c5
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Northern Branches H-O

Northern Branches H-O

Hull Big Boot 1912

Nottingham Evening Post July 1891 TENDERS. TO COACH BUILDERS.—Wanted, Estimates for Building a Trap with Large Boot, similar to what has been exhibited by the Public Benefit Boot Co. for advertising purposes.—Apply Hume, Boot Manufacturer, 38, North-street, Belfast

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 five main sources to populate the website are:    

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

Halifax,

Halifax Evening Courier May 1894 AN IMPORTANT EVENT which concerns every inhabitant of HALIFAX. THE PUBLIC BENEFIT BOOT CO Ltd ARE OPENING Extensive Premises AT 10, NORTHGATE, HALIFAX, WITH a CHOICE selection of LADIES’, Gents, Girls BOYS, & children’s BOOTS, SHOES, & SLIPPERS, IN GREAT VARIETY. The Public Benefit Boot Co, Ltd., The day of fancy prices and exorbitant profits as gone forever Direct from the Factory to the People is the up to date method of doing businessPUBLIC BENEFIT BOOT CO., LTD., 10 Northgate Halifax

Halifax Guardian May 1901 HALIFAX NEW CENTRAL BOOT MARCHE GENERAL INVITATION. VISIT OUR NEW CENTRAL BOOT MARCHE VIEW OUR MARCHE WINDOWS BUY IN OUR BOOT MARCHE. PUBLIC BENEFIT BOOT COS, LTD, 31, CROWN STREET 31. “PUBLIC BENEFIT.” 31. CROWN-STREET. Removed from Northgate

Halifax, 10 Northgate, 1894-1901

Halifax, 31 Crown Street, 1901-1914 confirmed Y.E.P. 

Harrogate

J.Gill  (driver) son of Mrs J.Gill Upper Denmark Street Harrogate, worked at the Public Benefit boot shop in Harrogate prior to enlisting. Harrogate Herald 13th October 1915

5 St James Buildings, 1909-1968   

Harrogate Beaulah Street Harrogate Y. Eve. Post 12th December 1949. 

Harrogate Herald 23rd April 1947 5, St James buildings, Harrogate

Harrogate, 6 Cambridge Street, 1912-1927 close to the Lowther Arcade

Harrogate, 1945 N T Aveyard at Harrogate 1924

Hartlepool  West Hartlepool, Freehold shop 

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

23 Northgate Street, 1896-1958 (Hartlepool Northern Daily advertise for staff 22nd July 1931 applications to the Public Benefit Boot Co: Hartlepool.  This facility operated until 1961-62. According to the Newcastle, Sunderland, Durham & Middlesbrough Trades directory of 1958 & 1961-2.

Hartlepool Northern Daily 1st June 1899 announce premises at 23 Northgate Hartlepool at the tram terminus. This will have been a smaller branch establishment and also likely a repairing facility? 

78 Lynn Street, Corner of Musgrave Street opened 16th February 1894 under the free trade hall. Branch believed to have remained until at least 1956

Hartlepool Northern Daily Mail 6th November 1895: Resolved, that notice be given by the Town Clerk to the Public Benefit Boot Co. to remove the signboard projecting from their building the junction of Lynn and Musgrave Streets —

Hartlepool Northern Daily Mail announce on 21st March 1899 the opening on 1st April 1899 a separate ‘LADIES PRIVATE SERVICE SALOON’ Girls and childrens shoes and boots were also to be sold in the private saloon. A bespoke and repair service was also offered advertised.

West Hartlepool, 113 Musgrave Street, 1897-1925. Believe this to be the same branch opened in 1894

Hartlepool Northern Daily 16th December 1926 advertising a shop to let 109 Musgrave Street

Musgrave Street now demolished and replaced by housing

William E. Barker managed the Public Benefit Boot Co premises at 78 Lynn Street, West Hartlepool.

Charles Henry Brown Born 1866 at West Hartlepool,. He was a boot salesman and 1900-1901 he managed the Public Benefit Boot Co premises at 23 Northgate Street, Hartlepool. consult surnames A-for full biographical details

Anderson Crossgrove Born 1874 at West Auckland, Co Durham, son of Thomas Anderson Crossgrove, a Prudential Assurance agent, and Jane BROWN. He married Ada SIMPSON of Newcastle in 1896 the following year he managed the Public Benefit Boot Co premises at 78 Lynn Street and 113 Musgrave Street, West Hartlepool. From 1901 until at least 1911 he managed 44 Linthorpe Road at Middlesbrough, Yorkshire   Consult Surnames A-D for full biographical details

A W Dobson  Manager of Hartlepool 23 Northgate Branch 1904-5

D Murfitt East Hartlepool Branch 1924 & 1925

The Smith Family: Mr Smith described as being of a quiet, genial nature he managed East Hartlepool for many years followed by management in the Birmingham area and currently at Bradford found in 3rd QTR 1925

R W Stangroom senior  West Hartlepool 3rd qtr 1924

Robert William Stangroom. In 1907 he attended the wedding of Brow Dickinson as manager of the Middlesbrough branch. From 1908 to 1911 he managed Public Benefit Boot Co premises in West Hartlepool and later went on to become an Inspector for the firm. During WWI he served in the Royal Regiment of Artillery. He retired from the company as manager of the branch at Ashington and died in 1957 aged 79  Consult Surnames P-S for full biographical details

Ernest William Tomline Born 1875 at Fiskerton. In 1901 he managed the Public Benefit Boot Co premises at 193 Linthorpe Road, Middlesborough, Yorkshire; 1904-05 he managed the company’s premises at 78 Lynn Street, West Hartlepool and in 1911 he managed the premises in Sunderland, Co Durham.

George Edmund Wedge Born 1877 at Dudley. At the turn of the century he managed the Public Benefit Boot Co premises at 78 Lynn Street, West Hartlepool.He then went on to be district inspector for the company and in 1920 he was appointed a director of the Public Benefit Boot Co. In 1924 he acted as best man at the wedding of the company’s managing director, Brow DICKINSON.

Hemsworth,

Barnsley Road, 1st Qtr 1927-1936

Mr Bond Assistant at Chesterfield and Newark becomes a new manager sent to newly opened Hemsworth 1st QTR 1927

Heysham (Morecambe) 

Dalton Road 1950’s

Hetton Downs,

5 Market Street, 1925-1934

Mr Bruce Manager of Hetton Le Hole hitched in 3rd Qtr 1924

Mr M W Corner  Manager of Branch Market Street Hetton Le Hole County Durham seen outside his shop highlighting the shop that leans! 2nd QTR 1927 sent to manage Hendon Road Sunderland still there in 1928

Mr Ross  Manager of Hetton Le Hole Branch 1927/8

Mr Todd  New manager sent to Hetton 2nd QTR 1927

Hexham,

Cattle Market (opp Fore Street), 1908-1938

Market Place (opp Queen Ann Inn), 1950’s

Hexham branch still trading under ‘Benefit Footwear’  1968

Miss Dodds fitting room Hexham Branch 1924 & 1925

Hinckley

21 Castle Street, 1941-1960’s

Frank Reeves Manager of 21 Castle Street Hinckley from 1940’s to 1960’s

Hirst, See Ashington

Holyhead

opened May 1924

Hubert James Morgan In 1891 he worked as a boot salesman at Hulme, 118 Stretford Road Lancashire. On 14 July 1914, he married Edna Elizabeth JOHNSON and they had a daughter Clarice MORGAN 1916. He served as a gunner in France during WWI. in 1924 he was manager of  Holyhead branch

Horden, (Stanley)

5 Front Street 1925-1938

Stanley, 18 Front Street, Elite Buildings, 1934-1938

Mr Douthwaite Assistant at Sunderland but became a manager of Horden Branch found 3rd Qtr 1924

Hornsey see London

Houghton-le-Spring,

Frank Gigeon   Sunderland Daily Echo & Gazette Gunner Frank Gigeon Royal Flying Association Killed in action 19th October 1918 he was from Hull and a manager of the Houghton Le Spring branch

W Grainger manager in 1924

89 Newbottle Street, 1925-1934 1924-1934 found in newspapers. Online directories inform that the company ceased trading from 1934.

