The original Timpson Company was founded in 1865 by William Timpson and is still 100% family owned. Five generations of Timpsons have been involved in the business that bears their name. Chief Executive John Timpson is the great grandson of the Founder, William Timpson, who at the age of 16 opened his first shop in Butler Street, Manchester in 1865. William learned his boot and shoe making craft in his native Northamptonshire, but he soon realised that it took a week to make a pair of boots, but only a few minutes to sell them. By 1869 William started trading at 97 Oldham Street, which he rented for £200 a year. This was the foundation of the multiple shoe business. He would personally sell 100 pairs of boots on a busy Saturday. He established a tradition of striking displays. Days were spent painstakingly polishing and arranging shoes for the windows until 97 Oldham Street became a magnet for window gazers, that William would do his best to turn into customers.