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The numbers employed in London's boot and shoe industry declined from 43,000 to 28,000 between 1861 and 1911. Shoe production largely transferred to provincial factories, but the shoe repairing trade continued to thrive in London. Skilled shoe repairers established workshops in high streets and undertook the stitching and repair of broken 'uppers' as well as the replacement of leather soles and heels. Sydney Sanders used this workbench and the tools in his shoe repair shop in Goldhawk Road, Hammersmith. There is a loose panel beneath serving as a shelf, and a dividing bar across the top for holding tools. Sanders' grandfather established a boot- and shoemaking and repairing business in Hammersmith in 1897, which Sydney joined when he was 14.
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