Special guest at screening of Kinky Boots in Raunds

Steve Pateman at the film afternoon in Raunds yesterday (Wednesday)
Steve Pateman at the film afternoon in Raunds yesterday (Wednesday)

A special guest donned a fabulous pair of boots for the screening of a film based on his time as manager of an Earls Barton factory.

Everyone is talking about Kinky Boots at the moment as it returns to the county for the stage show of the 2005 smash hit film.

Steve Pateman with Raunds' deputy mayor Cllr Lee Wilkes

Steve Pateman with Raunds' deputy mayor Cllr Lee Wilkes

Steve Pateman is the real life Charlie Price - the man who saved his family’s traditional shoe factory, WJ Brookes in Earls Barton, by branching out into footwear for men who like to dress as women.

And Steve was in Raunds yesterday (Wednesday) for a special screening of the film based on his time as factory manager.

He attended the film afternoon run by Raunds Town Council at Saxon Hall each month as part of a project to tackle social isolation.

Kinky Boots was chosen as this month’s film ahead of the stage version coming to Northampton’s Derngate and as part of the celebrations for the Nene Valley Festival.

Steve spoke about the film and took along copies of his new book ‘Boss in Boots’ so people could get a signed copy.

He also did a question and answer session, including talking about his connections to Raunds as part of the Coggins family who used to own one of the shoe making factories in the town and originally lived in the Town Hall.

With 100 people booked in for yesterday’s entertainment, it shows the popularity of not only the film but also the monthly film group.

A spokesman for Raunds Town Council said: “Local demographics and informal consultation showed a large number of older people in Raunds, many living alone and feeling isolated.

“So the council looked at ways of tackling this issue and the idea of a film afternoon was born.

“Film afternoons were chosen as it is an easy environment for people to attend alone.

“We launched in August 2017 with 43 people attending the first event.

“By Christmas 2017 over 140 local residents attended, most of them older residents, many coming alone, but meeting up with their new friends at the event.

“The success of the afternoons quickly inspired other groups to support the council, local schools volunteered to perform, the WI now provide the tea and cakes, and Serve, a local community organisation, provide transport to residents who need it.

“Most importantly time and time again our residents tell us how much they enjoy coming and how important the afternoons are to them.

“Demand for the event is such that we have now added a monthly coffee afternoon to our program, each month a different activity is planned, anything from board games to bingo to the Bonkers Band and beyond.”

Kinky Boots The Musical is running at the Derngate from September 19 to October 6.