'It was very nerve-wracking but an honour' - Prince Charles visits Kettering shoemaker

A Kettering shoemaking factory welcomed the Prince of Wales this afternoon as part of a visit to cobblers in Northamptonshire.

Tuesday, 29th January 2019, 4:23 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 6:40 pm
Chelise Porter meets Prince Charles

Prince Charles was visiting Gaziano & Girling, the shoemaker with a shop in London's Savile Row and a showroom in New York who opened their Kettering factory in Balfour Street 10 years ago.

The prince toured the factory floor, observing how the handcrafted footwear is put together and seeing first-hand the manufacturing skills needed to create both bespoke and ready-to-wear shoes.

Chelise Porter meets Prince Charles

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The heir to the throne signed the visitor book after meeting staff and was gifted a pair of bespoke shoes emblazoned with the Prince of Wales' crest.

"It was very nerve-wracking but an honour," said assistant supervisor Chelise Porter, who has worked at the factory since 2013.

"He asked me how long it takes to hand sew a pair of shoes and I was honest."

She added: "He seems like a very lovely man - you could see he had a genuine interest.

Pete Bultitude, Dean Girling and Tony Gaziano talk to His Royal Highness

"It's been a brilliant day."

Pete Bultitude, a patina artist at the factory, paints the colour on the shoes using dyes.

"It was amazing meeting him because he's such a nice guy and he puts you at ease when he speaks to you," he said.

"He shook my hand and I was like 'Wow! I've just shaken the future King of England's hand!'"

Roger Smart, who works next to Pete, said: "He wasn't going to speak to me but then when he stopped he was just so genuine.

"I thought I'd be all tongue-tied but he was so easy to talk to."

Earlier in the day, Prince Charles visited another of the county's shoemakers, Tricker's in Northampton.