My Jim Greens

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Blog 040 - 18 September 2013

Tour Durban 2012

Our family moved to Pietermaritzburg in 1984. I can neither recall when we first toured the Midlands Meander, nor when I bought my first pair of Jim Green Turbo Vellies. I just know that I have been wearing Jim Green Turbo Vellies for years, and in doing so have experienced several design changes during this time. Except for the model that came with soles that were extremely treacherous in the wet, they have all served me well. Each time the current pair was replaced, the replaced pair would became my garden boots, until the next new pair was purchased.

Except for the most recent pair, all the Jim Green Turbo Vellies that I purchased, were purchased from the Midlands Meander store. When I the last pair from that store, I noticed that the stock seemed rather lower and definitely felt that something was amiss. I did not enquire and nothing was said. I paid and left. Last year my wife and I visited the Pietermaritzburg Garden Show where we found a Jim Green stand. As I knew that I would be needing a new pair of Turbo Vellies within the coming year, I thought I best buy a pair. Unfortunately they did not have my size. When I suggested that I visit the factory that we now knew had relocated to Pietermaritzburg, I was informed that it would not be possible to do so. Instead, I should visit one of the outlets in Pietermaritzburg that carried Jim Green shoes and boots.

I did this recently when it clear that I now needed a new pair of Jim Green Turbo Vellies. The first store I visited also did not have my size. They could order a pair for me, but that would necessitate a wait that could be lengthy. The second outlet did not have any Jim Green Turbo Vellies in stock and informed me that they would no longer be carrying the Jim Green line of boots and shoes. I was rather taken aback and decide I had to put on a brave front and phone the factory. After relating my storey, I was surprised when I was told I could come to the factory and they would try and help me out.

So having looked at a map, I set off for the factory in Failsworth Road. Unfortunately when looking at the map I did not notice that Failsworth Road was a one way. When I reached the road, I still did not notice that it was a one way. In fact I was so taken aback by the pavement trade lining the road, that I simple turned into the road marvelling at what I saw. I could not work out what the pedestrian who gesticulated at me was trying to indicate and simply thought that the first taxi I met driving down the middle if the road was doing what taxis do. Fortunately it was only about 200 m to the factory and I made it without any incident of mishap. I parked in the Tsonga Shoes Factory Shop parking and proceeded to the Crouch Shoes factory next door.

I have to say that while the reception was a little frosty, the rast of the experience was great. The factory manager was most accommodating and very helpful. They also did not have Jim Green Turbo Vellies in my size, but would make me a pair. I left a happy man, so much so, that I took time out to cruise through the cavernous Tsonga factory outlet. After that I also cruised along the section of the Failsworth Road I had driven on to check out the street market. It turned out to be a Shweshwe Market of note and so I bought a dress for Maria.

Three years ago I retired, acquired a Mountain Bike, and started to cycle. I mostly cycle on the slopes of Town Hill and occasionally venture across town on a cycle tour. I also participate in road races and to date I have done the Argus and the Notties2Himeville once, and the Shova and Tour Durban twice. Most of these races have been done wearing my Jim Green Turbo Vellies and given the comments that I hear, I would like to think that they have been well received. One cyclist who passed me also assured me that if I beat him wearing "Those things!", he would give up cycling. It was then that I thought I should approach Jim Green for some support / sponsorship. Also because I thought the Jim Green logo would look great on a cycling jersey tearing down Fields Hill!

Failsworth Road and the Shweshwe Market

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