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Introducing myself

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by Bill Bird, Dec 7, 2008.

  1. Bill Bird

    Bill Bird Active Member

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    My name is Bill Bird and I have been an orthopaedic shoemaker for 32 years. My original degree was in Architectural Design at University College London but having a foot problem of my own, I became intersted in finding a solution and became apprenticed as a last maker at a well known West End Bootmaker with a royal appointment. I stayed there for 11 years before setting out on my own as Bill Bird Shoes

    www.billbird.co.uk also my orthopaedic website www.bespokeorthopaedicfootwear.co.uk .

    I did my first two courses in biomechanics with the London Postgraduate Study group in 1979 and have studied the subject ever since and have incorporated it into my practice.

    Between 1990 and 1994 I studied at the Smae and qualified as a Chiropodist. I valued the training very much but didn't practice as my footwear work took up all of my time.

    I was the bespoke shoemaker for the London Foot Hospital between 1995 and 2004 when the hospital moved to Stratford in East London.

    I have to say that my qualifacation with the Smae was a hinderance professionally because if a state registered chiropodist found out that I had it, they would all of a sudden get the jitters. :mad: I was told by more than one SR Chiropodist that to associate with a Smae chiropodist was a disciplinary offence although I can't varify that. Anyway, it was more their loss than mine. :dizzy:

    Because I hadn't practiced as a chiropodist I didn't persue my HPC registration. I did however qualify as a further education teacher, with my specialist subject as footwear manufacture education.
    I'm more proud of the Cert. Ed after my name, than the BSc.

    Apart from my work as an orthopaedic shoemaker, I am currently a lecturer at the footwear design department, Faculty of Art and Design, De Montfort University in Leicester Eng. I provide the teaching material for the 19 second year students who are doing the bespoke/orthopaedic option. I find this a very rewarding thing to do and the students are very bright and enthusiastic.

    Together with the Pattenmakers Livery Company in London, we are running an orthopaedic footwear design award in the spring term. This will involve each participating student having an identical last of a deformed foot, probably a bunion with hammer toes, and they are to design and make a shoe that not only works but makes the foot look great! Quite a good challenge I thought.

    The other thing I would like you all to know about is that we are hosting the 11th annual Independant Shoemaking Conference in Feb 2009. It is already booked out at the hotel and people are booking into B&Bs nearby. There will be close to 100 shoemakers there, with visitors coming from Sweden to Ireland.

    Have a look at the Independant Shoemakers website. There's about 20 different small comapnies there www.shoemakers.org.uk .

    I really enjoyed reading the forum items on Pedorthists and their arrival in England that was a hot debate between December 2005 and March 2006. There was a lot of clashing ideas there and in my opinion everybody was right! that's how complicated the situation is with footwear, the NHS and patients in general.

    This is a lively forum and with such intellegent descussions, I am looking forward to joining in.

    You'll be hearing from me. :drinks

    All the best, Bill Bird (brobert)
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 7, 2008
  2. twirly

    twirly Well-Known Member

    Hi Bill,

    :welcome: to Podiatry Arena & thank you for joining.

    Your expertise is really welcomed & we look forward to your input.



    PS. Love the web-site ;)

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