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Rocky The Cobbler

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by Neil Follett (subscribe)
I'm a retired photographer living in Lilydale mainly researching and writing on Australian aviation history. Now writing more on general subjects.
Published May 31st 2020
Have your sole saved
Decades ago, almost everyone would at some time patronise a cobbler. These days many people may not know what a cobbler was or did.

Cobbler at work
The cobbler cobbling.

For the benefit of those younger than me, a cobbler is a shoe repairer. When your shoes became a little down at heel, your local shoe repairer would re-heel them. They would also repair your sole. Rocky says he has repaired many people's soles.

Rocky at work.

On one of my two visits there, he was repairing an expensive leather jacket. A cobbler excels at repairing leather goods. Rocky has been plying his trade in Mooroolbark since 1981. "Today repairing shoes is only a small part of my business," he laments.

Cobblers shop
The shop front in Brice Avenue.

"A large part of my business these days is cutting keys," says Rocky pointing to an extensive display of key blanks, just waiting to be custom cut to unlock your locks.

The key to diversification.

Looking around his somewhat cluttered work area, it is obvious that old machinery never wears out. His heavy duty Singer sewing machine is about 65 years old.

Cobbler's office
Rocky in his office.

Like any business that has seen the demand for their product decline, they need to diversify, and Rocky has. Apart from cutting keys, he can replace watch and car key batteries, and do engraving. Where else but a cobbler would you go for a large range of different colour and lengths of shoe laces?

Shoe laces
Any colour or length.

Does your new pair of shoes feel a little tight? Perhaps only one feels tight. No problem as Rocky's shoe stretcher can return comfort to your feet.

Shoe stretcher.
Having a stretch.

At the rear of the shop is a mini library with shelving holding several hundred books waiting to be read. "I used to buy books that people brought in and re-sell or exchange them. But these days people don't seem to read as much." All the books are for sale at $1-00 each. If you bring in three or four books, you can take one from shelves for free.

Library books
The mini library.

Rocky is a true artisan. Instead of giving your old boots the boot, give the boots to Rocky and he will, in today's vernacular, re-boot them.
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Why? Have your sole mended
When: Normal business hours.
Phone: 0419 357 306
Where: 40A Brice Avenue, Mooroolbark. Melways map: 37 G.12.
Your Comment
What a great story about a wonderful artisan. Love it
by Gillian Ching (score: 3|2738) 384 days ago
A Mooroolbark Treasure!
by yolan (score: 0|8) 256 days ago
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