Victorian Powys for primary  schools
Powys Digital History Project
in Victorian times
  The cloggers of Llanfyllin  

This photograph from the end of the Victorian age shows skilled workers in a trade which was to slowly die out completely by the time of the Great War of 1914.
These men were clogmakers or cloggers, making the simple but carefully shaped wooden soles for a type of shoe called clogs.

Photograph by kind permission of the Powysland Club and the Llanfyllin and District Civic Society.

Clogmen of Llanfyllin

The team of cloggers in the picture worked in woodland on the bank of the River Cain. They used alder wood from trees which were cut down in the winter months, then sawn into various sizes for men, women and children. After the soles had been shaped they were carefully stacked in the open with gaps between them and left for months to dry out. You can see stacked soles in the background of this picture.
The soles were then sent away to be fitted with strong leather uppers and shaped irons on the soles and heels. Clogs were used in huge numbers in the mills and factories of northern England, and the sound of the wood and iron soles clattering noisily on the cobbled streets was to be heard for much of the Victorian age.

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Modern clog
Clogs are still made in small numbers and these can look much the same, with the leathers nailed to the wooden soles like this modern example. Specially made clogs are made for Morris and other traditional dancers.
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