Hucknall Torkard

9 Ashfield district Nottinghamshire

Branch confirmed Nottingham Eve Post November 1914

Manager Miss Garnet of Hucknall branch 1924 & 1925 

Huddersfield,

15 Buxton Road, 1884 (Charles Burrow, proprietor, 1884)

Huddersfield, 6 Cross Church Street, east Side, 1912-1927

Huddersfield, 4 King Street, new branch opened 1st QTR 1926 (2nd shop in the town)

Huddersfield, 4 King Street, 1927 Occupying the shop next door to Burtons the Tailors. In 2019 Burtons has become Vision express and Public Benefit has become Buzz Mobile

Mr Buckley Manager of Morley Branch and sent to King Street Huddersfield 1928

Mr Long  New manager at new shop King St. Huddersfield 1926

HULL HULL HULL HULL HULL HULL HULL HULL HULL HULL HULL HULL

Refer to:  The first ten years 1875-1885′ for a more in depth account in ‘articles’ section.

Evesham Standard & West Midland Observer Feb 1914 “If you would have money to spend, you must spend money to advertise.”—W. H. Franklin of the Public Benefit Boot Company Ltd

HULL Emporium in Prospect Street was a freehold premises

Hull Packet August 1873 George Edward Franklin brother to William, founder of the company, opens a ‘beer off’ at 91 Trinity Street this is close to where the family settled around this time in Stanley Street. George had just married his bride in Grimsby Elizabeth Hunn.

Hull a bustling port the third port of England is chosen to spearhead what would become the Huge Public Benefit Boot Company. Begun in Prospect Street 1875 in the Brighton Arcade.

Eastern Morning News Dec 1877 EVERYBODY IS ASTONISHED WHO SEES THE STALL of the PUBLIC BENEFIT BOOT AND SHOE COMPANY. It’s mystery how they make such SPLENDID NAILED AND OTHER STRONG WORK For the Money DON’T LEAVE THE SHOW WITHOUT LOOKING AT THEM! AT THE SHOW IN THE NEW WOODSHED. BUSINESS PREMISES: JUST OPPOSITE THE INFIRMARY. HULL. Hull and East riding CHRISTMAS FAT CATTLE SHOW

Mammoth upgrade Emporium

Hull opened 1885 Emporium Albion Street /Prospect Street. A highly successful Freehold Branch it traded until in May 1941 during the great blitz of Hull it was destroyed by enemy bombing.

 

1885 Hull Emporium once an old Temperance hotel sited opposite a bustling infirmary

THE HULL PUBLIC BENEFIT BOOT AND SHOE MANUFACTURING COMPANYS NEW ESTABLISHMENT. The public of Hull, whilst passing along Prospect. street during the last two or three months, will have been attracted by the erection of a building of somewhat palatial proportions opposite the Royal Infirmary. Now that the hoarding is removed there is revealed a structure which, from an architectural point of view alone, is an ornament to that part of the town, and is, we may say at once, intended as the new establishment for the Hull Public Benefit Boot and Shoe Manufacturing Company. It stands on the site, with an additional piece of spare ground, of Graham’s Temperance Hotel, and has an immense frontage, partly in Prospect-street and partly in Albion-street. It is a four-storied, red stock brick building, with gray stone facings elaborately carved, and granite base, the whole being surmounted by two conspicuous turrets neatly slated, and with railings tipped with gold, as also are the massive window frames, and other decorative parts of the exterior. Interiorly, the departments are not less spaciously or splendidly fitted up, indeed we have authority for stating that this establishment is one of the largest and most complete of its hind in England. The ground floor or trade department is divided, as it were, into three separate and distinct shops. First, that forming one corner of Albion-street, is the ladies’ department, fitted with carved oak panelings, screen, cushioned seats, &c., and with stained glass, representing birds and human figures. There is also a retiring room for ladies after transacting their business. Adjoining this is the gentlemen’s fitting room, and then we come to the shop for general purposes, which faces Prospect-street. It is 27 feet by 32 feet, and 14 feet in height. The fittings here are of polished pine, and specially-arranged brass gas mountings, run through the length and breadth of the building. Further on, again, is a ” reserve shop,” in which boots and shoes of every description are stored ready to hand in order to facilitate and expedite the wants of customers, and in the rear of this is the manager’s office. The spring blinds, too, are picturesque and unique, in as much as they work from below upwards. At then.room. which is approached, as the rooms above, by a large doorway at the extreme end of the building, and marked in gold letters, ” Goods entrance.” Ascending a broad stairway we are shown the various stock-rooms, iS in number, one above another, and each containing in regular order men’s, women’s, and children’s boots, shoes, and slippers of every possible size and description. These rooms are each about 11ft. by 24ft. All the walls and ceilings, above and below, are of varnished deal wood, and the building throughout is supplied with full heating apparatus. It is perfectly bewildering to see the thousands of pairs of boots and shoes piled one above another, and yet with such order as to size and quality that the sales people can lay their hands upon the kind they want at a moment’s notice. The company have similar establishments in various parts of the country, notably at Derby, Nottingham, Leeds, and Sheffield, but this new establishment in Hull, which will be opened for public business to-morrow (Saturday), and will no doubt cause considerable attraction, is the finest and most commodious of them all. In a building which reflects so much credit on all concerned we should be remiss were we not to mention the respective firms to whom the various branches of the work had been entrusted. Mfr J. Wills, of Derby,,is the architect; Mr Drewry, of Beverley- road, the contractor ; Messrs Audas and Leggett, Paragon-street, the upholsterers, &c.; Blessers Stone, Settle, and Wilkinson, of Church-side, the gas fitters; and Mr Jordan, of Queen-street, the window blind furnishers.

In the new century the whole top floor was sub let to The Swanland Restaurant above the shop, it caught fire in 1912                                             

Other early Branches

BRANCH 186-188 Hessle Road, 1886-1892. Wellsted Street Corner number 186  closed in 1892 and 188 closed in 1897 stock removed to new Branch. Repairs were carried out at the Hessle Road branches as the company employed a repairer during this period which points perhaps to one of the two shops on the corner of Wellsted Street being a repair shop?

Eastern Morning news Sept 1897 NO APPLICATION. There was no application for the renewal of the license (beer.spirits, and wine off), for the remises No. 154, Hessle-road, and it was accordingly struck out. The old premises have been destroyed, and the Public Benefit Boot Company are erecting a shop on the site

AN EXPLOSION ON THE HESSLE-ROAD (188 Wellsted Street).HDM 16th January 1893 “LOOKING FOR GAS” WITH A LIGHTED MATCH, Customary Result. Between 10 and 11 o’clock on Saturday morning an explosion of a rather serious character took place at the Hessle-road branch establishment of the Public Benefit Boot Company. About 11 o’clock Mr Wrigglesworth, the manager, detecting a smell of gas, visited the upstairs rooms and examined the taps but failing to discover the whereabouts of the escape, he struck a match and applied it to the chandelier in the front room directly over the shop. At first this did not have the desired effect, and, continuing searching with the light until he reached the ceiling, an explosion took place, which shattered the ceiling and expelled a large quantity of the plaster through the front windows into the street. The effects of the explosion did not stop here. The door was splintered, and the adjoining rooms on the same floor were also damaged. Curiously enough, a door and its supports on the ground floor, immediately under the scene of the explosion, were dislodged and shivered into matchwood. Miss Vaughan, who was stood by at the time, narrowly escaped, while Mr Wrigglesworth, who was at the centre of the explosion, fortunately received no other injury beyond some slight burns on the right arm.

Hull, 51 Saville Street, 1889

Prospect Street, extensions to the first branch quickly appear soon after 1875, a presence is established into the 1880’s at numbers 90-94 a parade of shops opposite the Hull Royal Infirmary now the Prospect Centre until the first upgrade replaces them in 1885

NEW ERECTION COLTMAN STREET 1897

Hull, 152-154 Hessle Road, (Cnr Coltman Street), 1897-1925

OPENING OF 33-35 HOLDERNESS ROAD JUNE 1896

GAS ESCAPE. LOOKING FOR !T WITH LIGHTED MATCH. HDM 22nd december 1897 Fire broke out yesterday in the drawing-room above the shop of the Hull Public Benefit Boot Company, Holderness-road, due to an explosion of gas. The manager was looking for an escape with a lighted match, hence the outbreak.

