A mending story: The Menders


‘The finisher dominates one wall of the cramped workspace at the back of the shop. Ali spends most of his time back here while Simon works the front of the shop. Shoes begin in the 'day boxes'--a rough system for sorting out work by day of the week. The 'benching' process follows on, with any stitching or replacement of material. Once the major work is done the shoe goes in the 'benched up' box, before moving on for buffing and brightening on the finisher. The easy conjunction of man and machine in this image captures something of the spirit of work in this place, Ali's body held against the functional curve of the bulky device, in his element.

A Menders glossary: long soles, short soles, insoles, outsoles, "pleather", combinettes, blakeys.’
– Caitlin DeSilvey

One of twenty photo essays featured in the book Visible mending: Everyday repairs in the South West ︎︎ published by Uniformbooks.

© S Spring 2024