As a young boy and a big Roald Dahl fan, my dream was to be locked in Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. As a 27-year-old man I found myself in a grown-up version of that dream – The Shoe Room. Only this world of wonderment wasn’t full of sweets, it was full of English-made bespoke shoes.
Richard Smith (aka the Shoe Smith) asked “Right then, what size are ya?”
“I take a ten.”
“Hmmm” he sized up my battered adidas gazelles and said “you’ll take an eight and a half.”
Confident I took a ten and not wanting to cause offence I nodded my head politely, as he handed me a grey suede Chelsea boot. Positioning myself on the luxurious caramel leather chair using a gold-handed shoe horn, I slipped the left boot on with ease, as it hugged my foot and ankle. The support was incredible, I have never felt a more comfy fit of shoe in my life.
“Told you, you were an eight and a half, it all depends on the individuals size and foot shape, and what shoe it is. Guaranteed we are definitely not the same size in every shoe.” And sure enough, his words rang true, I tried on several different pairs and he instructed the size every time. His knowledge and attention to the individual’s shoe structure and manufacture was remarkable. Richard and Michelle Smith were previously business partners at Shoehealer for eleven years and built up a wealth of industry knowledge and fans (having some customers travelling half the country not just to purchase their much revered and sought after shoes, but for the level of honest customer service.) Richard pours me a whisky and reassures: “We’re not going to be the best shoe shop in the North, we’re going to be the best shoe shop in England.”
My eyes dart from shoe to shoe, unable to determine which I liked the most, all beautifully situated under their brand and showcased perfectly. Richard and Michelle told me all about the English factories – Barkers, Loake, and Trickers who still operate in the same way they always have – steeped in craftsmanship and tradition. The canvas behind the front till shows how the Trickers factory which hasn’t changed since the 1940’s. The name The Shoe Room originated from a room called the “Shoe Room” housed in every English shoe factory.
I slip off the best looking and comfiest shoes I’ve ever worn and return to my sorry pair of trainers, Richard recounts being in Edinburgh for a pop-up shop and a man approaching him to ask how much a pair of Trickers were selling for these days. When Richard responded, the man didn’t bat an eyelid and said: “That sounds about right, I bought my Trickers 35 years ago and it cost me a weeks wages. My family and friends thought I’d gone mad!” Richard asked how his Trickers were holding up today, the man replied, “they still only cost a weeks wages.”
The Shoe Room launch their 8, Priory Walk store this Thursday from 4pm with drinks and canapés. Free entry and all are welcome! On the night Richard and Michelle will be raffling off a Tricker’s Valet Box (RRP £350) on the night where all proceeds will go to a brain cancer charity.
Click HERE for their Facebook page, and HERE to check out their Instagram. Liking either will put you in with a chance to win a Barker leather belt worth £95. Get liking, we’ll announce the winner tomorrow night.
The Shoe Room, 8 Priory Walk, Doncaster, DN1 1TS
Lunch hour in Doncaster town centre — a sentence for me which conjures up images of cold pack-up sarnies or eating a soggy chip butty, whilst briskly walking through town, avoiding the Donny downpours — hardly the height of healthy eating.
If you’re looking for a healthy alternative, look no further than Pure. New owner and Donny girl Beckie Metcalfe has retained everything which Pure was known for originally but added a few simple additions… mainly, CAKE. All home-baked, of course.
Some new businesses can be guilty of trying to be ‘everything for everyone’ instead of finding a niche and concentrating on what they are good at, Pure finds its way into even the most calorie conscious heart, whilst catering for the sweet tooth’s amongst us.
Pure’s opening hours are 9.45am until 3pm, Monday to Friday, a simple food menu, a warm welcome – Beckie has that wonderful hospitality knack, of not just remembering a face, but remembering what you ordered last time. Excellent service with a good old chin-wag, providing the queue isn’t out of the door, as it often is around lunchtime!
It’s not just the flatbreads, jackets and salads which are worth shouting about. It’s the smoothies. I swear by the Espresso smoothie. It hands down beats any coffee in Donny. It’s an espresso shot, banana, coconut water, honey, and peanut butter. Costing just £2.50, a proper bargain and a dead cert kickass start to the day.
If a soggy chip butty is no longer tantalising the old taste buds and you’re looking for an original and homely way to spend your lunch hour — pop through to Pure, you won’t be disappointed.
5 Wood St, Doncaster DN1 3LH
Mon – Fri: 9.45am – 3pm
We are looking forward to travelling back in time 100 years on Sunday 23rd July 11am – 4pm with Doncaster 1914–18 project at their ‘Life on the Home Front Day’ at Cusworth Hall. This event is FREE and family friendly, so little Doncolites are very welcome.