Hull, 35-37 Holderness Road, HDM 27th June 1896-1937

Hull, Holderness Road, 4, East Parade 1886-1896 closed in 1896 stock moved across to new branch ,

EXTRAORDINARY EVENT. OPENING CELEBRATION. EAST HULL IMPROVEMENTS, LARGEST EMPORIUM IN THE DISTRICT. MOST CONSPICUOUS BUILDING ON HOLDERNESS-ROAD. PUBLIC BENEFIT BOOT COMPANY WERE FORCED HAVE A VERY LARGE CONCERN. Business had much Outgrown the Room of Shop. Spacious Premises in the Most Central Position were Purchased, Partly Re-built, Enlarged, and TranSformed into a GRAND FIRST-CLASS AND GENERAL MART, Arranged to Privately and Openly Serve Large Numbers at Once, and HOLD STOCKS ENOUGH TO SUPPLY ALL EAST HULL. OPENING DAY. SATURDAY, JUNE . DIRECTLY FACING THEIR 10 YEARS’ OLD SHOP. FRONTING PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, HOLDERNESS – ROAD. NEARLY OPPOSITE WILLIAMSON – STREET. THE MAIN THOROUGHFARE INTO HEDON – ROAD DISTRICT. Electric Light, Engine, Dynamo, Plant, &c.. the Most Perfect System. Greenwich Time Electrically Lighted Clock for Public Service. PUBLIC BENEFIT BOOT COMPANY have now put East Hull on a par with Central Hull, having large replete and complete emporium conducted the meth oF their British Foreign Boot Exchange, Prospect-street. Those who have rot done business with them because they could not be expeditiously served in the ” Old Limited Room Shop.” will be promptly and satisfactorily supplied. They feel sure of adding thousands of new customer who are asked to kindly speak to friends of what they may purchase. SPECIAL PROVISION FOR WINDOW INSPECTION. LARGE PRIVATE SPACE WITHOUT IMPEDING THE FOOTPATH. At all Times and Seasons the WINDOW EXHIBITS will be GRAND SHOWS of SUPERIOR VARIETIES. WINDOW EXHIBITS will GREAT SHOWS of EXTRA SPECIAL VALUE. OPEN SATURDAY NEXT, JUNE 27. BRANCHES AT HEBSLE-ROAD AND PORTER-STREET. HEAD-QUARTERS, PROSPECT-STREET,

Hull Packet December 1880 Opposite the Infirmary is the series of shops occupied by the PUBLIC BENEFIT BOOT COMPANY. This company are  ‘making a special show of their goods, which include the very extremes of the bootmaker’s art. In one window we observe shoes of the finest material for ladies’ use at the ball or in-door parties; in another may be seen the heaviest class of work for miners or such as navvies might require on excavation works. Between these are boots, shoes, and slippers of all sizes, strengths, and qualities. The quotations are for cash, and consequently low.

Hull prospect Street opposite the old infirmary this is the shop from which an empire was found from 1875.

Hull Daily Mail November 1896 AN ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION. DINNER AND DANCE. , To celebrate the 21st anniversary of the founding of the Public Benefit Boot and Shoe Company, Mr and Mrs W. Franklin invited the heads of the various branches throughout the kingdom, together with number of friends, to a dinner _ and dance at the Central Hall last night. About 120 persons sat down. Mr Brow Dickinson, of Bramley, occupied the chair, and was supported Messrs W.H. Franklin, Hull; George Franklin, Derby; J. Harker, Nottingham; J. Kirby, Sheffield; B. Hunn, Birmingham; G. Kirby, Warrington; Jno H. Taylor, Luton; S. Harker, Coventry; T. Hawkins, Northampton; J. Britten, London; J Holmes, Norwich; C. Lewis, Northampton; Bannister, London; Fursee, London ; W. Howkins Leicester; Alderman Lennard, J.P., Leicester’ Councillor Gelder, Hull, and others. ‘The arrangements were of the most elaborate description. After the repast, and the usual loyal toasts had been honoured, the Chairman proposed “The Host and Hostess.” He first of all referred to the fact that NUMEROUS TELEGRAMS HAD BEEN* RECEIVED from all over the country, congratulating Mr and Mrs Franklin on the coming of age of their vast business, and expressing the wish that it would continue increasing in prosperity in the future as it had done in the Past (applause). Continuing, the Chairman said they were all very grateful to Mr and Mrs Franklin for giving them the opportunity of assembling there that night to pay their congratulations to them on the very important fact of their business attaining it’s majority. From small pretensions the firm” had grown so large that they are now found in almost EVERY TOWN IN THE LAND a progeny of the young man whose celebration they were taking part in that night. He then referred to the most efficient manner in which Mrs Franklin had always assisted her husband. He was quite sure Mr Franklin could never have borne up … IN HIS GREAT UNDERTAKING without help from an unseen hand. He then called upon Mr G.E. Franklin to present to his brother, on behalf of those present, an illuminated address of congratulation, together with some excellent plate.- Mr G. E. Franklin, in doing so, made some touching references to the earlier life of his brother. MR W. H. Franklin, who was received with loud cheering, thanked them most heartily for the way in which they had received the toast, and on behalf of himself and his wife, thanked them from the bottom of his heart for their magnificent present (loud applause). He could assure them they would both look upon it as one of their most valued treasures, and hoped to hand it down as an heirloom for their children (applause). Having referred to the small opening of 1875 in Prospect-street, opposite the Infirmary, he said the increasing business resulted in the erection of the present extensive premises Albion-street corner (cheers). . Small seed sewn in Hull 21 years ago had not only taken deep root m Hull, but had produced many branches in the principal towns of the kingdom—(applause)— notably in Derby, Nottingham, Sheffield, Birmingham, Manchester, Warrington, Leeds, and many other cities and towns. He was delighted, in looking round, to see the heads of ail establishments present that night.— G. T. Hawkins then gave Success to the Public Benefit Boot Co.” He said he had many competitors there, but of one thing he was assured, that THEY WERE ALL FRIENDS, and that they all recognised the great business principles of Mr Franklin He loved to work tor such a man, who,* he maintained, not only demanded success but deserved it. What was more, he divided the success between the other members of the company (applause).—Mr G. E. Franklin, in responding, said that since the company commenced, in 1875, the turnover had been some millions of money. Over 12,000,000 pairs of boots had “been sold, and they employed over 1,000 men and women in manufacturing boots alone. Three hundred hands were employed in the various retail shops, and, on a fair estimate, they employed over 2,000 hands manufacturing, retailing, and managing the business the Public Benefit Boot Company (cheers). Mr W. H. Franklin then proposed, ” The Boot and Shoe Trade the United Kingdom,” to which Alderman Lennard, J.P., responded.—Mr W Charlton, of Birmingham, proposed ” The Corporation,” to which Councillor Gelder replied.—”The Ladies” and “The Chairman” having been honoured, the remainder the evening was spent in dancing, interspersed with songs Mr Chapman, and songs and a musical sketch by Mr Lloyd. 

Hull daily Mail Jan 1891 The Vicar of St. Barnabas writes: The Public Benefit Boot. Company, who have an establishment on the Hessle-road,(Wellsted Street) knowing the great distress prevailing have kindly placed 500 x 4 lb loaves at my disposal, which are most gratefully appreciated And I may add that had it not been for the a few friends at the St. Andrew’s fish dock who have from a small fund collected by them rendered me their assistance I should have been at a loss how to meet the overwhelming appeals for help in this large poor parish

