Northern Branches A-G

Northern Branches A-G Then and Now images included

A major project has been to not only establish ‘Then and now’ views of where and when the company traded but also to try and capture as many branches as possible particularly the early branches. In this way we can get some idea of the thinking behind the company strategy. By doing this there have been many surprises both on the Southern side-Lennards, and the Northern Side in the finding of ‘gems’. Using three main sources to populate the website are:  

My own photos & our own collection of postcard views, Google Inc. Street views and Geograph Uk.

Margin Images ‘Then and Now’ scenes.  click on images for enlarged view

Fig1. Toll gavel Beverley street scene. branch at number 22 is on the right hand side almost adjacent to the man driving the cart and the group of Edwardian ladies. Paul Gibson collection

Fig 2 Toll Gavel showing the locations of the Two Public Benefit shops, 13 on the left(Vodafone) and 22 on the corner of Landress Lane a new building) and the Large boot warehouse at the very bottom Stead & Simpsons. Photo by D.B.

Fig 3.Bolton Atmospheric view of Bradshawgate in the 20th Century Private collection

Fig 4 Bolton Red terracotta construction in the foreground Bradshawgate, listed, and known as Whewell buildings it was company Branch from 1909 occupied 12-14 and is the premises at the beginning of the buildings distinguished by the half circular window on the 2nd Floor next to the 210 Store The company opened here in Bradshawgate at 47 in 1896 as Public benefit Boot 2012 Photo © Alan Murray-Rust (cc-by-sa:2.0)

Fig. 5 Brigg Easy to see why this company and many others vied for positions in this busy market place. Private collection

Fig. 6. Brigg. On the left  The Woolpack, straight ahead is The Old Town Hall and on the right, a branch of the Midland Bank (now known as HSBC). A now long forgotten view of the Market place. 1987 Photo © John Baker (cc-by-sa:2.0)

Fig.7 Castleford. William North Driver a prominent resident of Castleford was the manager of this branch for decades. The branch number 24 is on the immediate right hand corner. Private collection

Fig 8 Number 24 is on the immediate right hand side seen as unoccupied and in a rather sorry state. Market hall is farther down with the distinctive ‘witches hat roof’. The saw toothed building particularly the end section next to 24 on the right shown as derelict has been added sometime in the new century. The building attached to the old Market hall is fairly modern. So with one or two exceptions the view in 2017 at 120 years later is roughly the same. Number 24 is also opposite a Street to gain maximum viewing opportunities. Google inc. 2017

Fig 9. Gainsbrough Here the branch is at the back of the image in the market place with the cart in front of it. private collection

Fig.10 Gainsborough 38 Market Place Google Inc 2016. The old writing is still on the company shop ‘Benefit Boots’

List of Branches A-G


37 Blackburn Road 1938


Market Place, 1885




8a Town Street first listed 1920 Yorkshire Post confirmed Kellys 1927 confirmed 1936 Kellys


Armthorpe opened January 1928


17 Station Road, Hirst 1914 still there in 1920 & 1929

Ashington, 32 Station Road, 1927, 1940’s


78 Lichfield Road, 1896–1914 Birmingham district

Balsall Heath, 

Longmore Street, 1905-1914 Birmingham district


opened early 1924

Barnoldswick & Colne,

4 Market Street Colne advertised in Barnoldswick & Earby Times 27th September 1940 & 1945

6 Market Street, Colne 1933-1953  Barrett’s Directory of Nelson & Consulted Barnoldswick & Earby Times 11th July 1947

via Colne, 29 Albert Road, 1911-1930


2 Pontefract Road, 1898-1967


167 Dalton Road (between Preston St & Cavendish St, Coniston), 1909-1950. Not listed after this date, but listed in 1939.

Barton on Humber,

Hull Packet 15th August 1879 Wainhouse of Barton shop selling Jones sewing machines also 18 Market Place

Barton on Humber, 63 High Street,1900 (kellys Lincs) & 1913 George Goodhand manager Kellys Lincolnshire At this point also this had become a Lennards branch  


BathChronicle & Weekly gazette 2nd June 1892 early closure on Thursdays for Pub Ben from 2.pm

Bath Chronicle & Weekly Gazette 12th January 1893 Boots pinched from P.B. at Stall Street and corner of Southgate Street Bath Alfred Hall a bootmaker was the manager (franchise)

Bath, 19 Stall Street (cnr Southgate Street), 1892-1958 Initially a Northern Branch but was turned over to the Southern territory later

Bath Chronicle & Weekly Gazette 15th December 1898 at 19, stall Street bath,           


2 Market Place, 1927-1936


1925 confirmed by company outing North Party Middleton one Row

Bedlington 7 Market Place, 1927-1938

BEESTON HILL  (leeds) 

1a Tempest Road confirmed 1927 Kellys confirmed 1936 


King Street, 1887 sited between Strutt Street and Campbell Street. 1895-1927 & 1928 confirmed Kellys.

