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#247349 Good bye from me .

Posted by Technical Tony @ Davenport on 19 June 2015 - 06:36 PM

Hello, I just wanted to add a post to say that after 18 1/2 years I am now leaving SKS .
It's been a great place to work and I will miss it loads .

Little story to get me back to me 😃
When I 1st started at SKS or I should say before , my real name is Tony ...
Sadly for myself when I started at my new job the MD was called Tony
Also there was a rep on the road called Tony ..
So I agreed to have my second name of John .
Strange to me but not really my family
My Dad was called Doug , but all the family called him John
My Granddad was I think actually called John ..
So now third one in the family being called John again .
This got a little confusing when my wife also started to work for SKS for a few good years there .
I was John during work time and Tony at home ..
Now after all these years I answer to both so easily .. Lol

So back to Tony .. Technical Tony 😝 I like the sound off that more 😃

I am sure I will post on here in the future but .. Think I will reopen a new user as Tony

See you all soon 🍺🍻

And again I will miss working for SKS , it's been a good 18 plus years and I wish them well
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#261601 Cobblers to depression

Posted by Stanley Mishap on 21 March 2017 - 02:11 PM

A quick update on the depression/stopping all engraving situation


I`m now 4 months in with this (including Christmas) ....and its hardly made any difference with monthly takings ....


I now come through the door and know that the biggest problem I`m gonna face that day is repairs and keys !


feeling so much better now ,and even the family notice the change .....My god I wish I`d done it years ago ....


Cheers all !

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#247708 Items customers have left in a bag or shoe for repair

Posted by hibsjo(SCO) on 03 July 2015 - 08:29 PM

i once got a pair of shoes in with the cork side up on the insoles wtf!

carry on!

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#262463 Just put this sign up - Sick of the arguments...

Posted by Stanley Mishap on 29 April 2017 - 10:29 AM

Oh - I`m so sorry everyone ....

I`m obviously way too cheap .....so I`ll double the price ...

and my explaining technique to 17 year olds with a £150 car , or housewives who`ve husband has given them a tenner is substandard....


As usual on this site ....if you say you don't sell Zippos anymore - then someone says `WE sell 20 a day !`

If you say you hardly cut Chubb mortice _ then someone says `I cut more now then ever !`


Well believe me lads - I`m in contact with many repairers and reps (and on the phone to warehouse guys) and the general consensus is that `SHOE REPAIRERS CUTTING TRANSPONDERS IS THE BIGGEST HEADACHE IN THE INDUSTRY ` 


A lot of us were sold very expensive key cloning machines , transponder chips and Key boards on the understanding we`d all be making money hand over fist on this unavoidable new technology


 ....well 20 years in ....myself and a loads of others I speak to are lucky if you do about 2 a fortnight ....


so if you`re doing well at it .....GOOD FOR YOU !

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#260315 Overdraft Insurance.

Posted by grahamparker on 06 February 2017 - 01:43 PM

A happy post for a change.


I have just opened a letter from our bank Natwest saying we had been incorrectly charged for overdraft insurance

which we knew nothing about. But as a result of this we have just recieved a Cheque for just short of £3500.


No middlemen taking a huge cut either the bank did this direct without any contact from us.


Happy Days. :grin: :grin:

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#259449 For Jimmy

Posted by chiefwiggum on 19 December 2016 - 10:44 AM

I write this on behalf of me and my family. We would like to offer a huge thank you to Lee for all he's done for the trade , via the setting up and managing of the forum. We wish him well as he starts a new venture with the bike repairing , I understand all other services will be business as usual, and feel sure the professionalism and service he provides will ensure a sound financial future.
We also thank Lee for the support he has shown to our charity ForJimmy.org over the years and also all the great support we have received from the wider independent shoe repair industry.
As you will have seen from this quarters Cutting Edge magazine , we will update our work in each issue. Our family have been dedicated to bringing good from the loss of our son and the many people who have supported us enables us to do so. Whilst I'm still a shoe repairer my charity means I don't do a lot of repairing, which I miss as I still enjoy the work, but rest assured when I'm asked I'm still a shoe repairer.So many thanks to each and everyone of you, and what this space. Merry Christmas and a Happy ( and Profitable)New Year. Barry Mizen
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#249931 PR, strike it when you can!

Posted by Lee on 29 October 2015 - 11:52 AM

I thought I'd share my stroke of luck this week.


As a lot of you are aware I have quite a large shop, I found in the past few years with the changing face of retail & the online world along with being in a secondary location that my retail sales had slid of the mountain & I've scratched my head what to do with the space for some time.

Anyway this year quite by accident I found myself repairing a puncture in a bicycle for an elderly lady & things escalated from there. I brought in some stock, initially a modest outlay & thought I'd continue dabbling with the cycle repair element & things went from there.

