In 1899, Alfred Sargent, together with his sons Frank and Harry, set up his company Alfred Sargent and Sons in the town of Rushden, Northamptonshire. Sixteen years later, in 1915, Alfred moved to the present site of Portland Road, Rushden. It was the first single story factory built in Rushden and also the first to have electricity, a vast improvement from the old gas lighting of the era.
During the 1940s, the next generation of the Sargent family entered the business. Frank's son Derrick joined the company at a time of tremendous growth in the footwear industry in the county of Northamptonshire, the home of quality English shoemaking, with the Alfred Sargent brand at the centre of this popularity. By the 1960s the fourth generation of Sargents, Paul and Andrew, joined the business, and the traditional manufacture of footwear was gradually infused with the changing trends and styles of fashion. In 1999, under Paul Sargent's stewardship, Alfred Sargent and Sons had now passed its hundredth year of production, joining an elite group of manufacturers that have achieved such a milestone.
Today, shoe enthusiasts from all over the world have expressed a desire for English shoes made in a traditional manner. Many of the old methods of creating a shoe, that Alfred first used in the early 1900s, have been rediscovered with a modern twist to reflect today's style and the quality demands of today's customer. To this day, under that same roof at Portland Road, small groups of master craftsmen take time to select the best calf leathers and suedes, then cut, stitch, last and finish them as generations of Sargents have done for over a century.
Rushden, United Kingdom