Belper 1932 Kelly’s lists number 66 King Street but is no longer recorded in 1941. Lennards however are listed through to the 1970’s

Bentley a small mining village close to Doncaster

High Street 1927


Toll Gavel, 1882     

Beverley, 22 Toll Gavel, 1891-1893 (Charles Whittaker of Leeds, proprietor, 1891-1892; Joseph Haigh manager (kellys)

Beverley Echo displays advertisements week in week out for example 1st October 1895 urging Beverley shoppers to visit the Hull Prospect Street shop instead of the branch at Beverley. The footnote at the bottom of the advert categorically states:’have never had a branch in Beverley!

13 Toll Gavel still listed in kellys in 1937

Beverley 13 Toll gavel from circa 1925-1948 Hull Daily Mail 27th October 1948

Billingham,See Stockton


55 Church Street, 1891-1911

Birkenhead, See Liverpool & district


Birmingham, see also Aston, Balsall Heath, Harborne, Small Heath, Sparkbrook


Birmingham, 42 Corporation Street, 1887-1982 (Charles Staniforth, driver of horse-drawn boot, 1887;

Birmingham. D. Post 17-04-1890 this is an Advertisement for staff by Mutual Benefit Boot company at Pershore Street Birmingham and on the same page. A company set up by Freeman Hardy & Willis to force Lennard Bros and Public Benefit Boot company into liquidation

Public Benefit Boot company were also advertising for staff at their Corporation Street shop in the same newspaper (see also the Derby report)

UNION STREET/ Corporation Street

Birmingham, 21, 22 & 23 Union Street, 1888-1897


Birmingham, 186 Coventry Road, 1892-1914 ( Dwayne Pipe and Plumbing & heating Services in 2017)

Birmingham 372 Coventry Road in 1940

Various address

Repairs factory 59 Coleshill Road and has been since 1901 confirmed in 1926 (Benefit Magazines)

Birmingham,, 61 Spring Hill Road, 1896-1911 confirmed by Kelly’s National directory of Great Britain 1896

Birmingham,  71 Longmore Street, 1896 confirmed by Kelly’s National directory of Great Britain 1896

Birmingham,  78 Lichfield Street, 1896-1897 confirmed by Kelly’s National directory of Great Britain 1896

Birmingham,  Albert Road, (warehouse), 1914

Birmingham,  Brookfield, 1914

Birmingham,  Springhill, 1914

Birmingham Lichfield Road found 1927

Birmingham,  6 Alum Rock Road, 1946-1969

Birmingham, , 622 Bristol Road, 1946-1969

Bishop Auckland,

38 Newgate Street advertised by the company on 25th Oct. 1898 & 1st June 1899

46 Newgate Street, 1914-1938 (Sold)

Bishop Auckland 74-75 Newgate Street up to 1939


Northern Daily Telegraph 23rd July 1898 finisher wanted repairs dept. 19 Witton Parade

28 Victoria Street, 1928-1939 this was a W.& J. Wallace branch acquired by P.B.

Blackburn, LAN, Traded from 7th November 1939 at 16 King William Street, & number 1 Market Place 1939-1962. Closed down in 1962 under a compulsory purchase order and a new shopping centre opened.

Blackhall Colliery,Castle Eden 

1924-1934 Hartlepool Northern D. Mail mining village



103 Lytham Road, & 12 Lytham Street 1909-1924 and beyond Kelly’s Lancs.

1-3 Bank Hey Street 1924 Kelly’s Lancs


5 Turner Street, 1909-1938 (Turner Street became Regent Street)

Regent Street, 1938-1952 

Still trading in 1973 as Benefit Footwear confirmed Newcastle Evening Chronicle. Beyond that (1979) it became part of the Saxone group. HQ 69 Headway Lilley and Skinner. Co-incidentally the 1979 edition was advertising for a manager of the Blyth shop.


32 Market Place listed in 1920 Derbys. Times & Chesterfield Herald 30 Oct 1920 and still there in 1932


47 Bradshawgate, 1896-1904 (William Herrenden Harker, manager 1896-1898)

Bolton, Whewell Buildings, 12-14 Bradshawgate, 1909. Also listed in Lennards 1909 prospectus as a Lennards Branch. Likely to be one of the twenty branches T.J.Lennard purchased from Franklin to be able to control the amalgamation in 1904 of the two P.B. companies. 

