Re Comment By John Howard Norfolk On Wigan Clogs - a Memory of Wigan.
Wigan-made clogs always did have a reputation even way back when - so it's nice to have this confirmation of their quality holding up even to today. I've even discovered that one of my ancestors made his living as a Boot and Clog Repairer having been Apprenticed to a Clogger at a very young age by to-days standards. I unfortunately never did get to own a pair - but oh! how I envied my school friends who did wear them, and could make sparks as they walked along the pavement!!
I do remember however getting a few demerit marks for my House at school in Essex because of clogs - thanks to a few extra notes I added to those I had to write up following a Geography lesson on the cotton industry in Lancashire. Somewhere along the line when visiting one of the more up-to-date mills in Wigan with a teacher from St Michaels (when we were buying muslin to make the angels costumes for a Christmas Nativity play), I was told the reason the mill girls wore clogs was to protect their feet when they were working, particularly in the spinning sections, where in order to keep the humidity levels high to prevent the thread snapping as it was wound, the floor was kept awash with a couple of inches of water in the old Mills. With the advances that had been made the humidity levels were controlled technically in the modern Mills so the use of a couple of inches of swirling water on the floor was no longer a factor, and the wearing of clogs was now really just customary but no longer a necessity. I never did find out why my additional notes were so frowned upon - whether the information was incorrect or not, or if perhaps it was just a case of teaching this pupil, who thought she knew more than the teacher, a lesson in showing the right kind of respect for the teachers knowledge !! Lateral thinking and constructive argument was definitely not encouraged in those far off days!
Interesting though to know clogs do still have a valid use and are still going strong now used by Morris Dancers - thanks for the comment John.
A memory shared by on Feb 6th, 2007. Send Thelma Hurly a message
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