The Shoemaker's Window - George Herbert
Banburyshire Family History

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Recollections of Banbury Before the Railway Age

George Herbert 1814-1902

George Herbert was born in 1814 the son of a plush weaver in Banbury, he was asked when in his 80's to write his memories of Banbury before they were lost, for the benefit of future generations. These memories were written in letter form and the book "Shoemaker's Window", before the coming of the railway to Banbury; is this collection of unedited letters. They are produced as they were written, grammatical errors and all, as well as a liberal use of dialect words, but these add colour to the reminiscences.

George firstly recounts his own life in abbreviated form; how his father said he could not be an apprentice plush weaver and how he came to be an apprentice cobbler, eventually setting up his own business in Banbury. However his high quality products were his downfall as the rich and famous came to him for boots and shoes, but had a long credit slate! He was made bankrupt. He talks of his many "hobby horses" one of which was photography and this became the business he established for the remainder of his life.

George goes on a perambulation of the Banbury he grew up in with graphic descriptions of the living conditions and frank opinions of the local personalities.

A most enjoyable and absorbing read.

Reviewed by Barry Marriott

"Shoemaker's Window"
Recollections of Banbury Before the Railway Age
By George Herbert

Edited by
Christina S Cheney

Second Edition with an Introduction by Barrie S Trinder
Published for the Banbury Historical Society
By Philimore London & Chichester 1971 as Records Volume Ten
First published 1948 by B H Blackwell Ltd Oxford 1948
Second impression 1949
SBN 900592 5302