David Hollin became one of the most successful of Stafford’s shoe manufacturers, and like many others, his origins were humble. Born in Crewe in 1844, his first job was as a messenger for the Staffordshire Advertiser. He was then apprenticed to George Jones, boot manufacturer on Martin Street. On completing his apprenticeship, he worked at Bostock’s factory as a clicker.
In 1865 he set up a partnership, Hollins and Anderson, and by 1871, at the age of 27, he had a factory on Mill Street and employed 120 people. In 1873 David Hoillins and Zachariah Anderson bought land on Rowley Street and built a new, state-of-the-art factory, which is still a striking landmark in the north part of Stafford. Anderson died in 1886, but the company continued to thrive as a maker of high quality women’s boots and shoes as David Hollin & Co Ltd.
By 1898 Hollin had become extremely wealthy, and had moved to Highfield Manor on Newport Road, where he was able to live the life of a country gentleman, with servants, a carriage, and a fine garden with conservatories.
On his death in 1916 he left a legacy of £12,000 to build a Nurses’ Home at Stafford General Infirmary. This stood on Foregate Street until 1999.
His shoemaking company continued until 1931, a victim of the economic depression of the late 1920s.