R.E. Tricker Ltd
Business Address: R.E. Tricker Ltd, 56-60 St. Michael's Road, Northampton, NN1 3JX
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About R.E. Tricker Ltd
For 180 years Tricker's shoes have been handmade in Northampton.
The year was 1829 when Joseph Barltrop founded the company. To set the scene from an historical perspective, that same year saw Robert Peel establish London's first uniformed police force, whilst in America, Abraham Lincoln gave his first political speech. Louis Braille invented his system of finger-reading for the blind and Queen Victoria's ascent to the throne was still eight years away. Tricker saw the birth of the modern world, a time for great enlightenment, learning and social reforms. This was the world in which the first retail orders for Tricker's shoes were secured.
Throughout the 180 years of the company's history Tricker has remained a family business and is run by the same family. The Barltrop family has been at the helm for more than 150 years, but we do know Joseph Barltrop was making shoes as early as 1829, although we cannot go back further than this.
The name “Tricker” appears when Walter James Barltrop, son of Joseph Barltrop, married Claire Louise Tricker in 1862. At that time they decided to change the name from Barltrop, which was thought to be not as commercial a name as Tricker, but to carry on the same business which the Founder Joseph Barltrop started in 1829 or before.
Mr. Ernest Raymond Barltrop, son of Walter James, in due course succeeded his father as head of the business. He died in 1956, leaving two sons Ray and Don. Sadly, the elder brother died at a comparatively early age, leaving Don to carry on the family tradition. Don is now the Chairman, and his son Nicholas, is now Managing Director of the business. He is therefore fifth generation!
The factory for many years has been in St. Michael's Road, Northampton. Some 90 operatives are employed, and output is around 1400 pairs a week. Not at all large by present mass production standards, but then after all this is very much a premium, specialist shoe-making business.
Tricker's makes a great variety of footwear. Their shoes for the country have always been a large part of their production. They are particularly renown for their heavy brogue shoes and boots, and these have been adapted for both country walking and town use, and have been extensively used for shooting. In addition the Jermyn Street Collection, a range of beautifully crafted men's classic shoes was introduced in the 1900s and has proved to be extremely popular for both country and city gentlemen alike.
Over the years Tricker's has also been very successful in making velvet slippers with motifs created in either wool, or using real gold wire. This can be done to any design the customer requires and can also be made with the individual's initials or family crest embroidered on the front of the slippers.
However, every company must move with the times and Tricker's now has a large market for both men's and ladies fashion shoes, the majority of which goes overseas. Export is the “life blood” of the company now and approximately 70% of all the shoes are exported throughout the world, where they are accepted as some of the best-quality, hand-made shoes originating from the British Isles.
The company's world-wide reputation has been achieved primarily on the manufacture of the highest quality men's footwear. There is also a pronounced flavour of individuality pervading the scene, as a fair percentage of the production consists of bespoke shoe-making in the form of made-to-measure, hand-welted, bench-made shoes. Indeed, hand sewers are still employed, as well as a last maker, to ensure the correct fitting for the most discerning client. Price is not the vital factor for this kind of requirement.
Tricker's retail shop at 67 Jermyn Street, St James's, London S.W.1 has been established since 1939 and before this was at 87 Jermyn Street from 1925. They pride themselves in their personal service to every customer and are justly proud of the world-wide reputation the shop enjoys.
Back in the twenties, when the late Mr. Ernest Barltrop presented his range to the buyer of a well-known West End Store, he asked £2.12.6d per pair ex-factory, but he lost the order because he was not prepared to give way over the “sixpence” that would lessen the quality of his product. That store still stocks Tricker's shoes today, despite the temporary setback.
Tricker's has been extremely honoured in receiving the Royal Warrant from His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales, and has been a supplier to his Royal Highness for over twenty years. The company supplied his Royal Highness for five years before being given his Royal Warrant. Mr. Nicholas Barltrop, current Managing Director, is the current grantee of the warrant and Tricker's still continues to provide footwear to his Royal Highness as well as to the Royal Household.
It is true to say, whatever the shoe, Tricker's have never deviated from the high standards of craftsmanship laid down at the outset by the company's Founder. Yet, quietly and perhaps rather unassumingly they have kept in step with modern techniques. Now five generations and 180 years later, it is still apparent that the great spirit of that age and the core principles of quality, innovation, durability, skill, adventure and success are stitched into every pair of shoes that leaves the company's premises in St. Michaels Road, Northampton.
In a pair of Tricker's you make your own history . . .