Aha! Online research reveals that my weakness for shoes* is genetic: my great grandfather was a shoe salesman. I already knew that his son (my grandad, described in the 1911 census as a "pattern warper") and his father ("dyer") were in the (you've guessed it) wool/textiles industry. Rootling round online has been fun, but I'm glad that my grandfather had a middle name that marked him out: my first search for the family surname combined with the parish they lived in (Sheepridge) came up with nearly 300 possible people.
My Dad has already traced this side of the family quite a way back, but I did find something new. I'd not realised that the census recorded how many children a woman had given birth to, including those who'd subsequently died. I'd always though of grandad as one of three, but it seems that his mother had 5 children, 2 of whom had died by 1911.
* a note on my weakness for shoes: this is kept under control by the fact that I have very awkwardly-shaped feet. I buy, on average, two pairs of shoes/sandals/boots each year. I wear them out at a similar rate. But I don't like throwing them out (if you see me in my pink suede shoes, please don't look at the holes in my soles). Graham insists that I am "the Imelda Marcos of shoes" as I must have ooh, all of 12 pairs (including hiking boots, wellies, clogs and my one-and-only pair of heels) of which 4 pairs really should be thrown ouot.