GETTING the latest fashions into the shops as quickly as possible kept a Furness shoe firm one step ahead of the competition when demand soared for platform shoes.

Dalton’s Furness Footwear, was doing a roaring trade in 1993 when the latest fashion trend was a revival of shoe styles which were last popular in the 1970s.

The Mail, on May 24, noted: “The recent trend for the boring old court shoe allowed cheap imports from other countries to get the better of the European shoe trade.

“Now the return of the platform has brought back more complicated designs which the British industry favours and can do really well.”

By October production had risen by 15 per cent to 8,000 pairs of shoes per week and the firm had taken on extra workers.

Manager Fred Drew said: "The platform fashion has certainly made a difference in trade."

The Mail on Monday June 28 in 1999, noted: "A Furness show company is stepping into the new millennium with a £250,000 investment programme that will secure its continued success.

"Furness Footwear makes a popular range of shoes and sandals for women and girls.

"The firm has given the UK shoe industry's current pessimism the boot with a three-year major investment project.

"It will buy and update machinery and acquire the technology it needs to succeed in the 21st century.

"After help from Furness Enterprise, which guided it through the application process, the firm learned recently it was getting a £50,000 regional selective assistance (RSA) grant from the Government towards its costs.

"The company is the largest employer in Dalton with a total of 100 people on the payroll."

Furness Footwear had worked in association with the Rossendale footwear company of E. Sutton and Son since the Dalton firm started in August 1949.

The two companies shared design and sales service to cut costs.

Dalton – with sites at Long Lane and Dalton Fields Lane, provided a quickly changing variety of shoes at high volumes to chain stores and mail order firms.

Manager Fred Drew said: "We have maintained our position while our competitors in the UK have been falling by the wayside."