Part of the early 20th century redevelopment of the west side of Bradshawgate, in red terracotta, mentioned in the Deansgate Conservation Area appraisal as a building which makes a positive contribution. The appraisal refers to an “ornately carved timber fascia above the entrance door to Bradshawgate [which] is inscribed “Whewell Buildings” in Art Nouveau lettering and incorporates floral motifs and a leaded fanlight with turned spindles”. Whether this exists under the later fascias is not clear.Image in Northern A-G

Bootle, see Liverpool


Confirmed as having a branch 1927 kellys directory


41 Market Place, 1905-1960.

41 Market Place 1913 & 1930 Kellys confirmed 1937 

Lincolnshire Standard & Boston Guardian 20th November 1948 at 41 Market place

Boston Guardian 3rd Feb 1917 Manager Henry Gardiner aged 40 at 21 Witham Bank Branch Reported that 75% of their eligible men were in the army and requested they be allowed to retain a few of the older men to keep the business going. 142 Women had been engaged and the appeal was allowed up to April. He again applied on 14th July 1917 and was granted until October 11th.

Boston: listed in 1921 Nott’s eve. Post 8 Queens’ Road


Bradford, Westgate, 1881-1893 (Charles Burrow, proprietor, 1884; Jabez Sidney Bullough, proprietor 1893) Bradford Observer 10th Jan 1882 theft from Wm Faulkner manager Franchise.

Various addresses on Westgate up to circa 1912

Bradford, 20 Sunbridge Road, 1887 followed by various address on Sunbridge Road 12-14 from the 1890’s up to circa 1912

Bradford, 184 Manchester Road, 1891-1898

Bradford 78 Westgate 1897 

31a Ivegate confirmed Kellys 1927 confirmed 1936 Kellys


206 Upper Town Street

206 Upper Town Street, 1950’s-1960

Moved a few doors farther along new branch 1st Qtr 1926 to 222 Town Street confirmed 1936 Kellys

65 Station Road 1936 kellys


16th Feb 1906 a franchise arrangement in ‘Marshalls’ 52 High street Bridlington free Press. The arrangement ended on 1st May 1906. This establishment the first toe hold into Bridlington for Public Benefit Boot is still trading, from the same position number 52 and owned by the same family and has been since 1905! The firm of Marshalls began at number 25 High Street.

34 King Street, 1911-1917 (James Herbert Lee, manager 1911-1916; Mary Ann Lee, manageress 1916-1917)

34 King Street 1925 Kelly’s directory

1922 The company is trading at 24 Queen Street

Bridlington, 33a-34 Queen Street, 1930’s-1937confirmed Kellys  

Hull D. Mail 17th Jan. 1939 fire at the Bridlington branch premises on top floor occupied by a tobacconist which caught fire. Slight damage was done to the P.B. section. Miss Joan Taylor an assistant at P.B. Brid commented

Bridlington 34 Queen Street ad for staff 1950,


Market Place, 1922-1932

Brigg, 33 Market Street, 1933-1937


80a Main Street, 1894-1896 confirmed by Kelly’s National directory of Great Britain 1896


Burnley 4, Market Street 1940-May 1942 ‘Nelson Leader’

75 St James Street, 1904-1954 Burnley Express consulted 12th May 1904. One side of the street was demolished in the 1970’s (The odd numbers) along with 75. It now appears to be part of a monstrous shopping mall. Directories consulted-Barratts


191 Station Street, 1904-1942 (Corporation Building) Kelly’s 


108 The Rock, 1934-1936.


6 Terrace Road, 1912-1916

1932 Kellys’ lists the company at 43 Spring Gardens and Lennards at 34 Spring Gardens


Carlisle express & examiner 22/11/1879 Franchise arrangement 27 Botchergate Todd Brothers on the corner of Mary Street

Carlisle Express & Examiner 8th January 1881 Franchise-Todd Brothers 27 Botchergate 

Pub. Benefit advert franchise 39 Bothchergate up to 1924

77 English Street opened listed in 1920 traded concurrently with 39 Botchergate and when Botchergate closed in 1924 English Street remained open until 1925 as the branch closed due to lease expiring

55 English Street Up to 1881 this property was the White Swan inn which was demolished when a new building was erected. Confirmed by Cumbria C.C. as being opened as a Public Benefit branch from 1927  and also confirmed at this address by Kellys 1938. Undoubtedly the firm would have occupied this address from 1925 up to 1940

Additional branch  opened:- 79 Scotch Street close to the market place early 1924 after taking over the old shop from R.& J. Dick makers of Balata Footwear

Carlisle, 79 Scotch Street, corner of Grape Lane 1924-1940.