Hull daily Mail December 1891 Hull Branch of Yorkshire Needlework Guild, Mrs Haworth-Booth, as chair, described the past year as very satisfactory. During The year 2,514 warm garments have collected and sent Kit out into Hull for the poor. This exceeds all previous records by 511, and has enabled the committee to add seven other parishes and two charities to the list of those helped last year. The clothing this year was excellent, and the committee warmly thank all those kind workers who have helped to bring about such good results. The work has been collected from the members by wives of such notables: as Arthur Wilson, Martin Samuelson (for Hessle), Mr Travers (for Beverley), 169 ; Mr Lawson (for Newland), Mr Jameson (Eastella), Mr Lester, Mr Kuhling (for Cottingham), Mr McCormick, Mr Abraham, Mr Bantoft, ; Mr Piggott, Mr Sykes, ; Mr Moore, Mr Winkley, ; Mr Pearson, ; Mr Turner (Driffield), ; Mr E. Harrison, Mr J. B. Holmes (Hornsea), These have been distributed as follows :—Royal Infirmary, 600 garments ; Institution for Blind, 100 ; Orthopaedic Hospital, 50; Kirkella Cottage Hospital, 21; The Penitentiary, 50; Nile-street Home, 50; Sheltering Home, 30; Magdalene Society, ; Lying-in Charity, 24; Deaf and Dumb Institution, ; Society for Prevention Cruelty to Children, 20 ; Almshouses, 80; St. Augustine’s Parish, 52 ; Holy Trinity, 80 ; St. Paul’s, 80; St. Mary’s 80 ; St. Mary’s (Sculcoates 80 Christ Church, 80; St. Mark’s, 80 ; St. Peter’s (Drypool), ; St. Andrew’s (Drypool), 80 St. Silas’, SO ; St. Matthias’, 80; St. John’s, 80; St. James’s, 80; Newington, 80 ; St. Stephen’s 80 ; St. Philip’s, ; St. Luke’s, 80; St. Thomas’s, 80. The committee beg to thank Messrs Leng and Co. for so kindly receiving the parcels; and also Mr Franklin (Public Benefit Boot Company), for the generous gift of 36 pairs of boots and shoes ; Cowley, for some slippers ; Messrs Marris, Willows, and Smith, Messrs Russell and Starr, Messrs Hammond and Cc., Messrs Harland and Co., and Robert Mackay, for gifts of rugs, dresses, hats, caps, and clothing, all of which were most acceptable. New members are asked to join the Guild, and help in extending the work.  

Hull Packet December 1876 ALLEGED THEFT OF BOOTS.-Annie Wilson, a young woman, charged with stealing a pair of boots from the shop of Mr. Frankish?, (Mr Richard Franklin) Prospect-street, was remanded for eight days

Hull Packet June 1878 CHARGE OF STEALING BOOTS.-Margaret O’Brien, a young woman, was charged with stealing three pairs of boots from the shop of Messrs. Franklin and Lennen? (Franklin & Lennard), Prospect-street, on Saturday night, was remanded until Friday. Henry Lennard and William Franklin partnered up until 1883 when henry moved down to Bristol to occupy 38 High Street

Hull Packet July 1878 THEFT OF TURNOVERS AND BOOTS Ann Payton (21) was charged with stealing six turnovers and a pair of boots the property of Robert Chamberlain Rudkin on 2nd May and also stealing a pair of boots property of Richard Franklin , on April 1st. Prisoner pleaded guilty in both cases and was sentenced to seven years’ penal servitude and five years police  supervision, there being eight previous convictions for felony against her

Hull Packet July 1880-A short time ago the premises of the Public Benefit Boot and Shoe Company, Prospect street, were forcibly entered, and about ;£46 in money stolen. It is believed that an entrance was effected in the night time by the forcible’ removal of a shutter, which, in the form of an iron grating, which is placed in font of the doorways, allowing goods to be seen by pedestrians when the shop is closed. The money that has been stolen is said to have been put into a desk standing upon one of the counters

Hull Daily Mail Jan 1887 Two Young men Tom Young and James H Young broke into a jewellers at number 8 Savile Street. They also broke into the Public Benefit Boot shop on the corner of Albion Street. The prisoners stole several pairs of boots. William Bilton, assistant, with the prosecutor, stated about 8 p m. on Wednesday, the 24th November, he left the shop secure. About nine o’clock the following morning be had. occasion to go upstairs, and when descending he noticed a window at the back of the premises on the first floor had been broken. On making an examination be found the shop had been broken into and that several pairs of boots, worth £3 15s Bd, had been stolen from the stock room. They were later recovered from the prisoners home and they were admitted to York Assizes 

Hull Daily Mail Aug 1904 GIRLS IN A SAD PLIGHT. Two girls-, Lilian Marshall and Jane Ann flood, neatly attired, were charged with stealing a suit. They then tried to pawn the item but were ‘turned in’ by the pawnbroker. —Detective Prince said that a girl named Booth, who is on remand charged with, stealing a pair of boots, had been travelling about Hull with the prisoners committing felonies. Booth was the ringleader, and  up to the time she became acquainted with the girls both had good characters. Gertrude Booth was subsequently brought up on the charge of stealing boots, the property of the Public Benefit Boot Company. After she had called at the shop on the Anlaby Road the boots were missed. She tried to pawn then later —A remand was granted for enquiries

Hartlepool Northern Daily Mail March 1915 Albert William Dobinson, local manager for the Public Benefit Boot shop was fined £20 including 3 guineas for costs for not complying with a lighting order issued by the military authorities requiring shop lighting to be reduced to a minimum. The prosecution stated there were thirty electric lights burning in the shop windows, the light cast into the roadway was considered to be a danger

1893 Public Benefit Boot Company repairs shop located past Railway waiting rooms on Anlaby road and heading down to the West park at Walton street.

Hull, 148 Porter Street, 1893-1905 (Henry Franklin, manager, 1904-1905)

123 Anlaby Road, (Cnr Great Thornton and Walker Streets) confirmed 1925 Kelly’s directory

Hull Daily Mail Aug 1904 felony case information provided of a branch on Anlaby road at this time

Hull, Coltman Street, 1904-1912, (John William Franklin, manager, 1904-1905)

Hull, Jameson Street, (Cnr Chariot Street), 1904-1905

Leeds Mercury Aug 1932 Hull, 18 Brook Street, 1906  Ex-employee Bristow Lamley Giles breaks into the Brook Street repair factory and other shops he was arrested as he foolishly kept a diary of his ‘jobs’

18 Brook Street Situated with Thornton varley on the corner number 2 and walking down the street heading towards Garden Street.

Opened in June 1922 at 739 Hessle Road Gipsyville still listed 1941 confirmed also in 1937 Kellys

Hull, 83 Newland Ave, 1912-1937 Kellys 

Hull Daily Mail 11th August 1938 report of a break in of the Hessle Road branch 

Hull, 332 Hessle Road, 1937 still trading 1942 sited between Dee Street and Division road and on the corner of Division Road

Hull, 483a Anlaby Rd, opened November 1926 still trading 1942

Hull, 23 King Edward Street, opened 11th October 1935 (illustration) found still trading 1941

Hull, 44 Whitefriargate, opened 7th February 1936 (illustration) found 1948

Hull, 17 King Edward Street, 1964-1967

STAFF IDENTIFIED AS HAVING LINKS WITH HULL

Herbert Arthur Bastin district manager living  Hull prior to 1916 when he died aged 41

W. Beale Manager of 18 Brook Street Hull repair facility in 1926

William Bilton William an assistant was a witness in a larceny case at Albion Street Hull over a pair of stolen boots in January 1887.

Mr F. C. Braithwaite Manager of the premises Newland Avenue in 1925 then sent to other locations. 

George Frederick Blackburn Born 1861 at Diss, Norfolk  He worked in various locations  George Died whilst managing new Gipsyville Branch Hull 3rd QTR 1928

Miss Clarkson Assistant of Anlaby Road Branch Hull found in 1927

C S Coupe Hull Daily Mail 7th August 1918 Pte C. S. Coupe reported missing Sept 20th 1917 now reported killed on or since that date. He lived at 10 Clarendon street Spring Bank and worked for the company in Hull (Photo in the paper)

Cornelius Currins Born 1865 in Northumberland. He married Sarah Ann STYLES in 1886 . At the age of 14 Cornelius worked as a shoemaker at Belford, Northumberland where he grew up. In the 1890s he operated as a boot shop manager and dealer in Leeds and Harrogate and by the turn of the century he managed a boot shop in Prospect Street, Hull. He lived in Hull until at least 1913. His wife died at Hull in 1924 aged 57 and he died at Withernsea, East Yorkshire in 1929 aged 64.

