The Cordonnerie du Chateau in Loches is one of those old fashioned shops that I am always very glad to find still exist. A 'cordonnerie' is a cobbler's workshop, and this one sells huntin' shootin' 'n' fishin' gear, but also repairs shoes and bags.
|Rue Balzac in Loches. The cordonnerie has a dark wood facade.|
Inside the shop is dark and cluttered. You weave your way through racks of hunting jackets and vests to get to midway down the length of the shop where there is an enclosed booth. The cobbler is a nice man who assured me he could reglue my nearly new hiking boots which were separating at the sole, and he could put a new more robust clip on my bumbag strap to replace the one that had snapped. How much would that be? €15, come back in a week. I was very happy.
The cobbler, Claude Lefevre, has been there for 31 years. He's one of the few real shoe repair places still left. The one in Preuilly closed decades ago, the one in Descartes a few years ago. The shop is at 13 rue Balzac, Loches.
The etymology of the word 'cordonnier' is connected to 'cordwainer', the word for someone who makes new shoes, but nowadays cordonniers, like cobblers, are restricted to repairing shoes and leather goods. The words cordonnier and cordwainer also referred to those who worked in Cordovan leather [link].
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