Maureen has a real passion for shoes

By Sarah GillettWITH more than 60 pairs of shoes to choose from each day, it is a wonder BBC Radio Suffolk presenter Maureen Garratt ever makes it to the studio on time for her early morning show.

By Sarah Gillett

WITH more than 60 pairs of shoes to choose from each day, it is a wonder BBC Radio Suffolk presenter Maureen Garratt ever makes it to the studio on time for her early morning show.

An assortment of boots, mules, stilettos and sandals cover the floor in her Ipswich home. Zebra print, leopard print, sparkly blue, pillar-box red, the choice is endless – there really is a shoe here to match every outfit, and this is only a small part of her collection.

"Most of them are under my bed and scattered around my room. The ones I've got out today are just the ones I wear the most," said Maureen.


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She believes her fascination with footwear began at an early age and, over the years, she has amassed a collection that makes her Suffolk's answer to former Philippine First Lady Imelda Marcos.

"I just love shoes. My mother was always buying them, even if she didn't need them, and they were never sensible shoes, always elegant high heels. I think I probably caught the bug from her," said Maureen.

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"People always ask me how I manage to walk in some of them, but I don't think I really own an uncomfortable pair. I just rotate them a lot so that my feet don't end up squashed to a point.

"Shoes shouldn't be sensible they should be sexy. They make a statement about who you are."

Despite the vast size of her collection, Maureen had no trouble picking out her favourites – she grabbed a pair of black suede sandals with a two-inch heel and delicate ankle strap.

"I absolutely adore these. I brought them about 10 years ago and they are getting a bit shabby now, but I can't part with them," she said.

"I think that's the problem, I can't bear to throw things away. I ought to have shares in the shoe repairers round the corner."

Perhaps the most surprising thing about Maureen's collection is the fact her shoes come from an eclectic range of shops.

"I love my designer shoes and shops like Bally and Russell and Bromley, but I will buy them from anywhere," she said.

"My most expensive pair cost around £220, but supermarkets and chain stores often do some wonderful shoes. It makes more sense to buy cheaply because fashions change so quickly."

When asked to pick out her best bargain, Maureen dived straight for a pair of leopard print mules in the middle of the floor.

"These are amazing. They're probably one of my most outrageous pairs. They cost me £3.50 from a charity shop. They had never been worn before and fit me perfectly," she said.

For most style-conscious shoppers, the odd fashion faux-pas is an inevitable part of their wardrobe.

However, Maureen insisted she had never had a shoe disaster. "I don't think I've ever bought a pair that I've never worn, except the ones that are so nice I deliberately try not to wear them," she said.

"I'll put them on in the morning and then change them before I leave the house because I can't bear to get them dirty."

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