Wollaston's Dr Martens HQ welcomes Gregg Wallace inside the factory

The programme is scheduled for January 19 at 9pm

By Alison Bagley
Wednesday, 19th January 2022, 10:16 am

A world-famous Northamptonshire boot and shoe business will feature in a BBC TV programme that lifts the lid on the manufacturing process of the UK's most iconic brands.

Presenter Gregg Wallace will be seen in the next episode of Inside the Factory and will visit Airwair International Ltd in Cobbs Lane - Wollaston's home of the Dr Marten boot.

Staff at the factory were filmed as the famously-excitable Mr Wallace was talked through every step of production of a pair of Dr Martens original 1460 leather boots.

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Upper hand - Gregg Wallace sees how Dr Marten's boots are made

Learning the history behind the famous shoe-making terms including revamp, clicking and skiving, at one point Mr Wallace, who rose to fame as a MasterChef judge, likens cutting out the leather to 'cutting out biscuits’.

Shown around the factory by operations manager Steve Bent, Mr Wallace learns that they process about 590,000 ft of cow leather – enough to cover the floor space of Windsor Castle.

The factory has been in business for 120 years, producing boots for policemen and pop stars alike but the famous 'Docs' debuted on April 1, 1960, hence its 1460 moniker.

Questioning staff as to the meaning of skiving - "So how did it come to mean being lazy?" - Mr Wallace was given a whistle-stop tour of each stage meeting clicker Amber Leighton to cut out 14 sections for his pair of boots.

Gregg Wallace - Inside the Factory at Wollaston's Dr Marten's

Mr Wallace is told that in a traditional shoe factory all the operations before the skiving room involved standing up - the first machine to come with a seat allowed workers to sit down and 'skive off'.

Watching all of the 3,000 stiches needed to complete a pair of ‘uppers’, he is also shown how 16 metal eyelets are punched into the front ready for the laces, before he meets Tanya Granahan in the closing room.

Mr Wallace is then seen giving the boots complete with an ‘inspected by Gregg’ label.

Elsewhere in the episode, Cherry Healey sees how machines use 350m of yarn to make a single pair of shoe laces and the secret of how to make a pair of children’s wellies.

Mr Wallace is a judge on Master Chef

In the same episode, historian Ruth Goodman reveals the story of a British shoemaker that elevated ladies’ shoes from risqué music hall performers of the 19th century to gracing the feet of the Queen of England, and she explores the origins of football boots and the England team’s boot emergency at the 1950 World Cup.

The programme is scheduled for January 19 at 9pm