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Footprints left in the snow or on the beach or on your soul, record of your journey through the times of your life and the times of those who carried you or you carried in return. They are there even if you don’t want to believe me. Not just talking about your electronic footprint your transactions or social media postings but your physical and metaphysical footprints.

Yes I know this all smacks of a theme and yes I have read ‘And Did Those Feet’ but what did you expect a retrospective to be, and knowing the importance of footprints to my family history you should not be surprised. (If you have no idea what I am talking about  stick around as I ramble my way through some what ifs and probably stride through some so whats.)

I also have a couple of Ideas why Generation X is a little bit angry and pissed off and probably a little inwardly focused. You can forget all about Gen Y,  being selfish I would like to consider Generation Z (That’s my kids). They are where it’s at. Far more collaborative and civic minded than any generation since the 2 wars, don’t believe all you are told they will lead us into the great future they will be hero’s the like of which we have not seen for generations, I can see it in my children. They have been promised nothing and will achieve everything they appear not to carry our burdens and will make lighter footprints than I. They will lead each other into future and shame our leaders and they will do it because it is right and not for self aggrandizement and power and Ego. How can I be so sure I hear you ask? I have faith an old fashioned belief that does not need proving to me, because its time and because I would dearly like it to be.

However lets get on with it, the Footprint I am talking about is Footprint Tools and possibly Footprint Wrenches  in particular, an all purpose wrench, being used extensively in plumbing and general pipe work applications. The world famous Footprint wrench was invented by Footprint’s founder Thomas R Ellin in 1875 and since then more than 15 million have been sold across the world.


footprint ellin




And what does The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, of York, Mariner: Who Lived Eight and Twenty Years, All Alone in an Un-inhabited Island on the Coast of America, Near the Mouth of the Great River of Oronoque. Having Been Cast on Shore by Shipwreck, Wherein All the Men Perished but Himself. With an Account how he was at last as Strangely Delivered by Pyrates. Written by Him-self. Have to do with it?

This is My Grandfathers version of Robinson Crusoe ( and proudly in my Display Cabinets at work, who’d have thunk it the Funky Nomad eventually let into Manufacturing and following in his fathers footsteps, however I expect to come up short as I am running out of time my father started at 16 where as I am a latecomer to it all.) well legend has it if you scour the archives at Footprint you will find Mr T. R. Ellin’s copy open on the Man Friday page and  the footprint in the sand circled and noted this would  make a good trademark and as they say the rest is history,you wont find Footprint now well not a Hollis Croft but you will find echos and memories. My memories my Fathers memories and many more stout Sheffield Lads and Lasses. It doesn’t matter if you are Red and White or Blue and White one half of my family and I are Owls and the other lot Blades. Heaven help us all.

And we come to the truth of the matter all things come to pass and Urban Explorers 28 Dayslater are now the only ones able to show these memories, I don’t have permission to snag there images although I did get in touch to check I recommend you hit these sad images and those that despair hit the second link and understand how my beautiful city looks to me.

I am not that brave and my industrial and urban decay imagery has not required heroic antics, but I include it anyway as a nod to recording the passage of time and as I scan more of my archive I am sure it will tun up in my Flickr feed at the top of my blog home page. Tara for now and have a happy Christmas everyone.







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