Albert William Dobinson  Born 1877 at Stockton-on-Tees, . In 1911 he managed the Public Benefit Boot Co branch at 260-261 High Street, Sunderland, and Prospect Street in and around 1915

Walter Dobinson
  Born 1879 at Stockton-on-Tees,  At the age of 23 he was a messenger for a Stockton-on-Tees boot shop. He managed the  premises on the corner of Hessle Road and Coltman Street, Hull, 1911-13 and was managing a boot shop in Sunderland in 1917 when he enlisted in the Royal Garrison Artillery. Walter died suddenly in Late September 1924 aged 44 at Preston and was a district inspector for the North West and his wife Anne died in 1950

W. B. Emslie  Manager of Prospect Street Hull 1912 -1925

Frederick Franklin Born 1866 at Elton, Huntingdonshire, son of Richard Franklin, baker and grocer, and his wife Eunice HARKER. At the age of 15 Frederick was an assistant in one of the Public Benefit Boot Co shops in Hull and he went on to manage company premises in Hull and Grimsby, Cleethorpes Road 1899-1913. Consult surnames E-H 

Henry (Harry) Franklin  He was a nephew of Richard FRANKLIN and in 1900 at Peterborough he married Louisa Alice DONE. Harry worked initially at Public Benefit Boot Co premises at 147 Cleethorpes Road in 1882; 148 Porter Street Hull in 1904-5 and he later managed the company’s branch at 38 Market Place, Gainsborough for almost 40 years. Consult surnames E-H

Louisa Franklin  Born 1862 at Elton, , daughter of Richard FRANKLIN, baker and grocer, and his wife Eunice HARKER. In the early 1880s she assisted her brothers and father at the Public Benefit Boot Co premises in Hull. Consult surnames E-H

Ronald Gahan  listed as the manager of Hessle Road Branch 1938

Christopher Colbourne Graham Born 1857 at Lambeth, Surrey. For more details consult E-H of surnames

Arthur Harness  Born 1876 at Hull. . He worked firstly as a boot shop assistant and 1911-16 he  managed the Public Benefit Boot Co shop at 152-154 Hessle Road, Hull. After the war he again took up his position at the shop and is known to have been manager in 1925. His sister Ada also worked as a boot shop assistant 1901-11. During WWI, he served as a gunner with the Royal Regiment of Artillery in France. His wife Alice died at Hull in 1955 aged 71 and he died there in 1960 aged 84.

G Herrod Manager Anlaby Road branch 1925

Henry Lennard began in Hull with his partner William Franklin and in 1883 the partnership ended and he went to occupy 38 high Street Bristol

Mr McGrath Assistant at ‘Lion House’ Leeds sent to manage Newland Avenue Branch Hull 1st QTR 1926

Samuel Marshall consult I-O in Surnames for full and interesting story

William John Marston At the age of 22 he worked as a boot shop assistant at the business at Edgbaston, Birmingham run by his parents. From at least 1911 until the 1926 he managed the premises at 35-37 Holderness Road, Hull. In June 1926 he managed the Prospect Street shop. for full biographical details consult I-O of Surnames

Clarice Gertrude Melton She worked at the Public Benefit Boot Co premises at Holderness Road, Hull in the 1920’s when William John MARSTON was the manager. for further details consult I-O of surnames.

Robert Rowland Rodwell He worked for some time at Sunderland, Co Durham and 1905-11 managed the Public Benefit Boot Co premises at 152-154 Hessle Road, Hull, East Yorkshire. He became a branch inspector for the company and died in 1939

Mary E Sarbutt
She was a sister-in-law of William Henry FRANKLIN, founder of the Public Benefit Boot Co. From at least 1901 to 1911 she worked as a shop assistant at the Hull premises of the company.

Walter Charles Sarbutt
He was a brother-in-law of William Henry FRANKLIN, founder of the Public Benefit Boot Co. In 1901 he worked as a bookkeeper for the company at Hull and in subsequent years he handled the company’s advertising. He died at Hull in 1936 aged 67.

Mrs Sarah Ann Simpson, Manageress, 1911 of 123 Anlaby Road Hull branch

George Taylor Born around 1873  Burnham, Lincolnshire. In 1891 he was a Hull boot shop assistant and lived next door to 16-year-old Laura Snowden, also a boot shop assistant in Hull. They married in 1897 at Hull and by 1900 he managed the Public Benefit Boot Co premises at 38 Market Place, Gainsborough.  1911 he was managing one of the company premises in Hull.

Miss Todd  Assistant at Prospect Street sent to Gipsyville Branch as manager 3rd QTR 1928

Miss Vaughan  Assistant to Manager Mr Wrigglesworth at 188 Wellsted Street in 1893. she narrowly escaped injury when the manager whilst looking for a gas leak lit a match and an explosion caused quite a bit of damage. Luckily no one was injured seriously

Florence Wardle  Born 1874 at Hull.  In 1901 she worked as a boot shop assistant in Hull and she married in 1904.

Miss Wilson  Assistant of Anlaby Road Hull branch died suddenly found 1st QTR 1926

G. Woodhouse 1926  manager at Templar Street repairs Leeds. Joined at Brook Street Hull in 1913

Mr Wrigglesworth Manager of 188 Wellsted Street Hull which had a gas leak. He had a novel way of finding it in 1893 Consult Surnames T-Z for full biographical details

Harry C Wright Born 1907 at Hull, son of Robert WRIGHT, hotel porter, and his wife Mary. He joined the Public Benefit Boot Co in 1919 and first managed the Public Benefit premises at 83 Newland Avenue, Hull and then the branch at The Moorhead, Sheffield. He likely married Lillian A. Suddaby in 1934 at Hull. In 1937 he was appointed inspector of the western district (encompassing Lancashire and Northern Wales).  He served the company for 55 years.

Herbert Wright Born 21 May 1910 at Hull, son of Robert WRIGHT, hotel porter, and his wife Mary. From 1919 to 1923 he worked as an errand boy at the Public Benefit Boot Co premises at Prospect Street, Hull. In 1931 at Hull he married Hilda ABBEY and their children include Kenneth 1931, Norman  1935, Joan  1937 and Gordon  1942. He died at Hull aged 81. ( spoke with this gentleman on the phone. Very interesting) 

Ilkeston,

Nottingham Post May 1905 Theft of Tennis shoes Ann Manchester 59 was charged with stealing a pair of tennis shoes value 3s 11d property of the P.B.Boot company Bath Street Ilkeston. The woman had been employed as charwoman at the shop her crime was discovered when she tried to pawn them. Fined 5s and 23s costs

Belper News Dec 1910. BOOT STEALING. •‘NOTHING ELSE TO DO.” At Ilkeston petty sessions last  Thursday. Harry Johnson and John Adams pf Nottingham. were charged with stealing a pair of boots, value 3s 11d the property of Wm. Frcdk. Marples; (the article goes on to mention a veritable thieving spree the pair had engaged in.) a pair of boots, value 4*. 6d.. the property of Charles Coombes; pair of boots, value 5s. 11d., the property of Hy. James Gibbs; a pair of boots, value 8s. 11d . the property of William Hatton ; and eight pairs of ladies,’ stockings, value 8s. at Ilkeston on December 19th. The defendants admitted the offence. William Hatton, manager to John Birch, pawnbroker. South Street. Ilkeston, stated that there were some boots outside the shop door, which he subsequently missed The boots produced were the property of Mr Birch. Henry James Gibbs (manager Joseph Cbolerton, Bath Street, Ilkeston), and Charles Coombes gave evidence to the effect that the boots were hung outside, and were subsequently missed. Wm. Fredk. Marples. manager of the Public Benefit Boot Company, Ilkeston. identified boots produced as the property of his employers. Mary Brindley stated that she was an assistant to Mrs Richardson, and identified the boots by the mark. Detective sergeant Cosgrove stated that his suspicions were aroused on seeing the defendants In possession of a bag. Johnson: “We went and took the articles, as we had nothing else to do”. (Laughter.) Adams said did not desire to participate in the thefts, but went with the older defendant when the latter said ‘’it’s all right; there arc not many coppers at Ilkeston; I’ve slipped thousands of ’em.’ Supt. Daybell said the defendant Johnson had a number of convictions recorded against him. The Superintendent was referring to one conviction in particular, when Johnson remarked : The fellow who got me the month got the sack from the Bedford police.’’ Adams, who is only 16 years of age, was placed on probation, and sentenced to six weeks’ imprisonment in each ease–amounting in all seven and a half month was passed on Johnson

53 Bath Street, 1884-1893 ‘Ilkeston Trader’ advert

Ilkeston, 109 Bath Street,   1891-1911 & 1928 confirmed Kellys

Ilkeston, 120 Bath Street, 1932-1941. A Library staff member remembers the branch trading in the 1950’s and is still listed in 1966 but may be suspect.

