Edward Timpson (pictured), an heir to the Timpson fortune, has cemented his career outside the family business after being elected as a member of parliament in the UK district of Crewe and Nantwich yesterday. He won over 49% of the vote for the Conservative party taking a seat from Labour for the first time in a by-election since 1978.
Edward, 34, is the great great-grandson of William Timpson, founder of the ?100 million family shoe repairs and key cutting business. His father, John, is chief executive of the company, and brother James is the MD.
Edward, who has never worked in the family business, grew up sharing his home with many other children. "My parents were foster parents to 86 children," he said. "My parents gave a great deal of their time and their love to the children they fostered. The love of a family is what matters - and people can make a difference to other people's lives if they are willing to try."
He says his life growing up was the main reason he decided to go into his first choice career of family law. His consequent experience in working with vulnerable children and family breakdown are what motivated him to get involved in politics.
The family business was founded in 1865 when, at the age of 16, William Timpson opened his first shoe shop in Manchester. The company boomed throughout the next few decades, setting up shoe repair factories and opening many more stores. William retired from the business at the age of 80. Now controlled by the fifth-generation, the Timpson group has over 550 stores throughout the UK.