/ Shoeshine

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mypyrex - on 06 Oct 2017
As a kid I can remember, on occasional trips to London, seeing shoeshine boys plying their trade on the streets buffing up peoples' shoes. They seemed to die out in the sixties and seventies.

The youngest lad, who is often in London, occasionally has his shoes "done" especially if he is on his way to court - he's a barrister and a very snappy dresser.

I get the impression that shoeshines are seeing something of a resurgence. What sort of people do it? It would be nice to think that a lad desperate for work might take the initiative to start such an enterprise rather that resort to crime and drugs etc. I suppose there are others, however, who would regard such work as "demeaning".
Bob Hughes - on 06 Oct 2017
In reply to mypyrex:

> As a kid I can remember, on occasional trips to London, seeing shoeshine boys plying their trade on the streets buffing up peoples' shoes. They seemed to die out in the sixties and seventies.

> The youngest lad, who is often in London, occasionally has his shoes "done" especially if he is on his way to court - he's a barrister and a very snappy dresser.

> I get the impression that shoeshines are seeing something of a resurgence. What sort of people do it? It would be nice to think that a lad desperate for work might take the initiative to start such an enterprise rather that resort to crime and drugs etc. I suppose there are others, however, who would regard such work as "demeaning".

A colleague of mine has a very middle-class life as an IT consultant does shoe shining on his days off and at weekends at posh does - shopping mall opening parties, weddings, that kind of thing. He makes good money out of it. No idea if that is typical.
mypyrex - on 06 Oct 2017
In reply to Bob Hughes:

> A colleague of mine has a very middle-class life as an IT consultant does shoe shining on his days off and at weekends at posh does - shopping mall opening parties, weddings, that kind of thing. He makes good money out of it. No idea if that is typical.

Apparently a lot of them are like taxi drivers; imparting no end of useful(and useless) information
ChrisBrooke - on 06 Oct 2017
In reply to mypyrex:

Now go home and get your shine box.
Blue Straggler - on 06 Oct 2017
In reply to mypyrex:

> Apparently a lot of them are like taxi drivers; imparting no end of useful(and useless) information

Have you been watching too much Police Squad?
dread-i - on 06 Oct 2017
In reply to mypyrex:

>What sort of people do it?

What are the prices and how long does it take?
£5 for 5 mins work, would be a good wage to many. Even at half that rate it would be lucrative, if you were busy all day. Cash in hand is a bonus, with none of that pesky tax to account for.
wercat on 06 Oct 2017
In reply to dread-i:
do you think there is a shoeshine pimp franchising activity and taking a cut? I could imagine it turning nasty like the ice cream "wars" in Glasgow a few years back
Post edited at 15:54
deanr - on 06 Oct 2017
In reply to mypyrex: I get mine done in London (Liverpool Street) once a month or so. £5 for a shine. There are two places. One of the guys is Polish, in his thirties and chats a bit.

There is often a queue and people sometimes leave their shoes there and pick them up later. Presumably changing into trainers rather than going barefoot!

Trangia on 06 Oct 2017
In reply to dread-i:


> £5 for 5 mins work, would be a good wage to many. Even at half that rate it would be lucrative, if you were busy all day. Cash in hand is a bonus, with none of that pesky tax to account for.


If my arithmatic is right, that's £1 a minute, £60 an hour ie £480 per day. 5 days a week - £2,400 a week or £124,800 a year assuming no holidays and a continous queue.

You could work flat out for 10 years and retire a Millionaire!

That's quite appealing!
captain paranoia - on 06 Oct 2017
In reply to deanr:

> One of the guys is polish

How appropriate...
Philip on 06 Oct 2017
In reply to mypyrex:

I did my son's for free last night. Maybe when he's a barrister he can do mine.

He's 4 now.
MG - on 06 Oct 2017
In reply to Philip:

You could present him with a bill in due course.

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