Monday, April 28, 2008

Simon Johnson - Heathrow's finest shoe shine

simon johnson - heathrow's finest shoe shine
Originally uploaded by sdbj

The shoe-shiner is a dying breed. Despite no pressure from the menace of outsourcing (quite tricky to shine shoes by phone), this anachronistic service has been kicked into touch by our scruffy and frenetic lifestyles - bespoke Oxfords gave way to tatty trainers made of chemicals, not cows. These cheap canvas concoctions are always running to the next thing, with little time to stop and smell the polish. Simon's customers are usually running to a plane, as he plies his wares in Terminal 1 domestic departures, and has recently been seeing depressingly few patters of feet in his direction.

I got chatting to him today as I had my shoes shined. Despite his booming presence and a magnetically sunny personality (his other jobs include childrens' entertainer, actor and musician - I have his card) his quaint and comfy seats only attracted four bums the whole of this afternoon. With that kind of result it won't be long before he packs his brushes for good. So if your leather brogues are a tad scruffy and you're flying via Terminal 1, take a few mins to sit and chat with Simon and let him put a shine back in your stride.

1 comment:

Casey Makovich said...

It is a little sad, check this video out, this could be another reason the industry is dying!!