Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Shoe Sheriff of Newmarket

I've seen this corrugated iron verandah and advertising sign for years, each time I visit Newmarket. The other day, I decided that digital camera + blog meant that I should post something about it.

The Shoe Sheriff shoe repairs store is run by Peter Croad. The NZ Herald wrote about him and his store, last man out in a sea of commercial redevelopment, back in 2007:

Four years ago the cobbler's shop - owned by Peter Croad - won a courtroom battle to stay on the premier retail drag opposite Westfield's 277 shopping mall, facing down a rich land owner who wanted him out.

The shop has held its ground as all the neighbouring buildings have vanished, including the Patel family's dairy, a toy store and a bookshop.

Those shops were pulled down to make way for Broadway Junction, a project on the leasehold land by award-winning developers Newcrest Group.

New shops have now been built on both sides of the distinctive rust-coloured shoe repair shop, thought to date from the 1930s.

"I'll be in a bank sandwich," Croad said, noting when ASB moves in his shop will be between that and the BNZ.

He's hung on, though. TVNZ covered the story on Close Up in 2006:
"We often hear stories of the small person trying to resist the big developer, and after putting up a valiant fight, eventually forced to cave in. Some say it's inevitable, that progress will always get its own way. But Rawdon Christie has a story where one man has stood up to the big boys - and won. Peter Croad's better known as the 'Shoe Sheriff' in Newmarket, Auckland. He's been running the cobblers shop for over 25 years - his father ran it before him. The shop's actually been in the same location, on Broadway, since the war. So when the landowners told him it was time to go, he said no."
And in April, there was a blog post about it on Wordpress.

I wonder just how long he can go on. It'd be a pity -- that old-fashioned corrugated verandah is one heck of a cool landmark, in the midst of more anonymous and generic chrome and glass.


  1. move the shop to a museum like westernsprings village when they finally move it

  2. Good idea -- if they'll take it. I think they should definitely consider preserving at least the signage.

  3. This comment accidentally deleted. From Anon:

    "its authentic and needs to be left as is. It speaks of history, theres enough of the overwhelming flash buildings."