In Memory of Dick Goudie
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Dick’s death ends Maybole link with the shoemaking industry

Dick Goudie, the last of Maybole’s shoemakers, died aged of 90 in Lisbon, where he spent his final years with daughter Mary and son-in-law Rui. But his body was brought back to the Ayrshire town which was once the boot and shoemaking capital of the British Empire.

The Rev Tom Bogle , conducting the funeral service, said Dick was born in 1912 – the same year the Titanic sank – when Maybole was still a major manufacturing centre. The town once boasted TEN shoe factories, employing 1,500 people, and annually producing more than a million pairs.

Dick left Carrick Academy to start work in Ramsay’s factory where his first job was inking round the soles of boots. Factory manager Bob Harrison taught Dick the trade and was to become his father-in-law. Dick married Bob’s daughter Annie in 1937 and their marriage lasted 63 years – till Annie’s death two years ago.

After war service, Dick joined Bob in setting up a business of their own – starting in a garden hut before moving to a High Street shop. Later, they switched to a factory in the corner of Maybole known as Ballony, and Dick worked there until he retired in 1995, aged 83.

His grave in Maybole overlooks the area, and it was a poignant moment when a piper played Floo’ers o’ the Forest as he was laid to rest. Dick and Annie were impressive dancers in their younger days, and were Ayrshire ballroom champions of 1939. Dick also had a liking for nippy, stylish cars and once had a Mark 10 Jaguar. But he was most renowned in his trade, and Dick’s customers included the Duke of Wellington and Sir Stanley Matthews. The soccer legend asked Dick to make football boots for his grandson - including a pair two sizes too big, so the youngster could grow into them. However, Dick’s speciality was the shepherd’s boot - half-sprung, full-sprung and super-sprung - with turned up toes for tramping uphill (that’s a pair featured with him in our picture).

Dick loved talking about his trade, and was interviewed for legendary BBC radio programme “Down Your Way” by presenter Brian Johnston. An overseas honour came to Dick and Annie in 1981 when they received the keys of Sarasota in Florida, from then Mayor Ron Norman. ( from the Ayrshire Post July 2002) More about Mr. Goudie and his shoe factory in Maybole.