Chichester shoe repair business passes to next generation

Peter and Pat Davies handing over the SKE  business to their son Robert.  C120316-1
Peter and Pat Davies handing over the SKE business to their son Robert. C120316-1

He’s been keeping people in Chichester on their feet for 33 years and this month shoe repairer Peter Davies will hand over the business to his son Robert.

Peter, wife Pat and their popular St Charles spaniel Marcus are well-known for their friendly service at SKE Services in Crane Street, and on March 17 will spend their last day there.

Entering the shoe-repairing business at the age of 15 when he left school, Peter started working in a shoe repair shop in Portsmouth, before progressing to a shop in Waterlooville where the couple live now.

At 21, he took a job at a factory, but didn’t enjoy it and went to work for a company in Southsea where he learned key cutting and engraving.

After five years he was promoted to area manager in charge of 15 shops across the south and covering 50,000 miles a year. The company was eventually taken over by Mr Minute and Peter decided he wanted to set up his own shop.

In 1979 he started a business above the Buttermarket and in 1992 moved to Crane Street.

“It is time to put our boots up but I’m going to miss the people,” said Peter. “We’d like to thank all the customers and all the friends we have made over the years and hope they can continue to support the business.”

Robert, who lives in Bognor Regis, has been working for his father since 1986 and enjoys it.

“Because I was always in with it when Dad started all those years ago, I would see him take something old and make it new – it was always fascinating for me and I hope I can continue doing the same.

“I think it’s going to be quite a sad day for Chichester to see Dad set off into the sunset, he’s made a lot of friends.”