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At the Pattenmakers’ Footwear Dinner
At the Pattenmakers’ Footwear Dinner

There are worse ways to spend a Friday evening than enjoying good company and good fare at The Vintners’ Hall in the City of London.

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The occasion was the 13th Annual Footwear Dinner organised by The Worshipful Company of Pattenmakers, my Livery Company. Among the chums spotted there were:

James Ducker of bespoke shoemakers Carré Ducker, who I’d seen only the night before;

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Ken Bartle, late of Jones Bootmaker and much before that, with his son Paul (who, perhaps wisely, is not in the cheap stone island xxl footwear trade);

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and women’s bespoke shoemaker Caroline Groves with her daughter Rosie and Jim McCormack, legendary shoemaker of Mayfair;

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and shoemaker Nicholaos Moustakas and Isabel de la Roche, a footwear designer with Kurt Geiger.

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Our after-dinner speaker was Rory Mackenzie, a British Army veteran who lost a leg on active service in Iraq. Rory is a Freeman of the Pattenmakers, and a recipient of special footwear made by Bill Bird, another Pattenmaker who creates footwear for badly injured serviceman as part of the Company’s charitable work..

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Bill Bird is here on the right with me and Past Master Richard Paice, who was instrumental in having me join the Company. Thanks, cheap stone island xxl Richard!

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The Vintners’ Hall, at 68 Upper Thames Street, EC4, was built between 1667 and 1676 after its predecessor was lost in the Great Fire of London in 1666. It was heavily damaged during The Blitz, but this beautiful oak-panelled room has survived. It’s a great privilege to see places like this.

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