Baby’s first shoes

This week I’m sharing items from one of our latest acquisitions, a collection of five pairs of baby’s shoes.

2016-10-2The shoes were worn by Duncan Claridge who was born in Nuneaton in 1949. They date from the late 1940s and early 1950s. Duncan’s aunt was a seamstress and it’s possible that she made some of his first pairs of shoes.

2016-10-32016-10-4It was only in the 1940s that today’s norm of pink for girls and blue for boys began to gain popularity and it took some to become widespread. Before this it was common for boys to wear pink shoes, such as those belonging to Duncan. The design and style of the blue shoes decorated with small flowers and a button fastening also have a long history, resembling those worn by Victorian children.

To care for these new acquisitions I’ve padded the shoes out with acid free tissue paper, which helps to re-create and preserve their shape. The leather shoes have also been treated with Renaissance wax to condition and protect them.

We think the shoes are a lovely reminder of childhood and life growing up in the Borough in the 1940s and 1950s. We’ll look forward to sharing them with you in future displays!


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