A battle over the development of the former Start-Rite factory in Sprowston has revealed the little-known history of the brand's Norfolk heritage.

Start-Rite is believed to be Britain's oldest shoemaker and one of the first manufacturers in Norfolk.

The recognised brand was established in 1792 in Norwich by James Smith and was given its name by his grandson, James Southall.

It rose to prominence in the 20th century partly down to a 1936 poster, reading 'Children's shoes have far to go' and featuring the image of twins.

Norwich Evening News: Start-Rite factory workers in 1909Start-Rite factory workers in 1909 (Image: Norwich Heritage Projects)

In 1955 Start-Rite was granted a royal warrant by the late Queen Elizabeth II to supply footwear for her four children.

The company was granted a second royal warrant in 1989 by the former Prince of Wales to supply shoes for his sons. It was withdrawn in 2003.

In 2016, Prince George was pictured wearing Start-Rite shoes in an official portrait.

Norwich Evening News: A pair of Start-Rite shoesA pair of Start-Rite shoes (Image: Archant Norfolk.)

The Start-Rite factory in Mousehold Lane closed in 2004 and was destroyed by fire in 2005.