Still trading in 1973 as Benefit Footwear confirmed Newcastle Evening Chronicle. Beyond that (1979) it became part of the Saxone group. HQ 69 Headway Lilley and Skinner.

Lennards Footwear occupy addresses in Carlisle also up to 1968 the last directory held by the library. Directories at Carlisle are spasmodic.


7 Carlton Street, 1892-1901

Castleford, 24 Carlton Street, 1897-1917

Castleford, 63 Carlton Street, 1917-1936   Adv. for staff found October 1951


Chester, 42, Northgate Street, 1911-1912 (William Herrenden Harker, manager, 42 Foregate in 1907)

Chester, 42 Northgate Street, 1907-1938

Chester, 54 Northgate, 1938- to at least 1941

Chester, CHS, 23 Foregate Street, 1911-1952 confirmed 1938 Kellys

Chester, 5 Grosvenor Street, 1924-1952 Repair facility confirmed 1938 Kellys


Chesterfield Peoples Benefit Boot Company Derbyshire Times 14th Jan 1882 Theft of Boots

Corporation Street, 1888-1892 (John Kirby, proprietor, 1892)

Chesterfield,  6 Corporation Street, 1895-1910 confirmed by Kelly’s National directory of Great Britain 1896

Chesterfield, 21 Stephenson Place, 1894-1950

Chesterfield Stephenson Place. Established since 1894 Mr Woolley Died March 1944 and had been manager of the branch since 1903


85 & 87 Front Street

Chester-Le-Street, 90 Front Street, 1914-1938

Chester Le Street Front Street Branch suffered a broken plate glass window according to Durham Chronicle 23 December 1927 when a car skidded avoiding another vehicle and into the branch window


15 Chapel Street in 1941


21 Bradford Road 1927-1936

Colwyn bay

found in 1927 4th QTR


5 Bridge Street 1934 kellys


4th July 1923  Branch reported in Yorkshire post; manager injured.

21 Middle Street, 1925 

Consett, 23 Middle Street, 1934-1938 Kellys northumberland

COVENTRY including Solihull

Coventry, 4 Hales Street & Spon Street, 1880-1884

Coventry,  40-41 Smithford Street, 1884-1937                                                     (Samuel Harker, manager, 1884; S Harker & Son, proprietor 1912-1913;

Coventry,  45 Smithford Street, 1937-1940

Coventry   46 Smithford Street Public Benefit Boot Chambers Rugby Advertiser 15th January 1937

Coventry address: 46a Smithford Street opening shortly Coventry Eve. Telegraph ADV. 30 November 1940

1966 August 26th  new branch opened for Benefit Footwear 15, Mill Lane Solihull

1954, 1960 and again in 1968 Number 1, The Precinct branch, near the railway station Coventry


68 Market Street, 1914-1934 confirmed Kellys


10 Hope Street, 1911-1938


65 Station Road opened 6th June 1924 confirmed 1927 Kelly’s confirmed 1936 Kellys


43 King Street, 1921-1936 (business previously operated by Howard Ecclestone until his death in 1920)


19 High Row, July 1894-1902 opposite the town clock

Darlington, 43 High Row, 1908-1926

Darlington, 4 Prebend Row, New Branch opened 2nd QTR 1926 -1938

Darlington, 1945


 231 Main Street, 1911 Sheffield district

Darnall  660 Staniforth Road listed 1920


Derby daily Telegraph 24th May 1890 Two ads by Public Benefit Boot and One large ad by Mutual Benefit Boot the latter is a trading company set up by Freeman Hardy & Willis to threaten Public Benefit Boot Company. They set up an H.Q close to the Birmingham H.Q on Corporation Street and established a branch in Derby called ‘the Spot’

Derby, 2 1/2 St Peter’s Street, 1891

Derby, 24-28 London Street, 1881-1899 (George Edward Franklin, proprietor, 1881-1896) confirmed by Kelly’s National directory of Great Britain 1896

Derby Metropole Branch, Babbington Buildings, Babbington lane which was the ‘manor House’ where a series of shops traded and Public Benefit Boot traded there from 1891-1897(George Edward Franklin, proprietor, 1891;

Brand new branch ‘Babbington Buildings’ built on the site of the Manor House Babbington lane. It’s then to be addressed as Cnr St Peter’s Street (67) & Osmaston Road, and opened Summer 1897 and occupied up to the 1960’s

Metropole Babbington buildings Derby 30th May 1940 Derby Telegraph Harry ward manager 1915 to 1941. Branch still used in 1950

Repair Shop 88 Osmaston Road as told in Derbyshire adv. 18th March 1921 & 1925 and 1932 confirmed by kellys.