Now on deciding a name for this new venture I headed online to find a domain name, its getting harder & harder to find domains with a ring to them, but I found "bikespeeds.com" and then started a bikespeeds facebook group, which was really just for my local friends.

Now to my PR story!


I was reading in a magazine about a "full moon" ride that had happened somehwere else & thought "whens the next full moon, ill do that" & posted up an "event" on the facebook page, expecting a handful at most of my friends to come along. I quickly realised it was being shared all over the place & I needed to bring the shop upto scratch, I had about 4 weeks so we did some decorating, binned the entire of the old stock I had, and gave the largest percentage of retail space to bike parts. My Son Ross even helped me make & put up a new sign outside the shop. it was a manic 4 weeks. right down to new toilet seat & air fresher!

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This Tuesday we had the full moon, 7pm arrived & we opened the shop for an 8pm ride not knowing what was going to happen, I was aware there had been a lot of local chat about it & someone told me one cycle club had even had a committee meeting to decide if they should support it or not! we had an early arriver needing lights fitted. Ross (my son) and his friend Corey run a mobile disco business & they set up a speaker & lights flowing over the road outside to give some atmosphere & then we stood like lemons waiting!

at around 7.30 bikes began to fill the parade outside & by 7.45 I was beginning to think "holly s**t" & when a large local cycle club rolled down the road just after that thought, I then thought "what have I done!" it was amazing.

I only got one photo, but it was just before the big group from the local cycle club arrived.

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We all had a great evening, people have all been sharing stories all week. it put "bikespeeds" on the map. we had around 70 riders there from all the local clubs it was a PR dream, that came out of nowhere!







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#260116 Trade Key cutting

Posted by grahamparker on 25 January 2017 - 03:12 PM

If any Trade member needs Ultion, Yale Superior/Platinum or any other keys cut to code then let me know.


We are more than happy to cut and supply them.

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#257081 Cutting Edge exhibition

Posted by Mick Friend on 06 September 2016 - 05:33 AM

I do think (and I have a vested interest) that organisers should look at their calendar and sort dates that do not clash

I have ALEX on 1/2 oct for auto locksmiths and auto key cutters/programmers etc


The shoe industry has a show same weekend

so I lost some of my regular exhibitors and they lost some that had already booked mine -

I have been advertising the dates for 2 years


Maybe ALEX and cutting edge should combine- I do have an excellent organisation for exhibitions.

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#256401 Chancers

Posted by Count Muppet on 05 August 2016 - 05:03 PM

We get the same at Timpson.
People coming in with their quality key blanks trying to say we cut it wrong.
We don't stock those good ones.
Terrible behaviour.
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#255033 A big thank you

Posted by keithm on 06 June 2016 - 10:22 AM

Hi All


Can i just publicly thank Graham at 'Parkers' for helping me out with some new patio door handles and a new 'Federal' cylinder, great service, good price and a perfect fit, oh, and the extra keys all worked :-) Very nice kit that 'Federal' cylinder ;-)


Cheers Graham, keep busy fella!!!!

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#251163 uncollected repairs

Posted by Lee on 23 December 2015 - 08:10 AM

I took a bit of delight with an order recently. I had a lady bring in 8 watches and never collect them. But I remembered her car.
eventually after 2 1/2 years I spotted her out and about.
embarrassed her in front of who she was with and she duly collected.
after payment she noticed two of the watches weren't working........
I then explained the guarantee was from the date of fitting.
bad luck bitch. You paid for two flat batteries......karma restored.
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#248157 Congratulations

Posted by robinh on 27 July 2015 - 09:33 AM

Congratulations to Al King of  The Menders, Crewkerne, who followed up his success in the JR Shoe Repairer of the year 2014 by winning the SSIA World Champion Shoe Repair Competition in Jacksonville, Florida on Saturday.  Fantastic news.


And also  to Chris Froome of course for showing the world what Great Britain stands for.

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#247239 Labour Rates :)

Posted by Web_Engraver on 15 June 2015 - 09:50 AM



If only we could!!

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#264709 Going cold turkey.

Posted by grahamparker on 02 August 2017 - 08:53 AM

Shut the shop and go on holiday.

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#255887 Shocking news

Posted by Mick Friend on 14 July 2016 - 09:38 AM

The Highways Agency found over 200 dead crows on the M4 near Bridgend recently, and there was concern that they may have died from Avian Flu. A Pathologist examined the remains of all the crows, and, to everyone's relief, confirmed the problem was NOT Avian Flu. The cause of death appeared to be from vehicular impacts. However, during analysis it was noted that varying colours of paints appeared on the ...bird's beaks and claws. By analysing these paint residues it was found that 98% of the crows had been killed by impact with motorbikes, while only 2% were killed by cars.
The Agency then hired an Ornithological Behaviourist to determine if there was a cause for the disproportionate percentages of motorbike kills versus car kills. The Ornithological Behaviourist quickly concluded that when crows eat road kill, they always have a look-out crow to warn of danger. They discovered that while all the lookout crows could shout "Cah", not a single one could shout "bike"

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#254725 30 years a cobbler

Posted by Lee on 19 May 2016 - 08:58 AM

30 years in the industry.


