Snobs & Cobblers crack
Cobblers! But no longer ‘snobs’. The art of shoe repairing the traditional way is still in great demand and no-one does it better than Colin Wordley of Grays of Cheltenham on the West End.
Colin owns the company and has diversified to make sure it thrives in the current climate. And he takes huge pride in his business and is always there to greet customers with a friendly chat and a smile.
‘Cobblers’ is the old name for shoe repairers, but Colin explained how they were first called ‘snobs’ as amongst tradesman many years ago they were reasonably wealthy, as they were in constant demand. And he explained that the Patron Saint of Shoemakers is St Crispin.
Colin uses the traditional hand repair methods to get the best results but has modern machinery to keep up with the times. Alongside shoe repairs he also cuts keys and carries out engraving – everything from dog tags to tankards, hip flasks, watches and trophies which he also sells.
The shop is a treasure trove of goods with everything from travels items to laces, polishes, household dyes, umbrellas, handbags for sale and carpet cleaners for hire.
And Colin’s wife Jo has her own laundry and dry cleaning business at the back of the shop with a seamstress on hand to make repairs, shorten garments and curtains and add invisible zips. She can even make garments to order if called for.
Jo said: “We offer a fast but top quality service and in July we are offering 10% off for students. We clean Cheltenham Rugby Club’s kit for them so we must be good!” Jo offers very competitive prices and is happy to talk to any sports club in need of help to keep those kits in tip top condition.
Colin has been a friendly face in the West End since 1990 having taken over from Geoff Gray, the original owner, when he retired. And in 2000 he beat more than 3,000 entries to take the Shoe Repairer of the Year title, which he still holds today.
Though a traditional business, Colin is keeping one foot firmly in the future by advertising his skills though an easy to use website. Check them out at www.graysofcheltenham.co.uk which tells you all you need to know from the opening times to prices and special offers. For instance, their latest offer is 4 garments cleaned for just £14 – bargain!
Grays give a speedy service with most jobs being done while you wait or on the same day. You know it’s a name you can trust!
Grays of Cheltenham is at 275 High Street and open from 9.30-5.30 Monday to Saturday. Call them on 01242 523393 with any requests or queries, they’re always happy to help!