Do you remember a time when top clothing brands still carried that good old ‘made in England’ tag? When your threads were handcrafted in small British workshops that as good as guaranteed high end quality and rugged durability? It seems those days have as good as gone and the last port of call for high end clothing went to Italy, then to Portugal,Russia,Turkey…etc. etc.
Manufacturing in Europe has gradually become very expensive and aside from the occasional limited edition runs, has led to even the most established brands to feel forced to manufacture their product further afield.
This doesn’t mean that everyone has lost their ‘Sole’ though, and there are some brands still flying the British manufacturing flag high. One of those being Walsh of Bolton who manufacture their own product right here in the North of England,in the shape of really cool retro themed training shoes. Fairly recently their ‘Lostock’ trainer has caught our attention and since become our current favourite choice of footwear. This gave us an idea for a t-shirt by combining a Great British Sub-cult with a Great British brand. Inspired by both the Northern Soul movement and also Walsh’s Lostock trainer, we have come up with our ‘Allnighter’ tee that celebrates working-class British manufacturing and working-class subcultures.
We feel inspired by the Walsh ethos and wanted to know more about their history. Jason at Walsh gave us a little insight into the company…
Norman Walsh Footwear:
A True British Athletic Company est. 1961
Norman Walsh began making athletics footwear upon leaving school in 1945 at the age of fourteen, serving his apprenticeship at Bolton based Foster Bros Footwear, where he became a master craftsman. Mr Foster was the grandfather of Joe and Jeff Foster who both went on and founded “Reebok”. Norman’s skill was recognised early by Mr Foster which led him to become responsible for the professional athletic customers. In 1948 he made many of the shoes worn by the British Olympic team. His name became known by many top professional athletes around the world and in 1961 he founded Norman Walsh Footwear.
Throughout the 60’s Norman Walsh continued to manufacture all types of sports shoes all handcrafted and made for his individual customer needs running shoes , rugby boots and cricket boots being his speciality. By the early 70s, Norman decided to ‘go off-road’ and designed his first fell-running shoe. With a soft, flexible upper and a tough sole, they where used by Sir Chris Bonington to make the first ascent of the notoriously tough Mt. Kongur in China. The PB Trainer is the bestselling Fell-running shoe of all time and still a market leader today. Norman Walsh footwear continues to manufacture all kinds of athletic shoes and casual leisure footwear and sells its products throughout the world.
Don’t forget to grab your limited edition ‘Allnighter’ tee from CLOSERThanMOST® here:
This tee looks great with a pair of Walsh!: http://www.walshcasual.com/