The Willis Cinderella Shoes business started 1n 1848,  and appears to have occupied this site since 1876.  In the 1960’s the business was taken over by Great Universal Stores (Gus), but the factory was closed in 1976 when Gus pulled out of shoe manufacture.

In a 1948 commercial brochure on Worcester, the business is noted as

“The Company is jealous of its reputation for the quality of its productions, being concerned only in the making of high class footwear, covering a compehensive range of Ladies’ Walking, Sports, and Hand Turned Shoes. Recreational facilities in the form of football, cricket, tennis and bowls are enjoyed in ideal surroudings. ……. The Sports Ground, which adjoins the Factory, being one of the finest in the country.”

Most of the factory has been pulled down, however the frontage and what I guess may have been offices remain,2 stories tall.

The most ineresting rooms was near the locked front door;  remains of a tiled wooden floor differentiates the room from the other, bare tiled remains, and the grand fireplace, now in pieces and tidily piled in a corner suggest this was a room of importance, maybe a room for meeting customers or senior management.

Leaving the factory, I walked across a wasteland 200m to the sports ground.  I remember winning my fist cup final here about 17 years ago, and watching a game of cricket on the same field.

A few miutesonline research highlights why the old Pavilion still stands;  I think that thegroud will need a good mow before a player like WG Grace or the Australian team will consider revisiting.  It is not possible to get inside the Pavilion, but outside there is the groundsman’s hut, full of paint and equipment needed to maintain the pitches; left like he walked out, forgetting to come back.

By the cricket pitch, almost lost in brambles, you can still see a scorers hut; it is tempting to go back with some chalk….

If you have any comments on the photos, or if you have any memories from the factory or sportground, please feel free to add them below.

Thanks for reading.

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