Review of Aftermath

Review of Aftermath

A vibrant and challenging production exploring the transition between the home front in Northampton and the theatre of war that brought personal Northamptonshire stories to life. The letter scenes were incredibly moving highlighting the importance of letters between the home front and the theatre of war as a way of communicating with loved ones.

The play encouraged questions around big themes including the aftermath of war. What happens next? How did families cope when absence meant people  grew apart and moved on? Also how do we relate to this today? At the point where facts and emotions collide how do we understand what our ancestors went through? How does this impact on our lives today?

Youth-Theatre--Aftermath

Youth-Theatre–Aftermath

The young people were incredibly talented and it was clear through this really thoughtful production they had learnt a lot about themselves and their ancestors.

 If you have a chance go! Tickets available from the Box Office on 01604 624811

Shoe of the Month – “Maria” Children’s Shoes

“Maria” Children’s Shoes

It is The British Heart Foundation Wear Red Day on 6th February and Valentine’s Day on the 14th.

To mark these occasions, Northampton Museum & Art Gallery are delighted to have received a donation of a pair of stunning red “Maria” children’s shoes by design house Vevian.

This classic patent leather shoe with a bow ribbon fastening comes in a beautifully handcrafted wooden shoes box and is one of their most popular styles.

Maria Children's Shoes by Vevian

Maria Children’s Shoes by Vevian

These will be on display  at the museum this month. To find out our opening times please go to our website

Shoe of the Month – Women’s Shoe 1640-1650

Women’s Shoe 1640-1650

Shoes from the 1590s and the beginning of the seventeenth century are rare survivors. This womens’ shoe is an example from 1640 – 1650. The latchet style and a ribbon or leather cord would have been threaded through the latchet holes to keep the shoe on. It has a reasonably high wooden heel covered in leather. It would have been hand sewn and because it is a concealed shoe it has been well worn and shows signs of repair. Concealed shoes are an item of footwear deliberately hidden in buildings.

Shoemaking was making its mark in contemporary society in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries as illustrated by The Shoemaker’s Holiday – a romantic comedy written by Thomas Dekker probably in 1599. Dekker’s play reflected the new interest in shoemaking, which was one of the most important trades at this time replacing England’s woollen trade. The truly beautiful alum tanned shoes with exquisitely fine cut work, pinking and razed patterns of the late Elizabethan and early seventeenth century are fine examples of the shoemaker’s craft and skill.

Women's Shoe 1640-1650

Women’s Shoe 1640-1650

The Shoemaker’s Holiday is currently being performed by the Royal Shakespeare Company at Strafford until 7 March 2015. The director, Philip Bream and the movement and stage designer came to visit the Shoe Collection at Northampton Museum and Art Gallery for more inspiration and to look at shoes and discuss the shoe trade in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

To find out more about The Shoemaker’s Holiday go to http://www.rsc.org.uk/whats-on/the-shoemakers-holiday

Shoe of the Month – Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas

These clogs are very special. They were given to the donor’s father by a Dutch family who befriended him during the Second World War. He was in the Army and travelled through France, Holland, Germany and Belgium 1944 – 1945

Clogs are very significant in Holland and are used to celebrate St Nicholas’s Day on December 6. Before they go to bed on St Nicholas’s Eve, some Dutch children still put out their clogs, hoping St Nicholas will fill them with presents by the morning. They also fill the clogs with straw or hay and a carrot as a treat for the Saint’s white horse.

When they wake in the morning, if they have been good the food is gone and sweets and toys are in its place. If they have misbehaved and been bad over the year, the carrot and straw remain and there are no presents, but a cane! Black Peter, a mischievous imp who carries a bundle of canes for use on naughty children, leaves the cane. So remember to be good this year.

Dutch Clogs

Dutch Clogs

Shoe of the Month – First World War Centenary Boots

First World War Centenary Boots

These ‘boots’ were made by artist Val Goldfinch. They were inspired by the centenary of the First World War. The first ‘boot’ is made from an old last and a map of Northamptonshire representing where it would have been made. During the First World War 70 million pairs of boots and shoes were made for the UK’s Forces and allies, with just under 40 million being made in Northampton and the County 

Val Goldfinch First World War Boot

Val Goldfinch First World War Boot

The other ‘boot’ represents its use in the trenches. The last has been built up and the boot is lined with a reproduction trench map and the bootlace has turned into barbed wire and is ‘Battle Scarred’

Val Goldfinch First World War Boot 'Battle Scarred'

Val Goldfinch First World War Boot ‘Battle Scarred’

John Lobb

John Lobb celebrates St. Crispin’s Day with new Limited Edition

John Lobb Shoe

John Lobb Shoe

Every year boot makers honour their patron saint, St. Crispin and since 1996, John Lobb has seen St. Crispin’s Day, on 25th October, as the perfect opportunity to create a new limited edition design, which is then unveiled globally.

This year, in keeping with the spirit of this tradition, John Lobb has designed and crafted another unique limited edition, celebrating their knowledge, experience and high quality craftmanship.

The John Lobb 2014 signals a return to the classic, as a plain toe capped Oxford with an ‘Adelaide’ cut, made on the 7000 last. This particular style of Oxford combines the vamp and quarters to form one piece giving a seamless inside and outside waist and an uninterrupted flow in these areas where the sole meets the waist.

This style is created using the John Lobb Prestige process, one that imitates the appearance of a made to measure with.finely wheeled welts, hand sculptured waists, tapered heels and rounded sole bottoms at the waist to give the ultimate in lightness and comfort.

The iconic ‘Brun Lobb’ colour is achieved by the subtle blend of special creams and waxes. The inside of the shoes are lined with fine calf skin in a chocolate colour.

The John Lobb 2014 is supplied with shoe trees and the sole of each pair is stamped with a limited edition number.

To find out more information about John Lobb, visit their website here www.johnlobb.com/Official/‎

And you can also visit the John Lobb Facebook page here www.facebook.com/johnlobbbootmakers to browse through their photo albums featuring vintage editions from the last nineteen years.

Shoe of the Month – Best Foot Forward

Best Foot Forward

We’re always interested in adding contemporary designer footwear to our shoe collection.

These black patent leather peep toe mules are by the designer Yves Saint Laurent. circa 2005. They were donated earlier this year along with other designer examples.

YSL is a luxury fashion house founded by the designer Yves Saint Laurent and his partner Pierre Berge in 1961. Today the company markets a broad range of women and men’s ready-to-wear products, including leather goods, jewellery and of course shoes.

Yves Saint Laurent Mules

Yves Saint Laurent Mules

The mules show details that date back to the designs of the 1940s and 50s. They sport a low platform sole and open toe with a retro style bow detail, which were often seen on women’s shoes of the 1940s.

Discover more designer shoes in our collection by clicking here  http://www.northampton.gov.uk/museumcollections