Tuesday, December 04, 2007
So far south, he’s only just still on Queens Road, is Jan Kirski, of Superfine Shoe Repairs. I first photographed Jan in his shop about 15 years ago, and then again today. Nothing has changed. He doesn’t even look any older. He is 82, not a bit dodery and as sharp as anybody. Jan was in the Polish navy as a lad and married a Leicester girl, moving to here in about 1953. He is still married to her and they live quite close in a ‘nice house’. He bought the shoe repair business as a going concern from a chap who was retiring. It had once been a fishmongers, hence the tiles, but has been a cobblers, continuously for about 70 years. Jan’s only major investment was to buy a German scuffing and polishing machine when he first bought the business. This has now given faultless service for 50 years, needing only replacement v belts and recently (in the last 10 years) a new electric motor. Entering, it is a living, breathing, smelling museum. NOTHING has changed in about 70 years. If you are ever down this way, take an old pair of shoes in, just for the experience.