Saturday, August 13, 2016

Long journey boots for Peacocke repairs

If you’ve come all the way from Australia with a pair of 40-year-old boots that need resoling, where do you go? writes Brian Byrne.

Well, anyone in Kilcullen knows there’s just one answer to that question, and that’s why the boots ended up on Main Street, in the capable hands of Ger Peacocke.

The footwear belongs to Lachlan Kemp, from Merriwa in New South Wales. More importantly, the boots were originally his grandfather’s, and Ger Peacocke immediately recognised them as Craftsman boots made by RM Williams, established in 1932.

He didn’t just put new soles on them, Ger polished the boots, known the length and breadth of Australia simply as ‘RMs’, until they looked like new. Apparently it was the first new soles put on since Lachlan’s grandfather bought them, a testament to the legendary durability of boots made for the tough Outback. Getting them to the legendary Peacocke shop for repair was a journey of more than 17,000km.

Lachlan’s parents Chris and Amanda farm at Merriwa, a town about the same size as Kilcullen was up to when our growth begin a decade ago. They are on a visit here, following up on contacts made 15 years ago when they first came to Kilcullen for the wedding of Susan and Willie Robinson’s daughter to an Australian. They’re back again, with Lachlan who is currently on a gap year in Scotland.

And just to show how small a world this really is, Ger found that the Mitchell family, late of Newbury Stud and now stud farmers in their own right in Oz, are neighbours of the Kemps.

The photograph was provided to the Diary courtesy of Anna Sage, who also advised Lachlan on who was the best person to do the repairs.