Hollidge’s Shoe Shop

Hollidges Shoe Shop

Sheila talks about growing up above Hollidge’s, a local shoe shop where her father worked. John remembers the more recent popularity of its Doc Martin range amongst the teenagers of South Norwood.

In this audio you can hear Sheila and John.

This audio is 3 minutes and 49 seconds long.



Sheila: My mum and dad came to live in a flat over the top of Hollidge’s, which was a leather shop. They’d got a shoe repairing section at the back of the shop, which my father worked at with two disabled men in those days. We were there for two or three years, I suppose. And then we moved to a maisonette in Balfour Road, and we were there when the Second World War started. My father was still working at Hollidge’s as a shoe repairer. The war finished in 1945 and we left to come back to London in January 1946. My dad and I didn’t want to come back, we loved it down there, but my mum found it too quiet. She wanted to come back to London and my father then still went back to work at Hollidge’s on the corner of Werndee Road. But he didn’t go to be a cobbler, he was then manager of the of the shop. I can now remember, still remember the elderly gentleman that owned the shop then, but he’d got two sons, one of which ran the shop that my father took over from him, and the other son was across the road in Portland Road, up right opposite Werndee Road. There was a large building there, and the other son did wholesale shoes from there, not anything retail at all.

Sheila: We weren’t living in the flat above then, when we came back to London, we went to live over the top of Portwood Supplies. I don’t know whether you knew that shop, 96 Portland Road all the way along from Werndee Road. I don’t know whether it was the whole lot right up to Balfour Road, but certainly three quarters of it of the shops or buildings. And the flats above belonged to Hollidge’s. 

John: There was two shoe shops, one was more for older people and one tried to get the younger people and they used to sell Doctor Martens and Chelsea boots and stuff. So, as teenagers, we used to go in a shoe shop called ‘Hollidge’s’ on Portland Road and we used to buy our Chelsea boots there and DMs and stuff.

Sheila: We lived over the top of where my father was a cobbler, my mum and I could go in and out of the shop to get into our flat upstairs while the shop was opened. In the evening when it closed, you had to go round the back into Werndee road and go in through the back where the men had been working during the day.  They’d got a bench and there’d be these two disabled men there. That’s how we used to go in from there.

South Norwood High Street Stories is funded by Historic England’s High Streets Heritage Action Zone programme delivered by Croydon Council. For more information visit www.croydon.gov.uk/southnorwood

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