The Wheatley boot and shoe making business was founded in 1817 by Josiah Wheatley (1791-1851). His son Arthur Josiah Wheatley (1835-1904), one of seven children, was married twice – firstly to Fanny Price (1835-1869) 30 Oct 1860 in Tewkesbury (5 children: Arthur Handel Wheatley – the eldest, Fanny Elizabeth, Ellen Blair “Helen”, Josiah John Langham “John”, Albert George D.) and secondly to Fanny Loxley in 1871 (7 children: Anne Maria, Alfred Joseph, Anne Maria Ada, Horace Frederick, Mary Ann Laura Day, William Henry, Thomas).

Arthur Handel (1861-1937) had married in Worcester 15 July 1886 to Patience Maria White (1861-1939) in a double wedding with her sister Mary Ann to William Ganderton, both daughters of Mr & Mrs Job White of 15 High St, Evesham. Arthur ran a confectionery and furniture business at 53 Port Street, Bengeworth and had the distinction of being the first to sell perambulators in the town. In 1903, six months before his father’s death he bought the goodwill of the boot making business and his previous business was carried on by his daughter. Arthur Handel has actually stared working for Arthur Josiah at the age of eleven and was the only son to follow his father in the boot making business. Now the business was his and he continued until he retired in 1928 when he turned the firm into a limited company and then acted as the managing director until his death in 1937 at the age of 75.

Arthur Handel’s death warranted an article in the local newspaper, he being such a well known figure and one of its oldest tradesmen in the town. He was survived by his wife, three sons and three daughters, out of a family of nine children. Took place at 2pm June 19th 1937 at St Laurence Church, Evesham.

This marvellous Arthur Josiah Wheatley advertising flyer of around 1887 for the use of retailers shows Wheatley’s Waterproof Composition sold for 2d, 6d, 1s and 2s. It shows that the product had a good distribution chain with wholesalers in Kendal to the north, Norwich to the east, Bristol to the west and Brighton to the south. Its use wasn’t limited to boots, but saddlery and the feet of humans and horses alike.
The reverse of the leaflet carried effusive testimonials to the efficacy of the composition.
Wheatley's Waterproof Composition
Wheatley's Waterproof Composition

A Wheatley bootmakers
22 Bridge Street EveshamThe business address of Arthur H Wheatley in 1887 was Paris House, 43 High Street, Evesham (no longer extant). The later shoe shop premises at 24 High Street, Evesham is also no longer in existence. The old photo above shows either 43 or 22 High Street with the trademark displayed on a large plaque above the door. The much later shop, 22 Bridge Street, Evesham, still exists and is currently an opticians. When the business was sold in the 1960s the premises were taken over by Magpie Antiques (now at 1 High Street, Evesham) who found in the attic a load of unused tins wrapped in 1920’s newspaper.

Wheatley Ltd brown paper bagArthur Handel Wheatley premises from 1902 is still extant – 56 & 57 Port Street, Evesham – which he advertised as the cheapest shop in town and sold earthenware, tinware and other household goods. His brother Horace Frederick Wheatley (1876 – 1934) ran a butchers shop at 1 Bewdley Street, Evesham, opening a second butchers shop in Badsey in 1902.
Handel Wheatley, Evesham
56-57 Port St Evesham
57 Port Street, Evesham – Arthur Handel Wheatley’s store continued to be run by his daughter when he took over his father’s boot business.

Photo and historical information supplied by Anne Humphries, Arthur Handel Wheatley’s great granddaughter who, as a child, helped in the Moreton-in-Marsh shop which was run by members of the family. “I lived in Moreton and as a child spent a lot of time at the shop “helping” – how helpful I was I don’t know but have fond memories of this 1950s and 60s typical shoe shop – stacked boxes of shoes and slippers, wellingtons, Bear Brand stockings and shoe polishes.”


On the label

High class boot polish
For Glace, box calf, and all leathers
Black
The Avon Boot Polish
Preserves the leather
Manufactured by Wheatley’s Leather Stores, Evesham – Keep lid on

This black on green printed tin of polish was made prior to 1928.
Avon boot polish
This photo shows the enamelled metal door finger plate, used as advertising material for resellers.
Avon boot polish
Photos: David Pratt

On the label

Novino
black boot polish
Reg. No. 404595
for polishing and preserving all kinds of leather
Polish Works, Evesham
Directions – apply small quantity on brush and rub briskly , finishing with a soft cloth, when a brilliant polish will be obtained.

5.5cm and 10.5cm diameter tins. The Novino products illustrated were made prior to 1928.
Novino boot polish
Photo: David Pratt

On the label

Novino
brown boot polish
Reg. No. 404595
for polishing and preserving all kinds of leather
Polish Works, Evesham
Directions – apply small quantity on brush and rub briskly , finishing with a soft cloth, when a brilliant polish will be obtained.

Novino brown boot polish
Photo: David Pratt

On the label

Wheatley’s Waterproof Composition
No more damp feet
Guaranteed to waterproof, soften and preserve all leathers
Awarded silver medal at Stourbridge 1881
Sole manufacturers Arthur H. Wheatley Ltd. Evesham

This tin of dubbin (by any other name) was manufactured post-1928 but had been in manufacture since at least 1877.
Wheatley's waterproof composition
Photo: David Pratt

On the label

Black
Avon Boot Polish
Preserves – Polishes
Sole Manufacturers Arthur H. Wheatley Ltd, Evesham. – Waterproof

Avon boot polish
Photo: David Pratt



This page was last updated: 13th April 2013