Story Starter: Vintage Shoes


Did you ever have a pair of shoes like these?

Or maybe your granny had shoes like those lovely button boots. Or at least left you the button hook in a tin of bits and pieces.

The shoes are part of a current exhibition at Dundee’s McManus Galleries. I popped in one wet lunchtime last week when the idea of my usual walk wasn’t very inviting. I didn’t actually intend to go to this exhibition. I’d read an excellent review in our local paper about two other displays, Revealing Characters and Face To Face, drawn from Dundee’s nationally significant fine art collection of portraits. That was where I was heading, but as so easily happen I got sidetracked into the ground floor exhibition first. The Making Of Modern Dundee, it was, and it was fascinating. Isn’t it amazing that museums are free?

Splendid shoes

Anyway, amidst all the memorabilia and artefacts, there was a case of various bits and bobs of costume: hats, shoes, gloves, handbags…. And these rather splendid shoes. I wonder who they belonged to and where they wore them. Or even bought them. How long they had to save up. I bet they thought they were the bee’s knees when they were wearing them.  What did they go with? What did other people think? Maybe the owner was wearing them when she met her young man – or was dumped!

Maybe it’s a story about a vintage clothes shop. Or a museum. Or someone like me happening upon them during a wet lunch-hour.

Maybe it’s about fingerprints on the glass case.

Or maybe you’ll ignore the fancy shoes and focus on the sensible brown lace-ups….

I hope that the image fires your imagination and takes it somewhere unexpected and rewarding. And if that results in a story, all well and good.

Shirley Blair

Fiction Ed Shirley’s been with the “Friend” since 2007 and calls it her dream job because she gets to read fiction all day every day. Hobbies? Well, that would be reading! She also enjoys writing fiction when she has time, long walks, travel, and watching Scandi thrillers on TV.