Eaton Clubman Golden Jubilee! 1958

Now normally, I’m with Herb Lester, in preferring the playboy in a chukka. There’s something nice and solid about the feeling of facing the world in a good pair of suede chukka boots.

However, these Eaton Clubman shoes look so nice I had to post this vintage 1958 advertisement from the trade papers. It’s worth noting too, that this earlier model of the Eaton playboy has the leather piped welt at the top of the foxing. Later models used a moulded crepe foxing that gave only the impression of being goodyear welted.

A chukka model is also listed in the advertisement, but something I’ve never seen in the flesh. In Britain in 1958 these shoes were part of the slow morphing from the Edwardian style, through the Tony Curtis and Italian look, into modernism.

This ad came from the simple but effective website of the Rushden Heritage Society. Just look how many shoe manufacturers existed in one tiny Northamptonshire town in the 50s and early 60s. Also of interest is the extent to which the American post war look dominated these British fashion brands.

Rushden Heritage website here


  1. Thanks for sharing this. It’s interesting to me to look up the locations listed in these ads on google maps and see if the “factory” is still there. What’s puzzling is how many different companies made shoes at a time when there were fewer people to make them for. It saddens me to think what outsourcing has done to Britain’s (and much of the Western worlds) manufacturing sector.

    1. Hi Tom, Rushden is a place I know well. Most of the factories are either residential flats now or standing empty. Unfortunately, from the 1980s onwards no British people wanted to work in a factory and if they did accept factory work they were not prepared to spend the years needed to learn the skills involved in hand cutting, lasting, closing etc. If these products had continued to be made in Britain with British labour the average pair would be around £250 – £300 at which point the consumer would not pay the price! Even at these prices one of the last existing Rushden based makers Alfred Sargent was rescued from near bankruptcy last year.

  2. At the bottom of the Rushden Research Group link there is a business listed- Clifford Collins Ltd. on Harborough Road. They are still at 53 Harborough Road (approx.) and still in the leather business.

  3. Stirling (cooper..) work there Weejie! These look a tad more robust than the Playboy shoes JS sold me many moons ago where the foxing was simply glued on and quite quickly began to come away from the sides. NOT a good look…

    1. Indeed, like export Directors who never went abroad, the curse of the ‘third generation’ of factory owners with no no desire to modernise or even support their own product by wearing it. Watched it all happen first hand many times over.

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