Come and see what life was like on Doncaster’s Home Front in 1917, with living history recreations, the chance to try out costumes and crafts, taste wartime food or visit a pop-up farm and traditional fairground.
On the day, Cusworth will be turning back time for a wartime summer gala, revealing how our great-great-grandparents found fun, and supported the home front war effort, 100 years ago. Some of the events going on include:
– First World War Training camp
– Pickling demonstration by the WI
– Funfair with swing boats
– Miniature farm hosted by Land Girls
– Craft activities
– First World War baking (with free samples, see photo above!)
– Dressing up costumes
– The Great War on Tour pop-up museum
– Horseback demonstrations
– Free medical checks
– Music throughout the day
– And much more!
The Floating Cinema makes its way to Donny this Friday and Saturday night and we’re looking forward to enjoying some FREE outdoor cinema at Doncaster Town Lock. Before we take a look at what films are being shown, here’s the main details:
- Venue is Doncaster Town Lock, Marsh Gate, Doncaster, DN5 9AD.
- Site opens at 8pm with music, food and bar.
- Screenings from sunset (9pm– 11.30pm).
- Bring a picnic or buy food and drinks on site.
- Blankets available to hire or bring your own.
Fri 14 July 2017: 20 Feet From Stardom (12)
20 Feet From Stardom is the story of the backing singers who have performed with world-famous bands and musicians such as Sting, Rolling Stones and Michael Jackson. While millions may know their voices, these backing singers never became household names. The story revolves around the vital contribution by backing singers such as Darlene Love to some of the most famous tracks ever recorded, while highlight the constraints these singers navigated within the music industry and society.
Sat 15 July 2017: Whale Rider (PG) FAMILY SCREENING
In a small New Zealand coastal village, Maori claim descent from Paikea, the Whale Rider. In every generation, a male heir has succeeded to the chiefly title. When twins are born, and the boy twin dies, the chief is unable to accept his grand-daughter, Pai, as a future leader. Koro, the chief, is convinced that the the tribe’s misfortunes began at Pai’s birth and calls for his people to bring their sons to him, sure a new leader will be revealed. Pai loves Koro more than anyone in the world, but she must fight him and a thousand years of tradition to fulfil her destiny.
The Floating Cinema is currently touring the waterways from Sheffield to Hull presenting IN DIALOGUE, a programme of feature films, documentaries and a newly commissioned artwork by Leeds based artist Harry Meadley. Our very own Rachel Horne features in one of the short films so we can’t wait to see that up on the big screen.
On Wed 19 July there will also be a screening in Thorne at 8pm with the film All I Desire (U).
Here’s five things which we are really looking forward to this weekend (Friday 30th June – Sunday 2nd July) in la Donx.
Number 1 — EID in Sandall Park – Sat 11am—5pm – FREE
Donny’s very first Eid in the Park at Sandall Park brought to us by the incredible Young Muslimahs! This is set to be an amazing community event, with lots to see and do throughout the day including fairground rides, kids’ entertainment and plenty of food and sweet treats! Oh and there’s a bouncy castle…
Click HERE to go to the Facebook event page.
Sandall Park, DN2 4 Doncaster
Number 2 — Tony Christie at Conisbrough Music Fest – Sat 11.30am–10.30pm – £10 / £3
Conisbrough Music Festival returns for its third year bigger and better. With five stages of music, with the headline act being Conisbrough’s most famous son Tony Christie himself. Facebook event page HERE.
Conisbrough Welfare Field, Welfare Ave, Conisbrough, Doncaster DN12 3NH
Number 3 — Sherri Wood School of Dance at CAST — Sat & Sun 7.30pm – £12.50 / £10.50
An energetic, fast-moving dance spectacular from one of Doncaster’s leading dance schools. To book tickets online click HERE.
Number 4 — The Kabal w/support Infirmity at Vintage Rock Bar – Sat 8pm –£2
Two local rock treats this Saturday: The Kabal are an alternative Punk band based in the Donx and Infirmity are a four piece alternative British rock band currently based in Mexborough. For the Facebook event page click HERE.
Number 5 – Tildon Krautz w/support Tim Manning at Roots Music Club – Fri 7.30pm – £8
Tildon Krautz are originally from Brooklyn NYC & France and their blend of Bluegrass, old-time folk, jazz and blues delivers a classy mixture of unique ‘rootsy’ sounds; a style of their own which they like to call ‘anti-rational rabbit folk’. For tickets click HERE.