November 1914

Some shortages were felt very early.

Chorley Weekly News 21 November 1914

Market Street, Chorley

“Dear Sir or Madam

The war is creating a position in the Boot Trade never before experienced in the memory of its oldest member.

The commencement of the war found this country with only normal stocks of leather. Seventy per cent of the World’s supply of calf skins comes from the Continent of Europe.

This supply is now completely cut off.

Orders have been placed in England for millions of pairs of army boots for our Allies. One firm alone received an order from the French Government for one million pairs, which they have since had increased to two million (2,000,000) pairs.

To supply our own men, the Government, in the early part of the war, bought up all the stocks of ready-made and partly finished boots suitable for army purposes, and have now had to commandeer the whole output of  very many manufacturers to keep our own men going.

It is estimated that ten million (10,000,000) pairs of boots will be required for army purposes by March 1915.

The serious shortage of suitable leather has compelled all manufacturers to advance their prices, some 10%, some 20%, and some medium priced are actually advanced 5/- a pair.

At the commencement of hostilities we offered to whole of our stock AT OLD PRICES as long as it lasted.

We are still carrying out our promise although we know we cannot renew our stock unless we pay from 2/- to 5/- per pair more. Some classes of boots we cannot get at any price, neither leather nor labour being available.

If you are likely to require boots during the coming Winter, buy now.

In the future it will not be a question of price, it will be inability to buy reliable boots.

We can guarantee the wear of what we have in stock at present.

Yours truly,