Blackpool cobbler who clocked up 57 years at Timpson on Talbot Road and Abingdon Street Market dies at 80

A familiar face to generations of people in need of shoe repairs in Blackpool town centre has died aged 80.
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Barry Wood was a dedicated shoe repairer at Timpson for a record-breaking 57 years.After starting with the company as a teenager, he became the longest serving member of the Timpson team, as on his retirement just eight years ago, he was the only person in the company with longer service than the chairman, John Timpson.

On the day he left school at 15 his mum told him to go to the old labour exchange and not to come back until he had a job. He had wanted to be a plumber but the only job available was a shoe repairer for Timpsons, the rest is history.A family member said: “Barry spent most of his working years at Timpson’s Talbot Road and Abingdon Street market locations, making a big impression on customers, who will remember his cheery attitude and excellent craftmanship – a true Timpson legend.”

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He worked across the Fylde Coast including at St Annes where he managed a shop for a while. His incredible skills meant he was the first choice for repairs for local shoe shops, should they need anything fixing including exclusive shoe shop Vernon Humpage which once needed Italian shoes repairing which had been damaged.

Blackpool cobbler Barry Wood who has diedBlackpool cobbler Barry Wood who has died
Blackpool cobbler Barry Wood who has died

"He was always happy to take on the complicated jobs, it was a challenge and he always fixed them. As time went on, Timpsons introduced key cutting, watch repairs and engraving but he didn’t like to be out of his comfort zone, it was the shoe repairs he wanted to do.

"Whenever we went out for the day, to another town and he saw a Timpsons, he would go in, introduce himself and start helping out – he needed his fix, I think.”

He also once made special shoes for a horse which was performing inside the Tower Ballroom, so it didn’t slip on the wooden dancefloor.Barry, who lived in the Stanley Park area, had three sons, five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.His funeral will be held at Lytham Crematorium at 1.15pm on Wednesday, November 15 at 1.15pm, with a wake to follow at Blackpool Cricket Club.