Our Heritage: Clog-making history

David Kenyon.
David Kenyon.

This week, Wray historian David Kenyon concludes his look back at the history of clog-making in Wray.

We feature more of his rarely seen photographs of the clog-making industry, as well as drawings of the clogs themselves and the equipment used to make them.

David also brought to light an old north country saying – “clogs to clogs in three generations” – which was brought about through a generation wearing clogs and which made money, leading to the next generation wearing smart shoes which spent all the money, leading in turn to a third generation with no money which was forced to wear clogs again.

Another well-known piece of writing which ties in with the subject is the 1970s song about LS Lowry, Matchstalk Men and Matchstalk Cats and Dogs, by Brian and Michael.

The song, which spent three weeks at number one in April 1978 and sold 750,000 copies, includes the line “He painted kids on the corner of the street that were sparking clogs” which refers to youngsters making sparks from the irons on the base of their clogs by sliding on the road.