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Saturday 7 May 2005 7.20pm
A thing that has bothered many a folk for a long time. I've been wondering and trying to figure this one out for about 7 and a half years now but have so far failed to come up with a plausable reason.

So, Cobblers... they mend shoes right? and seem to be very good at what they do, so fair play to them. But, why are they so good at cutting keys too? Whats the connection?

Only suggestion i had from a friend was that in the olden days you needed keys to start your shoes in the morning.

All replies are most welcome.


P.S. If there are any folk on this forum from the olden days that could shine a light on my friends theory, i'd appreciate it.
Sunday 8 May 2005 12.10pm
Most traders of any description listed in directories with names like AAA1 this or AAA that are all cobblers too.
I wonder, though, whats the most unexpected dual business carried out by a trader under the same roof?
Tuesday 10 May 2005 10.31am
Two possible explanations from a site titled 'Big Questions':

How did the nexus between cobbling and key-cutting arise?

It was not a "natural fit" - they've traditionally been separate professions with their own guilds - as far back as the 1400s in England. The nexus developed over the past 50 years with the rise of franchising and the concept of built-in redundancy.

Once upon a time, shoes were made to last, with the expectation that they would be repaired several times and, quite probably, worn gratefully by several generations before being discarded. Now, you are lucky if your shoes, be they Bata or Blahnik, survive longer than six months, and the traditional cobbler's work has been reduced to replacing poor quality buckles and heels and gluing plastic back onto plastic.

The traditional locksmith's work, similarly, has been diminished. Some genius in the United States noticed this, realised that locksmiths and cobblers are both skilled with their hands and increasingly idle, and decided to create a single, multiskilled, one-man franchise opportunity, called it Mr Minit and retired rich.
Jesse Kasprowicz, Sutherland

A cobbler is a worker in leather. In the dark ages (so called because of the number of knights wandering around), a cobbler made a good and sometimes pleasant living creating and fitting chastity belts for the spouses of knights errant. A creative cobbler could also make a substantial living by providing spare sets of keys for the suitors of the more popular ladies.This was the germ that over more enlightened times became Mister Minit and others of his ilk.
Don Leayr, Albury


Tuesday 10 May 2005 1.08pm
My shoe repairer (I'm Southern and have never been able to use the word cobbler - it is one of those sorts of words like scone and settee that divides the nation) also sells bonsai trees. What is the link there?

Tuesday 10 May 2005 1.10pm
I've never called a scone a settee......
Tuesday 10 May 2005 1.59pm
My Dad used to work in a snooker club that had 6 squash courts.

Quite the opposite ends of the activity spectrum...
Tuesday 10 May 2005 4.57pm
Ivanhoe - it's time for one of your ancient myths, along the lines of Sidhue's red bag please!
Tuesday 10 May 2005 6.52pm
'shops' (and I use the word lightly) that sell you internet access, but also let you send money to Nigeria! (or other far away place where you may need to send moolar)

what's the connection there then?!

any two disparate items in Tesco will probably count as well...
Marmalade, and vacuum cleaners
Fresh Fish, and hair dryers
the list is nearly endless
Wednesday 11 May 2005 9.17am
JonR Wrote:
> > Marmalade, and vacuum cleaners
> Fresh Fish, and hair dryers
> the list is nearly endless
...but they're all tasty recipe ideas in the new JonR cookbook"

...if you press it, they will come.
Wednesday 11 May 2005 9.17pm
Ivanhoe Wrote:
> JonR Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > > Marmalade, and vacuum cleaners
> > Fresh Fish, and hair dryers
> > the list is nearly endless
> ...but they're all tasty recipe ideas in the new
> JonR cookbook"
And I believe filming is taking place in his newly fitted kitchen as we speak ...

A Galloping Gourmet for the 21st century

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