark such an important anniversary in this way."

Council Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Housing, Culture and Leisure, Cllr Adam Brown, and Leader, Cllr Jonathan Nunn, were also there to meet His Royal Highness.

Cllr Brown said: "It’s always an absolute delight to welcome a member of the Royal Family.

"Our footwear heritage is just one part of a fascinating history in West Northamptonshire, spanning millennia, though its importance can be seen everywhere.

"We have one of the world’s largest and most impressive shoe collections housed in our museum and some of the highest quality shoes across the globe are still produced here.

"We’ve a great deal to be proud of and it was an amazing opportunity to show His Royal Highness just how much it means to us."

As part of the visit, The Duke also congratulated Museum Administration Officer, Elizabeth Ravine, and Museum Assistant, Wendy Gibbs, for twenty-five years of service.

To mark the occasion Peter Lamble, Master of the Worshipful Company of Cordwainers, presented His Royal Highness with a pair of Springline shoetrees, featuring the Cordwainer goat’s head and a commemorative 750th logo, and a Cordwainer history book.