Speaking of restoration, a few years ago a much-loved leather travelling bag died. Its handle came off, rendering it totally useless, though in other respects it was as food as ever. In the end I very reluctantly had to discard it because I could find no-one to put it back together. Where had all the old - pardon the expression - cobblers gone? Turned into heel bars. Every one it seemed.
Had I known it KG Shoes in Camden could have solved my problems. George Zorlakkis now runs his father's shop "He opened the first one in 1954 and I've been working here on Saturdays since I was 8. We work for all the top fashion houses, altering and repairing shoes. But we work on anything leather and do things no else can: reline handbags, make new straps identical to old ones, we've even done the tops of sports cars. A woman brought in a ruined jacket - a Joseph, I think. I got my tailor to copy it and she said it was better than the original fit - material, everything."
It's the only shoe repairers in London that cuts its own leather soles from a bend (the skin) and it uses traditional craftsmanship.