Ottery cobbler seizes the day and opens his first ever business

Rick Arthur opened County Cobblers in Ottery the same week his baby son was born

Rick Arthur opened County Cobblers in Ottery the same week his baby son was born - Credit: Archant

New business owner puts success down to ‘good old-fashioned service’

A committed cobbler seized the day when he opened his first-ever business in Ottery in the same week his baby boy was born.

“Sometimes you have just got to go for it,” says Rick Arther, who started work in his new Silver Street premises just weeks before Christmas and is surprised by how well it has gone.

The owner of County Cobblers admits it was stressful juggling his new venture and spending time with his five-week-old son, Harry, and says he was grateful to have some quality family time over the festive period.

Rick, who lives in Lock Close, Sidmouth, has worked in the trade for 42 years and was driving through Ottery with his wife Amanda when they saw the vacant former Moving Pictures premises and thought it would be perfect.

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He said: “We have always liked Ottery and you can always say ‘it’s not the best time’, but sometimes you have just got to go for it.

“In my first week, I had absolutely everything come in. I had a pair of lady’s boots to repair because she ran a lawn mower blade over them. I’ve done everything, from key cutting to mending shoes

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“When I started in 1974, there was a myth that shoe repairs were a dying trade but it isn’t - it’s busier than ever.

“People get an idea that something can’t be repaired and throw it away, but actually most things can be and it’s worth bringing it in.

“I’m surprised how well it’s gone so far and very pleased. People like good old-fashioned service.”

Rick worked in London and the South East before relocating to Devon 20 years ago, but it is only now he has achieved a dream of owning his own business.

County Cobblers specialises in key cutting, but also does shoe and handbag repairs and will be adding an engraving service early in the new year.

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