Repair factory: in 1949 @ 3-4 Victoria Buildings. London road Derby


circa 1901 Then 14 Market place 1917-1936

 199 Dewsbury Road 1927 Kelly’s confirmed 1936 Kellys dewsbury Road 

Dewsbury  199 Dewsbury Road in 1947

 1940 it was Northgate corner off the Market place.


Laughton Road, new Branch opened 2nd Qtr 1926 confirmed 1927


41-43 Jubilee Buildings St Sepulchre Gate, 1889-1966

Doncaster,  47 St Sepulchre Gate, 1901-1920 at least

Doncaster 1945


4 Market Place, 1913-1937confirmed Kellys

Driffield: opened circa 1913 at 4 Market place a report in Driffield Times of a Smash and grab on 9th October 1943 resulted in the plate glass window being broken and several boots and shoes extracted. However, they were all odd ones as they do not put pairs in the windows

Number 5 Market place added to the no: 4 branch when application for a new window was applied for in Driffield Times 13th March 1926 and according to the Driffield Times 27th March 1926 4 Market Place was opened on the 26th March- refitted


22 Silver Street, 1901-1911

Durham,  134 Framwellgate Bridge,Grand opening  28th January 1910-1938 Durham County Advertiser 

Durham- Sunderland echo reports tragedy as runaway lorry kills 3, injures 3 and stops at the P.B. shop destroying four plate glass windows (full report) 14th Sept 1934 Manager Mr. R. Johnson

Still trading in 1973 as Benefit Footwear confirmed Newcastle Evening Chronicle. Beyond that (1979) it became part of the Saxone group. HQ 69 Headway Lilley and Skinner.

Earlestown. Newton Le Willows

20 bridge Street Earlestown confirmed by Kelly’s National directory of Great Britain 1896 & 18-20 Bridge Street from 1898

Earlestown, 1 Bridge Street, 1905-1927 Kelly’s Lancs

Earlestown, 4 Market Street, 1901-1924 Kelly’s Lancashire

Easington Colliery

Seaside Lane, 1914-1938 Sund. D. Echo & Gaz. consulted

East Hartlepool, 1900


July 1909 Yorkshire Post advertised the Westgate shop was up for sale currently occupied by the P.B.Company

Public Benefit Boot Court, 36 Westgate, confirmed 1927 kellys directory.

Westgate has pretty much been turned over to housing, very little exists of the road other than the name and housing estates in 2017.


Main Street, 1925-1938

Firth Park

Sheffield 3rd QTR 1927


Heaton Street, 1882-1893 Tom Coulson manager

Boston Guardian 19 Bridge Street Gainsbrough 26th March 1887

Gainsborough, 38 Market Place (Cnr Silver Street), 1892-1965


4 Doncaster Road, 1912-1936


33 Boothferry Road, 1896-1927

Goole, YKS, 19 Bridge Street, 1904-1927 Kelly’s directory   

Goole, YKS, 83 Boothferry Road, 1927, 1937-1939;Kellys directory

Gosforth, (Newcastle) See Newcastle


7 London Road, 1889-1901 (Richard Franklin, manager, 1889; William John Curtis, manager, 1889-1901)

Grantham, 27a Market Place, 1900-1956

Grantham address Established in 1902 was 27A Market Place.Confirmed in 1913 & 1925 and 1936 Kellys

Grantham Journal 18th November 1955 new branch opened at 58 High Street

Greenock (Glasgow)

C.M.Percy 38 Hamilton Street Greenock and Clyde Gazette December  1879 & 1880

Kennedy’s 26 Hamilton Street Greenock and Clyde Gazette  1886-1889

Great Grimsby,

147 Cleethorpes Road, 1882                                                                             

(Henry Franklin, manager, 1882) 152 Cleethorpes Road (Frederick Franklin, manager, 1899-1902) up to circa 1913

244 Cleethorpes Road 1930 Kellys

Grimsby, 26 Corporation Road, 1901

Grimsby, 55 Victoria Street West, 1890 Confirmed Grimsby Library  J.Fisher Banks manager branch continued up to unknown date when firm removed to 29a : 

Grimsby 29 Victoria Street confirmed 1913 & 1923 Grimsby Street Directory manager H. J.Watts & from  1924 &  1925 Notts & Lincs 1925 tour outing.

29a Victoria Street Public Benefit Buildings is listed on the corner of Silver Street at some point the company occupied this building before removing to the premises next door at number 29 prior to 1913 

Grimsby, 112, Freeman Street, on the corner of Garribaldi street opened August 1924 until circa 1964. 

Great Crosby:

Address? opened 1st September 1924