Worcester's Boot and Shoe Industry - While the glove trade
was on the decline in Worcester, the shoe and boot trade was
on the increase. In 1837 the Worcester trade directory listed
71 boot and shoemakers and sellers in Worcester.
of the largest was run by Henry Willis whose company called
Cinderella's was one of the first in Worcester to make
clever use of a brand name to sell his products. This ensured
that his products were easily identifiable. The firm built up
a huge customer base all over Britain and even sold in the British
colonies through the use of travelling salesmen.
When Henry was joined in
business by his brother James in 1860, they went on to build a purpose
built factory in College Street. At the beginning of the 20th century,
James took over at Henry's death and went on to employ more than 350
In 1914 the firm
moved to Watery Lane in St John's however from then on the firms
fortunes changed. Rapid changes in fashion and increased foreign
competition meant that demand for their products decreased.
firm was taken over by Great Universal Stores, and then in 1972
A & H Meltzer a London manufacturer. However it was liquidated