The Story Behind Sanders & Sanders – A Brief History

Sanders & Sanders Ltd. (originally named Sander Bros.) was established in 1873 by Brothers William and Thomas Sanders of Rushden, Northamptonshire. William Benjamin Sanders started off as an apprentice in the shoe and boot trade and then followed on to working in London as a clicker, then returned to Rushden in 1871 with the idea of starting up his own shoe making business with his brother.

By 1873, The Sanders brothers had their own workshop in the centre of Rushden town along with 5 craftsmen but it wasn’t long before they eventually moved into a larger building. As the factory started to expand and the orders were increasing, the brothers employed more and more craftsmen and out workers and in 1912 they and their 70 workers relocated to the outskirts of Rushden to Spencer Road, however the uppers were being crafted in the surrounding area and were brought back to the factory to be finished.

Over time machinery became more advanced and Charles Goodyear provided the Sanders & Sanders company with Goodyear Welting machines, speeding up the shoe making process. When World War I began, boots were at their highest demand and the factory was producing almost 6000 pairs of army boots a week.

Due to the war, the business’ profits were high, but unfortunately in 1924 their factory went up in flames and the estimated damage was £45,000, equivalent to £2,700,000 today. Despite this tragedy, the Sanders brothers went on to rebuild the factory and installed the latest B.U Machinery and the factory was expanded so the whole process could be done under one roof.

Once Mr William Sanders retired, he left the company in his three sons’ hands, William, Thomas and Leslie. Sanders & Sanders is now in its 5th generation of Sanders and is producing over 2000 pairs of the finest shoes and boots every week. Today, the company still remains at the same factory on Spencer Road and is known worldwide and exports to over thirty countries across 5 continents.

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