Stockton-based footwear firm Charles Clinkard is celebrating 90 years in business with a light-hearted look back at some of the most famous walks in history.
Managing director Charles Clinkard said: “Because we’re celebrating a big anniversary, we thought we’d take a moment to reflect on all the historic walks of life that have happened while we’ve been around during the past 90 years.”
He went on to highlight how Ramsey MacDonald was the first Labour prime minister back in 1924 when Charles and Eveline Clinkard opened their first shop. Other listings include:
1933 – Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers danced together for the first time in the film Going Down to Rio.
1936 – the 207 Jarrow Marchers wore down their shoe leather on their crusade to Westminster to protest about poverty and unemployment.
1953 – Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tensing Norgay stepped on to the summit of Everest.
1969 – Neil Armstrong made his “One small step for man, one large leap for Mankind” when walking on the Moon.
1976 - the great heatwave, and Eveline Clinkard retired.
Charles Clinkard added: “We were around when Dire Straits did the Walk of Life in 1985 – which we loved, of course – and when the first Brits walked to the North Pole in 2000. And we celebrated every step when the Olympic flame toured the country in 2012.
“Now we’re looking ahead to our centenary and all the walks of life we intend going on with our customers in the next decade – in their own way, we’re sure each and every one of them will be just as epic!”
He is the third generation of his family to run the company, based in Stockton. It employs more than 550 staff and in February this year launched a new branch in Shrewsbury, Shropshire. It is now looking at other potential retail sites around the UK to continue its expansion.
Clinkard was named Personality of the Year in the Footwear Industry Awards in 2013 and received the Special Recognition Award 2013 at the North East Business Executive of the Year Awards in November.
The company reported a rise in revenues to £34.3m for the year ended January 26, 2013, up 3.9% from the £33m posted in its last annual accounts, while pre-tax profits were also bolstered to £1.56m from the previous year’s £1.1m.
Clinkard added: “Our exclusive brand offering is continuing to prove a huge success as we spread around the country from our North East base. I look forward to identifying further opportunities for expansion in the future.”