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Our History

The Ilkley Shoe Company is an Independent family run business. The Ilkley shop was opened in May 2009 but the story starts much earlier than that!

It was 1933 when Tommy Craggs opened his first shoe repair shop in Lovell Road, Leeds. The quality of the repairs, and value for money, meant that Tommy's shop thrived. In addition to his wife, his two sons and two daughters all worked in the shop from a young age, learning the skills and customer service that had made Tommy's shop such a success.

Tommy's youngest son, Peter, started working in the shop full time in 1963 when he was a cheeky 19 year old. By this time, the shop was so busy that Tommy had moved his business to a much larger premises on Camp Road, Leeds.

The following seven years saw extensive redevelopment of the area and the business moved to an even larger premises in the Seacroft Shopping Centre, Leeds. Unfortunately, Tommy passed away in 1965, before the move to the Seacroft shop. Peter married Maureen in the same year and they went on to have two sons and a daughter. Following with tradition, Maureen and the kids all helped out in the shop whenever they could.

Peter's youngest son, Paul, started work in the shop full time when he was 16. The business had now been running successfully for 52 years and Paul worked hard to learn the skills of the trade, as well as the cobblers banter to entertain the customers!

Paul opened the Ilkley shop in May 2009 and it was an overnight success! In addition to Shoe Repairs, Key Cutting and Dry Cleaning, the Ilkley shop was stocked with an extensive range of gent's handmade shoes (by Loake, Trickers, Cheaney and Barker), Hunter Wellington Boots, Ashwood Leather Holdalls, Briefcases and Bags and Unicorn Luggage. In July 2013, the Ilkley Shoe Company premises was extended to include an adjacent unit. This was filled with; Ashwood Leather Jackets, Waxed and Quilted Jackets by Jack Murphy and Hunter Outdoor, and Kanyon Leather Boots. At the same time, the existing range of handmade shoes and Hunter wellington boots was increased and a superb range of Sebago Moccasins was launched.

Paul and Peter now work together (a total of +80 years shoe repairing experience between them) with the indispensible help of Jo Poole (she makes sure the boys are kept in order) and Paul's neice (Peter's Grandaughter) Niamh. The quality of repairs is still as exceptional as it ever was and you won't find a warmer reception!