A few years ago I was cycling from Paris to Rouen when my Carradice saddle bag fell apart at the seams while crossing the Passerelle de l’Avre, but I was lucky enough to find a Versailles cordwainer to fix it, and it has been brilliant ever since.
This trip I’m wearing new cycling shoes made by William Lennon’s in Derbyshire. Since the very beginning the rubber sole on the bottom has been separating from the leather until today they were just flapping about on my feet.
So I’m in Chateaubriant for a rest day tomorrow and at 5pm went in search of a cordwainer. Found one who was due to close at 6pm and not re-open until Tuesday. But he managed all the same to get the soles stuck back on.
Here he is, waining my cords:
So the story seems to go like this: you buy something from one of the traditional English cycle touring brands whose name reverberates down the decades. It falls apart within a few days of crossing the channel. A French cordwainer fixes it.
Vivent les cordonniers de la France!
Que leur renommé retentisse au fil des siècles!