Within Cobbs Lane

20th June 2012




Anarchy was a word I used to describe Dr Martens in the 80s/90s, I didn’t know what the word meant back then, but I remember witnessing the punk movement and The Sex Pistols influence as a wee child.  My family and I used to visit Trafalgar Square every month (where punks used to hang around in groups) to feed pigeons yes, those flying rats, I remember seeing a tall skinny lad dressed in tight leather outfit adorned with studs and spikes, with a distinctive ‘Circle A’ symbol graffitied on the back.  Paired with a calf-high lace up Dr Martens boots, and his hair? The obvious bleached-red mohawk, which spanned the length of an arm.  A memory I’ll never forget (#FirstandForever).





A while ago before the menopausal weather saga, a large group of international press and I visited the Dr. Martens Factory in Northampton, to see how the shoes are constructed.  The factory is located in the heart of villagey Cobb’s Lane in Wollaston, the original home of the iconic Dr. Martens boot since 1901.

Witnessing the production process on the factory floor was mind blowing, taking the boot through the various stages of evolution forms a finished product in a neatly wrapped up box.  The roaring noise from the mean machines, the smell of freshly cut leather and melted adhesive, and the joy of watching a highly skilled machinist placing the upper and sole sandwiched together against a heated blade (with fire) which is kept at 700 centigrade, I can’t imagine burning your fingers with this molten hot blade.

A full detailed structured process can be read on the Art of Industrial Manufacture page.





If you are happen to be in Cobb’s Lane area, you must visit their factory shop which sells pretty much all the styles at £25, I am not kidding.

Many thanks to Dr. Martens and Exposure for inviting me to press trip.  Made in England rocks!

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  • Reply Gabby D 20th June 2012 at 16:18

    Lucky girl!

  • Reply Eva Forever and Ever 20th June 2012 at 16:23

    Incredible scenes of the making process, so proud of my English made DMs.

  • Reply Jade 20th June 2012 at 18:10

    Wow what an insightful behind the scenes and the machinery looks fierced.

  • Reply Ronelle 20th June 2012 at 18:11

    £25 for all styles? You got to be joking me.

  • Reply Sarah Lise 20th June 2012 at 18:35

    You have a sharp memory, I grew up in the grunge era, best times.

  • Reply Becky | 20th June 2012 at 18:45

    I love these behind the scenes glimpses: obviously I KNOW it’s not easy to make shoes but until you get this type of sneaky peek you can’t fully appreciate the craftsmanship that really does go into making a design classic like this.

    Becky | x

    p.s. £25?! I’m there 🙂

  • Reply Eleonor 20th June 2012 at 19:00

    Beautiful photography as always. xxx

  • Reply katrina 20th June 2012 at 20:29

    i have 2 pairs of UK-made docs. they were quite an investment, but i love them. but 25 British pounds at the factory — what a steal!

  • Reply Francesca Him 20th June 2012 at 22:09

    Interesting behind the scenes photos.

  • Reply Apple Choi 20th June 2012 at 22:11

    My boyfriend is a Doc Martens fanatics with a collection of 8, I have 1.

  • Reply Elizabeth Lau 20th June 2012 at 22:13

    Can I be your assistant next time you have a factory visit, LOL? Love these photos of a glimpse into Dr Martens’ production in progress.

  • Reply Curly Claudia 20th June 2012 at 23:53

    I’m so jealous of you and the press team went. The footwear are expensive but after seeing this, it’s worth every penny.

  • Reply Rika 20th June 2012 at 23:55

    dr martens rock!

  • Reply George Gently 21st June 2012 at 00:27

    I noticed Dr.Martens are organising factory tours for online press and bloggers every 6 months, I got to point out your photography is the best one, the hot blade is my favourite part.

  • Reply The Douuk 21st June 2012 at 02:15

    Fascinating insight.

  • Reply a la mode 21st June 2012 at 07:57

    This is so awesome! I wish I could have gone to this.

    I can’t believe they keep that fire at 700 degrees, that’s insane!

    I definitely want to stop by the factory shop sometime.

    • Reply Kit Lee 21st June 2012 at 12:40

      @a la mode and Duck Exposure organises press tour pretty much every 6 months, the tour was a.m.a.z.i.n.g! The factory shop is quite small with limited stock with sizes UK5-6.

  • Reply Duck 21st June 2012 at 10:02

    Woah jealous you got to see all this! Can anyone drop by the factory store?? It might be worth the transport if I stock up on shoes for the year…

  • Reply wreminiscence 21st June 2012 at 13:10

    I love dr marten.

  • Reply Rainermaid 21st June 2012 at 13:13

    Omg I want to go there.

  • Reply Pek 22nd June 2012 at 15:38

    Amazing post and very interesting stuff you got here!

  • Reply Lola 23rd June 2012 at 14:10

    I absolutely LOVE stuff like this, seeing how much work going into them makes the buying process so much better. I remember reading somewhere about the triple stiching which makes it so easy to spot a fake doc martens to real, doc martens have never appealed to me but recently I spotted their stock of floral brogues, fell in love instantly!

    • Reply Kit Lee 23rd June 2012 at 20:04

      @Lola I bought a pair of white floral print DM today!

  • Reply joy 25th June 2012 at 02:32

    Sweet factory tour. Would love to go visit Doc Martens HQs!!!!

  • Reply Michelle Lee 28th June 2012 at 12:04

    omg that’s a lovely price lol

  • Reply she 28th June 2012 at 21:34


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