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Page last updated at 15:34 GMT, Monday, 25 October 2010 16:34 UK
Boot company closes their doors
Military Boots
Haynes and Cann first started trading in 1919 and after losing a major contract they have now ceased trading.

The Northampton company that made the famous Escape Boot during the Second World War has ceased trading.

Haynes and Cann developed the footwear for aircrew members who were at risk of being shot down.

Since then, the company has continued to supply specialist aircrew footwear, but now the Ministry of Defence has withdrawn their contract.

Managing Director Brian Keech was devastated: "I was hopeful for a few months but now we have to close."

The company had been making footwear in Northampton for more than 90 years.

The Escape Boot hid a knife and compass inside it.

The key feature of this boot was that if ever the wearer was forced down behind enemy lines, the leg of the boot could be cut off and would resemble a normal shoe for the airmen to escape detection when re-equipped with civilian garments.

The company has linked up with others in the aerospace field to assist in the development of life support systems for particularly demanding situations.

"I thought we would be able to salvage something but it just didn't work out that way," said Brian.


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