Wedding role is a fitting honour for Norwich shoemaker

Norwich is a city with a great tradition of shoe making – and it is only fitting that local artisans had a part to play in Royal Wedding footwear.

Michael Copland and his business partner Shaun Cubitt got the Royal Wedding call-up to make shoes for the page boys just 10 days before the big day, but, like the wedding dress designer Sarah Burton, they were sworn to secrecy.

The pair, who own D and M Shoes on Renson Close, near Mile Cross, worked late into the night to ensure they met the deadline and the shoes were rushed to London by courier for a fitting on the Thursday before the wedding so they could be worn by Tom Pettifer, eight, and Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, 10, for the dress rehearsal.

'We were rather chuffed to think that we would be able to see them in the newspapers afterwards,' said Mr Copland.

The 64-year-old, who learnt his trade at the former Norwich City Shoe College, is no stranger to royal commissions.The company, which also trades as Broadland Slippers, also makes handmade slippers and house shoes and has made slippers for Princes William and Harry before.

Mr Copland said that this was part of a tradition in Norwich, as Startrite had the royal warrant in 1955 and has made shoes for members of the Royal Family.

'There are not many of us left. I like to think that we are keeping the tradition going,' he said.

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The shoes had black patent uppers, a satin quilted lining, a leather sole and heel and gold buckles. Mr Copland has not yet calculated the cost of the shoes.

The business is a small one. There are just four employees and only Mr Copland and Mr Cubitt actually make the shoes.

The page boys did not even visit the Norfolk workshop for a fitting, the shoe makers were just told the boys' sizes, which were three and four-and-a-half.

D and M Shoes supplies shoes to Ede and Ravenscroft on Chancery Lane in London, which make shoes for court judges.

As well as court shoes, D and M Shoes also makes buckle shoes for the parliamentary official Black Rod and the Beefeaters at the Tower of London.

Have you been approached to make something for a prestigious occasion? Contact reporter Annabelle Dickson on 01603 772426 or email annabelle.dickson@archant.co.uk

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