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Tributes paid to popular shoe shop owner in Princes Risborough
11:27am Wednesday 13th March 2013 in News
TRIBUTES have been paid to the last surviving son of the founder of popular shoe shop, Wainwright’s.
Jim (Barris) Wainwright passed away peacefully at High Wycombe Hospital on February 28, following a sudden stroke.
The 83-year-old was the last surviving son of Albert Wainwright, who set up Wainwright’s in Princes Risborough in 1919.
Jim was the last of four children and the family moved to Risborough in 1936, when his father Albert opened a footwear repair and shoe making shop in Summerleys Road which later moved to larger premises in Station Road.
At the age of 14 Jim joined the business.
In 1949 the Risborough shop was opened which Jim went on to manage, becoming known in those early days as 'the young dynamic man in the High Street'.
In 1962 Jim and brothers Derek and Ken took the firm over from their father and made the shops into family outlets selling ladies', men's and children's footwear.
He spent the rest of his working life in the Risborough shop always on or near the shop floor with a loyal staff supporting him.
His family said: "His quick wit and dry sense of humour was a style of his own, there was nothing more he enjoyed than a good chat with his customers. He was good at selling and it was not unusual for customers to remark, ‘I went into Wainwright’s for a tin of polish and came out with a new pair of shoes’."
A customer told the family: "I first met Jim Wainwright when I was five and was taken in to Wainwright's for my school shoes twice a year for the following ten years. That was not unusual. Jim made shoe shopping fun and always spent time making sure the shoes were absolutely right."
Agents and representatives of manufacturers in the trade have talked of their respect for his business acumen, enthusiasm, kindness and generosity.
He continued working in the shop, mainly on repairs, up until he was 80.
Princes Risborough now continues as the main company shop, warehouse and head office managed by Jim's youngest son David.
Jim married his wife Audrey in 1954 and spent 53 happy years together until Audrey passed away in 2009.
They have four children, Chris, Steve, Sandy and David, and eight grandchildren who have been the central part of his life.
His family said they are left with many happy memories and an outstanding example of how to lead a good life.
His funeral will take place on Friday, March 15 at 11.30am at St Mary’s Parish Church, Princes Risborough and afterwards at Princes Risborough Golf Club. Donations are to www.justgiving.com/Barris-Wainwright