George Webb & Sons
Makers of Fine Footwear for Men
George Webb & Sons were one of Northampton’s most famous shoe manufacturers. This shoe is just one of many recently donated to the collection by the son of a former manager there, Oliver J Farey.
George Webb (1870-1940) started out in the shoe industry and progressed to the position of works manager with the firm of Albert E Marlow. He spent twenty eight years at Marlow’s and progressed to become Managing Director. In 1927, at the age of 57 he left the company and spent his life savings to establish his own firm. He purchased an empty factory in Brockton Street, Kingsthorpe Hollow, rented machinery, and started the new business with his two sons as equal partners.
The new works were known as the Mentone Works, making “shoes that give tone to men”. The firm expanded until they employed about six hundred people.
As orders increased, additional premises were required. These included a factory at Black Lion Hill near Northampton railway station, another at Walgrave and one in Bridgend in South Wales.
When George retired, sons Dennis and Frank became joint partners and managing directors. In 1946 the firm became a Private Limited Liability Company, going public in 1951. By 1963 the firm was producing 24,000 pairs of shoes weekly. After passing to different owners, the factory closed in1982.
The Webb brands of shoes included Mentone, Savile Row, Castello, Park Lane, Alpha, Excelsis, Metropolis, Northern King, City Craft, Royal Parade, Brockton, World-Walk, Selborne, Duration and On Top.