M: This workshop once belonged to master shoemaker Heinz Krechting. You can see his portrait hanging on the wall, along with his master craftsman's certificate, dated the 1st of July, 1958. There’s one thing you need to know about Heinz Krechting: he didn't just make shoes. He was a real local character. One who not only enjoyed his work, but was genuinely fond of people. He priced his shoes in the weirdest way. They would cost, say, 23.94, or 19.77, or 2.90 for repairs.
F: You need a wide range of tools to make shoes: hammers, leather punches, riveting pliers, rasps, knives, smoothing irons, edge bevellers and cutting irons. Wooden pegs, naturally, a tape measure and of course – shoe lasts! A last is a solid form, usually made of wood. It is modelled on the shape of the foot, and the shoe is moulded around it. The heels were attached to the shoes using the wooden pegs, while the rest was sewn together by machine.
M: If you look at the floor, you can see pairs of typical Westphalian wooden shoes. Clogs like these have been worn for centuries – by craftsmen as well as farmers. They’re mostly made of poplar or alder. The wood needs to have a particularly smooth grain and be free from knots. Unlike Dutch clogs, the Westphalian variety is more low-cut and has a leather strap nailed over the instep. That ensures good, solid support for the foot. People could expect to wear out two pairs of clogs a year. In 1914, you’d have paid around 1.20 in German Reich marks per pair.
Fotos: © Heimatmuseum Lette