Chamberlain’s Boot and Shoe Maker

at 52 The High Street, now called Chamberlain's

High Street Research Team

Philip Chamberlain's Boot and Shoe Shop in the High Street
Wivenhoe Memories Collection
Wivenhoe's shoemaker Philip Chamberlain
Photo Wivenhoe Memories Collection

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The house at number 52 the High Street today bears the name Chamberlain’s. This is after the boot and shoe maker who originally lived there.

During WW1 Philip Chamberlain was employing 2 or 3 men in the workshop at the back of the house as business was thriving. Although according to his daughter Etta her father was a very poor business man and people always owed him money.

After the war, Philip and his staff made shoes for the yacht crews and were rushed off their feet during the yachting season each year. Every room was full of shoes. The deck shoes were made of soft calf leather with wooden nails in the soles so that they didn’t scrape the deck.

The house began as 2 cottages one behind the other that were made into one but the 2 staircases remained. Philip Chamberlain had the shop built on the front. There were 10 rooms including the shop. The attics were the store rooms, below that bedrooms and down stairs was the shop, a “fitting on” room, a dining room and a kitchen. The workshop was at the back of the house.

The pitch roofed shop was demolished in the 1970s and a flat roofed extension added with a front door.

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Resource:  Interview with Etta Dan, Philip Chamberlain’s daughter, made in 1967. Read the notes of the interview.

This page was added on 11/08/2018.

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