Saturday, July 13, 2013

John Ward, clogger

Clogger's tools
cc licensed ( BY NC ND ) flickr photo shared by Kevin Harber
John Ward (1842-1905) was a "clogger". In other words, he made the tough wooden-soled, metal-tipped lace-up clogs worn by labourers and mill workers all over Britain during the 19th and early 20th century.

Some cloggers were itinerant, but most villages had one or more resident clog-makers who made clogs on order, individually fitted to the buyer's feet. The traditional village clogger usually carved the wooden soles themselves, before cutting the leather uppers and nailing them in place. A well made pair of clogs was waterproof and would last for years.

John possibly learned some of his trade in Walton le Dale from his father Richard, who was a bootmaker. He continued as a clogger when he moved to Littleborough, then to Rastrick and finally to Milnrow. Whether he worked from home (as in the picture below) or had a workshop elsewhere I've yet to discover.

Clogger's Shop in Weaver's Cottage Museum - - 528761
Clogger's shop in a weaver's cottage museum

More information about English clog making:

The Last Clog Maker in England - series of YouTube videos on clogs and clog making by Jeremy Atkinson

Informative website by Chris Brady

Clogs (Mike Cahill, maker and repairer of traditional English clogs)

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