The newspaper article contradicts the Wikepdia entry on Dr Martens shoes. Wikepedia states that, “The first Dr. Martens boots
in the United Kingdom came out on 1 April 1960”, [my emphasis] which is hardly surprising since they were invented immediately after World War 2, by a German in Germany. This is confirmed by the official history of the Dr Martens brand (at http://www.drmartens.com/uk/history
). The 80 year old error stems from the fact that the UK licensee of Dr Martens was founded in 1901. So the newspaper writer was sloppy. Also like postwarblue I have no recollection of them at CH in the 1950s, hence the 80 year has to be incorrect, for postwarblue is surely much more reliable than (any?) newspaper writer.
Housey shoes in the 1950s had no brand name, were heavy, black, strong, laced, somewhat inflexible and with a simple toecap. One peculiarity they had was that the soles were permanently curved (along the direction running from heel to toe), as a result of their sole’s inflexibility I presume. They lasted well and in my case were usually outgrown rather than outworn. Occasionally one was issued with a second hand pair (by Mr Henderson of “The Wardrobe”), if they were in good condition. Leavers could sometimes keep their Housey shoes, but only if their shoes were unusual (eg size 13 or larger and/or unusually wide).