George Herbert 1814-1902
George Herbert was born in 1814 the son of a plush weaver in Banbury, he was asked when in his 80's to write his memories of Banbury before they were lost, for the benefit of future generations. These memories were written in letter form and the book "Shoemaker's Window", before the coming of the railway to Banbury; is this collection of unedited letters. They are produced as they were written, grammatical errors and all, as well as a liberal use of dialect words, but these add colour to the reminiscences.
George firstly recounts his own life in abbreviated form; how his father said he could not be an apprentice plush weaver and how he came to be an apprentice cobbler, eventually setting up his own business in Banbury. However his high quality products were his downfall as the rich and famous came to him for boots and shoes, but had a long credit slate! He was made bankrupt. He talks of his many "hobby horses" one of which was photography and this became the business he established for the remainder of his life.
George goes on a perambulation of the Banbury he grew up in with graphic descriptions of the living conditions and frank opinions of the local personalities.
A most enjoyable and absorbing read.