Arthur Russell Clayton Born 1859 at Belgrave, Leicestershire Arthur commenced his career as a shoe warehouseman in Preston and went on to manage premises at Blackpool in 1891 and at 109 Bath Street, Ilkeston, Derbyshire, from 1894-1901

Nottingham Journal Nov 1931  The manager of 120 bath Street was Mr S.Adams he called himself ‘Ghandi’ a non de plume after watching a film on the man himself

Mr C H Hiles New manager takes up management at Ilkeston 1926

Mr G. Hill Due to ill health leaves the company 2nd QTR 1926 from the Ilkeston Branch held since 1924 to 1926

William Frederick Marples  Manager of 109 Bath Street Ilkeston in Dec 1910 he was the prosecutor in a felony case involving the shop

William Frederick Waples Born 1877 at Marylebone, London. He worked initially as a boot shop assistant in Lincolnsire and in 1911 he managed the company’s premises at 109 Bath Street, Ilkeston, Derbyshire

Inverness

Forsyths Drummond Street Inverness Courier 31st May 1892

Jarrow,

Jarrow Express July 1912  Good News For Jarrow ! Your Boots and Shoes* will now be cheaper, because we sell to you direct from our Factory. You have no Middlemen’s profits to pay. THE PUBLIC BENEFIT BOOT COMPANY, limited for 36 years the pioneers of Best Value Footwear, and makers of the famous Brand Boots and Shoes are OPENING TO-DAY  19th July The Premises 73, Ormonde Street, with a Splendid Show of Highest Value Footwear for the workers: SEE WINDOWS ! A Free Gift. from today we are giving away to each purchaser of good over 2s 11d a handsome metal Boot Polishing outfit containing bristle brush, velvet pad and ti of polish.  See YOU get one! PUBLIC BENEFIT BOOT COMPANY, Ltd., 73, Ormonde Street, Jarrow. The shop was refitted after being purchased from Nelson’s Ltd and is sited in the heart of Jarrow

Jarrow Express Feb 1915 JARROW WAR RELIEF COMMITTEE Gifts for Soldiers and Sailors’ Children. In addition to the ordinary weekly payments made this (Friday) morning by the Local War Fund to the wives of soldiers and sailors on active service, each recipient was furnished with order for boots for all children over 3 and under 14 years of age. The order entitled the children within the ages given to be provided with a pair of good, serviceable, all-leather boots. A gift could be more acceptable at this season of the year and it is certain the Jarrow men who are fighting our country’s battles, or who are in training to do so, will be greatly pleased when they learn of the Jarrow Committee’s thoughtful solicitude for the welfare and comfort of the little ones they have left behind. Upwards of 900 pairs of boots will be distributed at a cost of over £200. The orders for the boots have been distributed amongst the following firms who have given the Committee special terms : The Jarrow and Hebbum Co-operative Society; Messrs. Gibbon and Knox, Ormonde Street; Gillespie and Son, Ormonde Street; Tyler Bros., Ormonde Street; The Public Benefit Boot Co., Ormonde Street; and the Cash Boot Co., Ormonde Street. This is the second special provision the Local War Fund has made for those on its books. The previous gift took the form of special allowance at Christmas when additional payments were made, ranging from 2/6 to 7/- according to the size of the family. Both provisions have been highly appreciated by the recipients

Jarrow Express July 1916  JARROW MEN AT THE FRONT. We have received the  following from Sergt. J. Lindsay, D.L.I., B.E.F., whose home is at 25, Lord Street. He says :—“The Jarrow boys in our regiment are still in the pink. I have had the “Jarrow Express** sent out me, and was pleased to read of Billy Rowland winning the Military Cross, and also about Jarrow men being mentioned in Sir Douglas Haig’s dispatches. I came across Young Barr, of Jarrow. who is a member of the Rifle Brigade, and he looked to me in the pink. I spent an hour or two in the village near our billets in company with the late manager of Benefit Boot Co.’s branch shop. Ormonde Street. “Mr. Telfer,” and “Jarrow, dear old Jarrow,“ as termed it, was the sole topic of our conversation. You cannot imagine how delightful it to meet one from the old town out here. In my opinion Fritz is about beaten. I don’t think it will lie long before we administer the “coup de grace.” I expect everyone will lie pleased to read of our troops’ advance.

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

73 Ormonde Street, Opened 19th July 1912  -1925

Jarrow, 67 Ormonde Street, 1932-1940

Miss Cunningham assistant Jarrow Branch 1924 & 1925

Mr Telfer Manager at Jarrow Branch 73 Ormonde Street from 1912 until circa 1916. Consult Mr J.Lindsay in surnames I-O where Mr Telfer is mention in a letter to home

Keighley,

2 Low Street, 1904, 1905 confirmed Y.E.P. dec 1905 

Keighley, 41-42 Low Street, 1912-1927

Keighley, 19 Low Street, 1936, 1938 confirmed Lancashire Eve Post May 1938

R. S. Evans  Manager of Keighley Branch found in 1st Qtr 1925 at Rhyl found in 4th Qtr 1927

Kendal,

37 Stricklandgate, 1930 opened much earlier and still trading in 1934 confirmed as trading in 1938 from this address by kellys

Kirton Lindsey

 Y.P. 3 October 1930 theft with evidence required from P.B. staff. Boot inspector disallows the action saying he will deduct money from their wages if they attend court Charles E. Gower manager and had been manager since 1924

Knaith (Kirton Lyndsey) Market place 1925 Kelly’s directory same manager

Lancaster,

Mr Hutchinson  New manager of new branch in Lancaster found 2nd Qtr 1924 and still there in 1928

Lancaster Guardian Dec 1941 STOLE SHOES Aeneas O Brien (61), no fixed abode, pleaded Guilty to stealing on December 4th, from the Public Benefit Boot Co., Market Street, Lancaster, a pair of shoes, value 16s. 9d.. and was sent to prison for two months. The Chief Constable said prisoner went into the shop and asked the manager. Mr, George Edward Walker, for a pair of Army boots. Mr. Walker asked him to wait until he went upstairs for them, and when he returned, be noticed that a boot box In a fixture near where prisoner was standing, had been emptied. He also noticed that the prisoner appeared rather bulky and, opening prisoner’s raincoat, he saw a shoe sticking out of prisoner’s pocket. Asked where he got the shoe. O’Brien made no reply, but pulled out both the shoes produced and banded them to Mr Walker, saying. You won’t put an old man like me on a charge. Walker, who resides at Artie Beck Cottage. Caton, gave evidence bearing out the Chief Constable s statement. O’Brien told the Magistrates he was very sorry for what had happened and that he was thoroughly ashamed of himself. ’’ If It had not been for the drink. I would not have been standing here now, but will give it up if you will give me another chance to go to my work.” he added. The Chief Constable stated that there were previous convictions against O’Brien for assault, being drunk and disorderly, and on October 13th at that Court he had been fined 40s. and ordered to pay 15s. costs for the larceny of raincoat, when three other cases larceny were also taken into account.

Mr Taylor  New manager sent to Lancaster Branch 3rd QTR 1928

George Edward Walker manager in 1941 see case above

 

Stack ’em highNot listed prior to 1924 and is not listed in 1966.

Limited directories can only reveal the partial picture.

