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.