|When the factory first opened they produced 900 pairs of footwear in the first month. Their aim was to produce 19000 pairs a month.
The business did far better than had ever been expected and within 15 years the boots and shoes produced at the factory were on sale in every large town and city in the United Kingdom and they were being exported to Germany, Austria, South Africa, New Zealand and India. At the peak 13000 pairs of boots and shoes were being produced every week.
|A page from the catalogue of shoes made by the factory|
|On the 17th June 1899 William Hinde retired and Joseph Mann took over the factory. By this time the number of people working at the factory had risen to 330.|
|The factory hit hard times in 1920s and 30s and output declined with the competition of cheap low quality shoes. The factory was taken over for essential war materials production in August 1940 when Lodge Plugs started to produce spark plugs for aircraft.
Lodge Plugs had already got a large factory in Rugby, but were looking for a site for a shadow factory, in other words a factory in the countryside, which could avoid the bombings, and Olney was an ideal location. They purchased the factory and continued to use it for some time after the war until the Maxwell Corporation purchased it.
|Today the factory is undergoing another transformation and is to be converted to luxury apartments. During the conversion a glass bottle was discovered that buried by the builders during one of the earlier extensions.|
|Message from inside the bottle|