‘Royals, top competitors and famous people all wanted his boots’: farewell to celebrated bootmaker


  • Rudolf Schnieder sadly passed away peacefully on 17 February aged 87 years, following a short illness that he bore bravely.

    Rudolf, known to his friends and family as Rolf, came over from Germany as the third generation of Schnieder bootmakers. He worked at Maxwell Boots, before selling boots in the W&H Gidden’s store, London.

    Soon he found a factory in Northampton and restarted making the famous brand Schnieder Boots. He found his iconic shop at 16 Clifford Street, London, which became the hub of his operation. Handmade boots, made in Northampton and sold in Mayfair.

    Rolf had enthusiasm and belief. In 1992, he married Edna Hunnable. His stepson, Chris Hunnable, remembers coming home from Vere Phillipps’ and describing a horse that he had seen. Rolf immediately piped up that anyone with that confidence would go to the Olympics.

    At that stage of Chris’s career, the Olympics were a very unrealistic dream, but with the encouragement and support from both Rolf and Chris’s mother, it became a reality. Rolf went from strength to strength, making boots for people all over the world.

    The royals, top competitors and famous people all wanted his boots. He held a royal warrant from Her Majesty the Queen, he made jackboots for the Household Cavalry for over 30 years and in addition, made boots for riders in all equestrian Olympic disciplines.

    He leaves his beloved wife Edna, son and daughter, Michael and Martina, stepsons Martyn, Chris and Julian, and his many worldwide friends.

    Rolf’s funeral service will take place at the Three Counties Crematorium, Braintree, on Monday, 11 March at 2.30pm. Family flowers only please; donations, if desired, can be made in Rolf’s memory to the British Heart Foundation or sent to c/o Daniel Robinson & Sons, 31 High Street, Halstead, Essex CO9 2AA.

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