Shoe of the Month - September
Shoe of the Month - August - chosen by staff member Clare
Shoe of the Month - July - chosen by staff member Clare
July saw a special visit to the Shoe Museum from Doris Fayne, listen her fascinating story...
When Doris Fayne first arrived in Street as a 7-year-old evacuee she was confused and upset but this month she returned as a feisty 86-year-old on a visit from the USA.
Doris was evacuated the day before the Second World War broke out and was transported by train and bus from the East End of London to Street where she was taken in by the Bond family at 123 High Street. Her elder sister had been left behind as she had just reached her 14th birthday so was too old to be evacuated.
Doris, neé Thorogood, who moved to America when she was 21, popped into the Shoe Museum on her visit with some of her family and told staff her story, including a rendition of an unofficial Clarks song.
She remembered the day she arrived in Street and the family who took her in. It was a culture shock for her and after the distressing journey she remembers waking up the next day and looking out of the window. ‘The first thing I saw was a plum tree. I had never seen anything like that in London.’ She also remembers the Bond’s eldest married daughter taking her shopping and kitting her out in the best clothes including a pair of Clarks shoes.
Her foster father Wilfred Bond spent 50 years as a master cutter for Clarks and Doris knew the Clark family well as she was growing up in Street. However she was adamant that she wasn’t going to work in a factory and bided her time working in a sweet shop until she was 18. Then she was able to get an office job and worked in the planning and ticket office for Mr Marsden. ‘He changed my life’, she said. She was trained as a typist and worked for Clarks until she was 21, including in the Museum building when it was offices, as she remembers seeing the Bear Inn across the road. She also remembers a special party and explained: ‘It was Clarks 125th anniversary party and it went on all night. Clarks had bought the rubble from when the Houses of Parliament was bombed and they made all staff an ashtray with a leather insert with the C&J Clark stamp.’
Her sister had married a GI and moved to Chicago so Doris decided to move to America as well. She has returned to the UK to celebrate the Golden Wedding of her foster parents, Wilfred and Beatrice Bond and also 13 years ago to meet up with their youngest daughter, and Doris’s ‘adopted’ sister, Gwen.