Shoegallery’s past fascinates
LEONGATHA Shoegallery, which is currently for sale, has a long and important history in the town.
The site, which covered both Panther’s Mensland and the Shoegallery, was originally operated as a grocery and produce store by the Morris Family.
In the 1940s the shop was divided and Williams the Shoeman moved in.
The Morrises still ran the grocery store on the Panther’s site until 1967, when the current owners, the Pease family, bought the building.
In 1972, Williams the Shoeman closed down and Kevin Howard moved his Bair Street business into the Williams building.
He operated a family footwear business until 2007, when the current business owners, Ted and Bella Egan, moved in.
The business is currently for sale, along with the shoes and items such as a historical Willis floor safe, made in around 1900 in Collins Street, Melbourne, which weighs several hundred kilograms and was used as the shop safe until Friday.
The Leongatha shoe shop has been integral to the lives of two local people who went on to achieve success in the footwear industry.
Vincent Lawrence from Korumburra worked at the store in 1961.
He went on to have his own agency and had two shoe stores in Cranbourne and Sale.
Val Trotter (nee Fox) also worked in the Williams the Shoeman store.
She owns two footwear stores on the Mornington Peninsula and is well respected in the footwear industry.
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