Opposite the Lancaster window display from 1924

14-16 Market Place, 1934, confirmed Lancashire eve Post May 1938 (possibly a Wallace Branch)

Lancaster, 18 Market Place, 1957-1959 

Leamington Spa

Leamington Spa Courier Jan 1913 LEAMINGTONIAN’S SAD DEATH. A CHRISTMAS TRAGEDY.’ As briefly reported in a portion of our town edition last week, an inquest was held on Friday afternoon at Walworth Coroner’s Court concerning the death Frederick Allwood (25), whose body was recovered from the Thames the previous Monday. The deceased a son of Mr. and Mrs. Allwood, of 7, Queen Street, Leamington, and had of late been manager of the Euston Road branch of the Public Benefit Boot Company. It appears that he mysteriously disappeared about six weeks ago, all trace of him being lost until his body was found, as stated above. At the inquest Mrs. Emma Allwood, who gave her address as 7, Queen Street, Leamington, said that the deceased was her son, and had lived in Upper Porchester Street Paddington. She last saw him in August He had no difficulty or trouble so far as she knew, and he had not complained of ill-health. He was last seen alive the 20th November. She had since heard that he was dismissed at a minute’s notice from his employment which he had been for 10 years. Charles Hamilton Poole, who lodged with the deceased and who was manager of another branch of the business of the same firm, said that he had known deceased for four years. He understood that when the stock was taken in the branch which Allwood was employed, on November 15th, shortage of £12 to £14 was discovered. Allwood was instantly dismissed without any wages.—The Coroner: Is that usual? —Witness: I don’t think so. Mr. Poole said that the deceased was very much upset about his dismissal. stayed at his lodgings until the following Wednesday, spending his time walking about the streets. He was not as far as witness knew, looking for another situation. When he left he said he was going home. He had then only a few shillings in his possession. The jury returned a verdict of “Found drowned.” 

Leamington Spa Courier 10 Victoria terrace opened August 1924-1932

I.Birks Manager removed to the new Leamington Spa Branch found 3rd Qtr 1925

Mr W H Foster Manager of the new Leamington Spa branch found 4th Qtr 1924 Sent to manage the Skegness Branch in 1926

H J Farley  Manager South Shields to1924- 1927 then 2nd Qtr 1927 & 1928 Leamington Spa. 

Mr Holt  New manager of St Anne’s on sea new branch opened May 2nd Qtr 1924  Sent to Leamington Spa branch 1st QTR 1926. Sent to Bank Hey Street 4th QTR 1926.

Nottingham Journal Jan 1931 BOOT COMPANY’S EXPANSION. – operating through approximately 200 establishments in important towns ln the North and Midlands the Public Benefit Boot Company Ltd. can boast of considerable Improvement in earnings throughout the past year and this is in spite of bad trade which has prevailed in the districts where shops are situated

LEEDS LEEDS LEEDS LEEDS LEEDS LEEDS LEEDS LEEDS LEEDS LEEDS 

LEEDS  (districts of Leeds, Armley, Bramley, Beeston Hill, Crossgates, Hunslet, Meanwood, Morley, Rothwell,)

Leeds Mercury May 1924  Quiet optimism. Raw Materials. The worst danger is a scarcity of raw materials, particularly calf leather. A good deal of this, Mr. Brow Dickinson, df the Public Benefit Boot Company, tells me, came from France, and since France prohibited the export of this material the troubles of the Leeds manufacturers have been enhanced. -Add to this a very much greater, demand for light boot leathers and linings, and you can see how serious this may become. However, let us hope it will be overcome. Mr. Dickinson, too, is full of joy the turn things have taken, and speaking of his firm’s numerous branch shops, he told me that the trade they were doing showed definitely that the man in the street “—and his family—are spending a little more money. – • All this makes for cheery reading, and if only the sun will come out, and show how, grey our shoes really are, there may a’goodly number of us who to-day may contribute something towards this brighter trade outlook

Leeds Headquarters of the Northern Territories

Bristol Queens Road HQ.

Leeds ST Pauls Street HQ 

 

 

 

 

 

TRADE WAR  F.H.& W. Versus  P.B.B.CO

Otley News & W.R.ADV 1886 an inflammatory adv.was placed… BUY YOUR BOOTS AND SHOES FROM FREEMAN, HARDY AND WILLIS, THE PUBLIC BENEFIT BOOT & SHOE CO. THE BEST, CHEAPEST AND LARGEST STOCK IN LEEDS. 41. COMMERCIAL STREET (A FEW DOORS FROM BRIGGATE), LEEDS.                                                    PUBLIC BENEFIT BOOT COMPANY OCCUPIED  NUMBER 42 COMMERCIAL STREET UP TO 1885 THE YEAR THEY VACATED. F. H .& W. then began taking the fight to their rivals. They deliberately set up offices close to where Public Benefit operated.This led on to a direct attack on the Public Benefit Boot co. in both territories. There is a lot of evidence to support this. The trade war was on between the two companies. F.H & Willis began buying up companies with registered names similar to Public Benefit Boot company.  They aggressively opened shops close to P.B.B.co shops in Wales, The Midlands, here in Leeds, Birmingham, Derby, and many, many other places. The Northern Board and the Southern Board (Lennards Ltd) hit back hard by following suit. It took several years before finally F.H.& willis broke off the attack. By this time P.B.B.Co had made an attempt at amalgamating the two territories headed by Lennard with centralised headquarters at Leeds and Bristol. They had also, in doing this, achieved the accolade of being the first Multiple retailer to establish a national network. As F.H.& Willis were openly using a rival company’s name in their title to promote confusion, the P.B.Boot Co. hastily made their first incorporation being 1890. This was to protect above all else the name!! It was never intended to be a full incorporation and the old company was liquidated. Three years later another Liquidation to again incorporate in 1893. The final incorporation came in 1897. By 1904 they had centralised both operations of the Northern and Southern companies with a view to merger. 

Penny illustrated paper 1905 Local Agents wanted to introduce Free boots stamped envelope reply. Mutual Benefit Boot Company Kettering.(This was a Freeman Hardy & willis registered company)

1904  AMALGAMATION OF TWO COMPANIES WITH THE SAME TRADING NAME AND NATIONAL NETWORK

Clarion Jan 1907 TYRANNICAL SHOP AGREEMENTS which reads: The  manager shall ” immediately and peacefully vacate the company’s premises on receipt of written order.” “The employee hereby agrees not to be engaged in or concerned with any retail Boot and Shoe business within one mile of the business aforesaid for a period of Twelve MONTHS from the termination of this agreement.” These are two clauses from an agreement which the PUBLIC BENEFIT BOOT COMPANIES of LEEDS and BRISTOL to compel their managers to sign. The first clause gives the company power to turn adrift at any minute a manager with wife and family from shop and house; the second clause prevents a manager thus discharged from taking employment with another boot dealer in the same town for a period of one year.   Mr. ‘l’. J. LENNARD, the managing director of the PUBLIC BENEFIT BOOT COMPANY fought Bristol West in the Liberal interest at last election. In reply to a courteous request from the ‘nation union of shop workers for an interview at which the agreement question might be dismissed, Mr. LENNARD said : “I cannot allow an irresponsible, unrepresentative body to direct my business.” Mr. LENNARD is at present busily engaged trying to form a bogus Benefit Union among his managers with a view to stopping genuine trade union action. If your readers are opposed to such unreasonable agreements and to such reprehensible tactics, they can assist by writing letters or postcards expressing disapproval and asking in the public interest that the contract be withdrawn. Every letter is a blow against shop serfdom. All communications should be addressed : THE PUBLIC BENEFIT BOOT COMPANY, QUEEN’S ROAD, BRISTOL. (Signed) : W. H. MORRIS. President. H. H. limn, Vice-President. W. C. ANDERSON, P. C. HOFFMANN, District Organisers. MARGARET G. BONDFIELD, Assistant Secretary. JAMES MACPHERSON, General Secretary

Clifton & Redland Free Press May 1908 T. J. J. Lennard, who contested Bristol West at the last Parliamentary election, has resigned his position as chairman and managing director of the Public Benefit Boot Company, Ltd., Leeds. He, however, retains his position as chairman and managing director of Lennards, Ltd.’ (Public Benefit Boot Co.), Queen’s Road, Bristol.

