Sanders & Sanders Ltd was established in 1873 by Brothers William and Thomas Sanders of Rushden, Northamptonshire. William Benjamin Sanders was apprenticed to the shoe and boot trade as a lad, and then went on to working in London as clicker before returning to Rushden in 1871 at the end of the Franco Prussian War, with the vision of setting up his own shoemaking business with his brother.
By 1873, they and their five craftsmen had a workshop in the centre of Rushden town. The labour was hard; the hours were long and with only five men to accompany them they were faced with an on-going endeavour. However it wasn’t long before they moved premises further up the street into a larger building.
The factory began to expand; orders were increasing so William and Thomas began to employ more craftsmen and out workers, in 1912 Sanders & Sanders moved to Spencer road, located on the outskirts of Rushden, taking around 70 workers with them. However the uppers were still being constructed by outworkers in the surround area, and were bought back to the Factory to be finished.
As machinery became more advanced, and Charles Goodyear had provided the shoemaking industry with ‘Goodyear welting’ machines, the process sped up remarkably. So as War struck and boots were at their highest demand, the factory was producing almost 6000 pairs of army boots per week. When the war had ended in 1918 the demand in shoes hadn’t, still around 5000-6000 pairs of shoes were still leaving the factory and being delivered to customers all over the country.
Today, Sanders & Sanders remains in the same factory on Spencer road as it has done for the past century, and is known throughout the world as the very best in English elegance, and exports to over thirty countries across five continents.