A Tale to Tell
These men’s black leather Oxford shoes seem quite ordinary, but if they could speak they could tell many stories.
The shoes were initially purchased by Wilfrid Wright, the father of David Wright who donated the shoes to our collection. On leaving the army after World War One, Wilfrid Wright studied as a chartered accountant and qualified in 1923, at which time he probably purchased the shoes to wear with his morning suit and dinner jacket at formal functions. He wore them at the Palace of Westminster in 1925 when he was invited to accompany a member of his former regiment who won a Victoria Cross. He also wore them on his wedding day on 21 June 1928 when he married Miss Gladys Still in London
Mr Wright’s son often borrowed his father’s shoes in his teens to wear at formal dinners. He finally inherited them on his father’s death in 1958. Due to the donor’s career they have been worn at Buckingham Palace, the Palace of Westminster, Mansion House, Guildhall and 33 of the 39 Livery Halls in London. They have been worn in South Africa and Scotland. They have also been worn at St Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey and Cathedral and at many family and friend’s weddings, funerals and christenings. David Wright also wore them at his wedding in 1971.
David Wright gave up wearing the shoes a couple of years ago as they are rather too narrow now to be worn comfortably, but just imagine how many miles they have travelled in 85 years of working life. If only shoes were made for talking as well as walking!