Westbury master glove maker retires after half century of service
Half a century of carefully cutting leather is over now for glovemaker Dennis Smith.
The 65-year-old joined Westbury-based glove makers George Jefferies in August 1964 after leaving Matravers School.
He was soon learning the basics of the trade, including how to make the best gloves for top golfers of the day such as South African Bobby Locke.
But Mr Smith’s skills as a leather cutter were soon apparent and he quickly became recognised for his accuracy and precision.
Leading glovemaker Dents took over Jefferies in 1982 and Mr Smith, with many of his co-workers, moved to Dents’ head office in Warminster where he continued to cut leather for a wide range of styles and designs.
“I loved it all,” said Mr Smith. “Every day was different, but of course I really remember many of the special visitors to Dents. I met Princess Anne twice and she was very interested in how we stretch the leather before cutting and other aspects.
“I’ll really miss Dents, especially the camaraderie, but I believe that when you’ve done 50 years anywhere that’s enough for anyone. I’m looking forward to retirement.
“So far I’ve just been doing things around the house and decorating. Sometimes we get in the car occasionally and go for a ride. The other day we were able to go and sit by the lake at Bowood.”
A spokesman for Dents said: “Dennis was part of the factory for so long, and we’re missing him already. He was a traditional craftsman, he had a wonderful skill for cutting leather.”