Whilst Denys had no children of his own, John married and had 3 children, 2 boys and a girl. The two eldest, Jamie and Natalie, were brought up in their father's many newsagents and worked from a young age, delivering papers before school and stacking shelves to name but a few roles they were tasked with. Matthew however was born 7 years later in 1995 and it became apparent he had the skill set that most of the men in the Payne family had; the ability to create masterpieces with his hands. Whilst regularly visiting their grandparents at 23-25, Matthew showed a keen interest in uncle Denys' workshop. When he left school at 15 he naturally followed the footsteps of his father before him and became the 4th generation to work at H.E. Payne and Sons Ltd.
It's fair to say that Denys didn't have the patience to learn him the trade and so over the next 3 years Matthew had invaluable lessons from his dad John! During this time Denys retired and Matthew became the youngest Payne to take the reins after his father was diagnosed as terminally ill. From 2014 at only 19, he independently held the fort for the next 4 years whilst still seeking guidance and advice from his father when needed.
However, in December 2017 John's health significantly declined and following his passing in May 2018, Natalie left her job at the village primary school and became the first female in the Payne family to work in the now 96 year old family business.
Over the past year significant changes have been made at Payne's to bring the premises into the 21st Century and make more people aware of this little village treasure.
We now have our own logo, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages and the shop has been given a new lease of life.
With Natalie familiar with the admin side of running a business and Matthew providing a repair service of significant quality, it's obvious that this partnership compliments each other well. At only 30 and 23 years old they are guiding each other along the path to perfection in memory of their much loved father.
The business is busier than ever with between 60-80 repairs in the workshop at any one time and a typical turnaround of 2-3 weeks.
Astonished by Matthew's remarkable talent for shoe craft Natalie went on to give him a nickname that has become a firm favourite amongst old and new customers; The Greatest Shoeman.