The old Richmond shoe factory closed in 1989, 320 people were made redundant… it was a sad day. For the previous ten years it had been constantly on the news that ’Globalisation’ was the new way forward, and our type of ’low tech’ manufacturing was considered to be no longer desirable in England. We were told that the future was in financial and service industries. My working life had been making shoes, and I had always enjoyed ‘making things’… so that’s how in 1989 Altberg was started. Most people thought it was completely mad, but I didn't really know anything else...
I'm now 70 years old (2017), and I still work everyday in my factory in Richmond, and one week each month in the factory in Italy… and now I'm working with the next generation. We are a small group of people, but we still work in the old way and they are learning in the same way that I learned and they will carry our bootmaking forward.
Altberg is the last remaining British Bootmaker manufacturing walking boots in the UK. Their factory is small and this enables them to give their full attention to every pair of boots they make.
They have a second factory in Italy but continue to manufacture at their original factory in Richmond, Yorkshire. where you can make an appointment for trying on and boot fitting.