May 19th 1986 & part way into a Y.T.S (who remembers those!) I was looking for work. I’d applied for 2 jobs, trainee manager at a local Jewellers and shoe repairer at the local cobblers.


On the Sunday my Dad & I where re-varnishing his boat when my Mum came rushing down saying I needed to go for an interview & I was whisked to the shop & offered the job there & then, to start the very next day.


I was also offered the Jewellers Job the same day, but coming from a long line of self-employed the general consensus off opinion was it would be cheaper to start a shoe repairers than a jewellers & that was the basis I became a cobbler.


Just over 3 years later opportunity knocked & my own shop Cobb-Lees became reality. At that point I’d only ever repaired shoes & cut mortice keys (these where done out back with us, whilst cylinder keys where done by counter staff in the shop)


I had to quickly learn key cutting & how to be a “business man” at the tender age of 20!


I spent a lot of the nineties trying to win the punch shoe repairer of the year award, this was probably a critical time really, it made me really focus on the shop image and also take on engraving as a service, again self-taught on the good old Pantograph! I finally won this in 1999 & the publicity was dramatic! This was still at the point where the internet was in its mainstream infancy so local papers & radio where still strong & business boooooooooooomed!


Things changed quite a bit though the noughties the internet flooded our brains! I attempted to get in on the act starting a website “engravablegifts.co.uk” but it never really worked the time spent keeping it up date way outweighed the earnings so I ditched it, but it taught me some valuable information that I was able to employee when it came to shoerepairer.info!


In 2005 I was quite into building car stereo systems, Mp3 was in its early stages and I had a hard drive head unit (long before the days of memory sticks and IPhone!) and was having a software issue. I turned to the internet and found a forum site called “hackmycar.com” which solved my problem. I was spell bound by this interaction with other humans! And searched for such a site or our cobbling world, nothing was out there so I set about creating my own site.


Shoerepairer.info when live in April 2005 but didn’t get its first member until an article was published in cutting edge on the 1st July. I’d deliberately not told anyone about the site. Not even my family for fear of it being a complete white elephant & look at it now!


The forum really changed things for me, the brightest stars cast the deepest shadows & whilst it has helped my professional life purely from a forum that’s helped me expand into various areas it’s also been a burden at times! I’m quite conscience and have spent many sleepless nights worrying about the people members have upset!


I did a spell on the cutting edge committee but about 4 years ago the number of shoe repairers in Lowestoft doubled in a month, with a new independent and another Timpson in a Tesco less than a mile away so I resigned from the committee to focus 100% back on my business.

This period of unease, unrest& reduction in turn over has actually been a blessing its sharpened my game & I’m in a much stronger place now I had 3 bad years, turnover slumped for a while but this year I am doing figures I could never of dreamed off.

I’ve had various shops come & go over the years, so these experiences have given me the tools to deal with the latest wave.


I’ve made some great friends through this site, I meet my wife in my shop & through the running challenge set by Gavin & subsequent triathlon involvement encouraged by Mark & his family I’ve also seen my health improve all because I started shoe repairing!


The future!

Although I’ve been in the industry 30 years, I still have a long way to go before retiring! I took on bike repairs as a service last year & it has been the single biggest wage rise I’ve ever given myself. I would like to give this service half the floor space of my shop unit this year (currently 25% ish) so in the foreseeable future this is an area the needs exploiting.


Long term, I’d really like to get beyond first base. I’ve had 2 trainees during busy periods over the years. I’d like to try to get beyond the one man band. I feel with the sort of work I’m doing if I could leave the shop more freely (collect bikes, put up signs, program keys, change a lock etc.) I could begin to pay for an employee more easily. So this is the next level.


Anyway that’s my little lot.



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#251384 diversification!

Posted by Lee on 11 January 2016 - 08:31 PM

Apart from some shoe repairs, watches, keys and engraving today looked like this!
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forget mobile phone repairs, thats so last year. Bikes are the new Golf.
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#249547 Quality shoe repair materials cheap!!!!

Posted by robinh on 09 October 2015 - 07:18 AM

Other wholesalers are available...........................................Most of them support the Forum.  

And the Cutting Edge exhibitions.

And the magazine.....................

And the whole trade in general. 


And they are all " awesome" in their own understated way.

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#244968 Renata Batteries

Posted by BSM-RTX on 06 March 2015 - 07:13 PM

Please be advised that Charles Birch is a longstanding and valued partner of Renata Batteries in the UK. I work for www.renatex.com, the most well established importer of Renata Batteries in the UK (we have imported Renata Batteries into the UK for over 20 years+). I can confirm that Charles Birch is an official Renata Batteries distributor and that their Renata Batteries are genuine. 


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