Maybole celebrates shoe making heritage

MAYBOLE has chosen the boot and shoe industry as an icon for a Carrick-wide tourism project.

As part of the project, they had been asked to find an icon that could be made into a statue/bust and then become part of a trail of icons all around Carrick for tourists to follow.

Survey boxes were placed at various points in the town and these have now been collected in and counted.

At last week’s meeting of the community council, chairman Mark Fletcher announced that, by a large majority, the icon selected by the community is the boot and shoe industry.

At one time there were ten shoe factories in full production employing 1500 workers and producing about one million pairs of boots and shoes annually.

Shops were opened throughout the whole of Britain, named “The Maybole Shoe Shop”, (one being opened as far away as Manitoba) and these sold the products of the factories direct to the customers. The list of factories in the town at that time were John Gray & Co., Ladywell; T. A. Gray, Lorne; James Ramsay, St. Cuthbert’s; Charles Crawford, Kirkwynd; John Lees & Co, Townend; William Boyd, St. Helen’ s; Maybole Shoe Factory, Drummellan Street; J. M. Rennie, Greenside; G. Dick, Ladyland; and McGarvie & Co., Society Street.

Mark Fletcher added: “We will continue with the project on this basis, and as we progress we will keep everyone informed. We will be looking for people to help support this and other projects in the town, so if you can spare a little time we would be happy to hear from you.”