Bury’s first shoe shine stand?

//Bury’s first shoe shine stand?

Specialist traditional building firm for period properties, Emmerson Critchley Ltd has undertaken a full interior refurbishment of the first floor of Smart Step shoe shop, in Bury St Edmunds, and designed and built the shoe shine chair and the stage on which it’s set. 

Smart Step is one of the few shoe shops in East Anglia that is actually run by a cobbler (a craft that reputedly dates back to the 11th century in Bury). So the Smart Step team really know their shoes from the standpoints of making, repairing and retailing them and the shop has a great traditional heritage and reputation built on this. The Smart Step team asked Emmerson to design and install the traditional shoeshine stand as an adjunct to the refurbishments, which, as a bit of a shoe lover himself, he was thrilled to do and the project became rather a labour of love! 

Emmerson says: “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working on this renovation project for Smart Step. It has actually also combined two great passions of mine – the first is for traditional building techniques and the second, perhaps lesser known, is for beautiful, quality shoes! I’ve also really enjoyed the challenge of designing and installing the shoe shine stand. I believe it will be Bury’s first shoe shine stand to exist for many years and it’s wonderful to help keep a tradition like that alive – fitting also for my building firm which focuses on preserving the past as well as building the future. I look forward to getting my shoes polished at Smart Step on a regular basis!”

About the shoe shine chair, Jamie Smart (director and sole owner of the business) says: “I’m delighted with the results of Emmerson’s work – the shoe shine chair is brilliant. I wanted to offer it as a service as I think it’s a great tradition to uphold and it will hopefully draw people in to see the beautiful range of traditional shoes we offer too. Also, I am also proud to use it as a means of raising money for charity. My grandma suffered from Alzheimers and so I’m going to donate the proceeds made from one day’s takings per a week from the shoe shine chair directly to Alzheimers UK.”

Emmerson says: “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working on this renovation project for Smart Step. It has actually also combined two great passions of mine – the first is for traditional building techniques and the second, perhaps lesser known, is for beautiful, quality shoes! I’ve also really enjoyed the challenge of designing and installing the shoe shine stand. I believe it will be Bury’s first shoe shine stand to exist for many years and it’s wonderful to help keep a tradition like that alive – fitting also for my building firm which focuses on preserving the past as well as building the future. I look forward to getting my shoes polished at Smart Step on a regular basis!”

The story also gained column inches and was featured in this week’s Bury Free Press.

2016-12-15T11:21:45+00:00December 12th, 2016|