Leeds Mercury Feb 1917 PUBLIC BENEFIT BOOT CO. LTD. The annual meeting of shareholders the Public Benefit Boot Co, Ltd. was held at the Offices, St. Paul’s-street, Leeds, yesterday, Mr. Brow Dickinson presiding in the absence of the chairman owing to recent family bereavement. The Chairman, in moving the adoption the report and balance-sheet, said the extraordinary difficulties experienced in 1915 had continued and multiplied throughout the whole of 1916. The abnormal demand by the military authorities for leather had greatly restricted the variety and quantity available for civilian purposes, and prices had gone up in leaps and bounds. Only by the large stocks of boots they held, assisted by the productions from their factory, were they able to serve the public without having to charge excessive prices. Their stocks were larger than ever before, and as prices were altogether artificial, the utmost vigilance and care were essentially necessary. The directors had invested £20,000 in the new War Loan. Eighty-three per cent, of their eligible men had joined the Army, three had received the Military Medal, whilst five gallant fellows had given their lives. The report and payment of dividends, already announced, were approved. Mr. J. Wallis Goddard was re-elected director, and Messrs. Charlton and Long as auditors

Hull Daily Mail May 1922 YORKSHIRE FIRM’S ANNIVERSARY BENEFIT BOOT COMPANY. The 25th anniversary of the incorporation of the Public Benefit Boot Co., Ltd., to be celebrated in an auspicious manner on May 24th. A gathering of over 400 employees will be held in Leeds Town Hail, where lunch will be served in the crypt. Afterwards there will be a social, concert, and dance in Victoria Hall. Leeds. Managers from all the shops will attend. Not the least interesting part of the proceedings will be the presentation of his portrait to Mr Brow Dickinson, J..F., the chairman and managing director of the firm. The painting the work of Mr Jacob Kramer, cf Leeds. . . There will also be a presentation portrait Mr Benjamin Hunn, of Birmingham, who also has been a director of the firm since its incorporation. The actual beginning of the business was about 40 years ago, but May 7th, 1897, the incorporation of the Public Benefit Boot Company, with a share capital of £350 000, was brought about. It was really an amalgamation of seven businesses. The seven proprietors had 51 branches in towns, but to-day there are over 150 shops in all parts of the country.

Sheffield Daily Telegraph May 1922 A HUMBLE START. How a Big Business was Built Up. An interesting gathering took place at the Town Hall, Leeds, when managers, staff, and work  people of ‘the Public Benefit Boot Company met to celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the incorporation of the company. The story of the foundation of this huge concern goes back to 1880, when three brothers, Mr. George, Brow  and  John Dickinson, commenced work in their parents’ house—a little cottage at Bramley, near Leeds. About the same time Mr. W. H. Franklin left Leeds, and opened a shop in Prospect Street, Hull, and while the Dickinson Brothers commenced the Benefit boots, Mr Franklin started the shops, and coined the excellent name by which the company is now known. Through the efforts of these hard-working and successful pioneers was commenced the great firm, w inch has to-day many huge shops and factories, and which does such, an enormous business in various parts of the Kingdom. Sir James Woodhouse, the Member of Parliament for Huddersfield, was the first chairman, and to-day the company numbers among its most reliable servants some of the men who were were pushing its interests in those early days. There was a great gathering at Leeds; over 400 employees were present, and a capital programme of music and dancing, a good lunch and an equally good tea were provided. During the proceedings an oil-portrait was presented to Mr. Brow Dickinson, J.P., one of the founders of the business and managing director to-day. by Mr. W. N. Driver, of Castleford, and Mr. T. Bates, of Leeds, and to Mr. Benjamin Hunn, who was a member of the first Board of Directors  was given an enlarged photograph, this presentation being made by Mr. W. A. Williams, of Sparkhill, and Mr, H. Beresford, of Nottingham. Mr. H. J. Lane, of Sheffield, had the honour of presiding over this memorable gathering. He -recalled the days of 50 years ago, when the retail trade was mainly in the hands of practical men who had served their apprenticeship—a strenuous apprenticeship, ‘and who catered for their individual customers chiefly by bespoke orders. Their shops were open 75 hours a week ; there was no weekly half-holiday then. The operatives were badly paid, and worked from 12 to 14 hours a day. An expert craftsman’s rate of wages was 5d. an hour. They worked -at home, found their own heat and light and their average output in making the boot throughout was one pair per man per day. Quietly but rapidly an evolution was wrought. Better methods of manufacture were rendered, possible by the introduction of new machinery: Boots were produced by the thousand; factories grew and increased ; labour conditions were improved,- and an export trade was built up. From its inauguration, the Public Benefit. Boot Company had one important advantage, in that it embraced in its combination a firm of manufacturers whose productions were absolutely the best and soundest in the kingdom. For 25 years it has stood the test. In times of peace and prosperity, times of war and anxiety, and in times of envious competition. And, what is more important still, it has during all these years stood the test of public opinion.

Belfast Telegraph May 1929 PASSING OF BIG BOOT CO. The directors of the Public Benefit Boot Company, whose head establishment is in Leeds, announce that an offer has been made to purchase the Preferred Ordinary shares at 235, and the Deferred Ordinary at 34 per share, and that they advise the shareholders to accept the offer. The company, whose share capital amounts to £503,044, owns nearly 900 shops. Of the capital, £150,000 is in 6 per rent. Preference £1 shares, holders at which are assured that their position will be strengthened by the change. The names of purchasers have not, so far, been divulged. The accepted nickname of this company has continued to be used as a reference long after it has ended!

Yorkshire Evening Post October 1908 John McLoughlin (19). hawker, and Luke Ganley (18), hawker, breaking into the shop of the Public Benefit Boot Company (Limited), and stealing five boots, on August 27. Each to be imprisoned for 18 months on the Borstal system.

Leeds Mercury May 1927  H.M.S. FIREFLY SETS SAIL FOR CHINA- FROM A FIELD IN LEEDS. TEN MEN AND A COOK. By a “Mercury” Special Correspondent”. Britain’s naval supremacy seems to assured.. Young Britain is maintaining an interest in the sea. I was told yesterday that H.M.S. Firefly sailed a fortnight ago for China —fromArmley.  H. M.S. Firefly was fully fitted when she started her voyage. She is built of wood supplied the Public Benefit Boot Company, and constructed on the Grange (Leeds) housing estate. The game of make-believe still holds an influence on the youth to-day. I saw the captain of the Firefly and was taken over the ship, which lies in a field the Armley Grange estate. The captain, Mr. Gordon Baxendale, with his crew of ten men, began the building the ship—a replica of British cruiser, about ten yards m length and some three yards , in the beam, capable of am accommodating its crew of ten men below decks —from earth, bricks, wood and tin, in October last year.

Yorkshire Post & Leeds Intelligencer  March 1932 BOOTS AT MARKETS. Order Against Yorkshire Stall holder Mr. Justice Eve, in the Chancery Division, yesterday, made an order consent, at the instance of the Public benefit Boot Company, Ltd., of St. Paul’s Street, Leeds, restraining Mr. Samuel Weinberg from passing off as and for their goods boots and shoes not supplied by them. Mr. Harold Christie (for the Company) said Mr. Weinberg had stalls at Batley, Castleford and Wakefield markets, where he had been selling boots and shoes similar in type to those sold by the Company and in similar boxes. This footwear was thought to be rejected boots obtained from the Company’s suppliers, and it was sold at a cheaper rate. 

21st March 1946 officially changed name to Benefit Footwear Still trading in 1973 as benefit Footwear confirmed Newcastle Evening ChronicleBeyond that (1979)it became a Saxone Store. HQ 69 Headway Lilley and Skinner.

Public Benefit  staff identified and associated with Leeds

Reuben Thomas Eggleton  1902-1977 He was appointed director and general manager of Benefit Footwear in 1929 and managing director in 1937, a post he held for at least a decade. His base was Leeds consult surnames E.H for full biography

S. Armitage appointed warehouse manager St. Pauls Street Leeds was in that position in 1925

Mr Barker Manager from Wakefield Branch returned to his native Leeds this time at North Lane 1st QTR 1926

1925 William E. Barker was managing the despatch department at St. Pauls Street after coming from Hartlepool branch

Tom Bates born 1848 Hunslet he was a hand finisher and helped the Dickinsons in their apprentice days and on commencing their business he would take work home. Later he was offered space in the first factory, in 1925 he was working in the despatch dept. ‘boxing up’ at St. Pauls Street

Harry Bawden Worked at the Benefit Footwear repair facility at Templar Street,1940’s onwards

H.Bennett  He managed the ladies’ department in 1925 at St Pauls Street Warehouse

Mr Boniface Head finisher and operator came from the ‘Deaf & dumb school in 1917

Robert Clarkson Bew Began in 1900 spending 50 years with the firm Yorkshire Post 16th Feb. 1950. Vicar Lane & Templar Street corner repairs factory mentioned in 1952. He ended up as the order sheet man involved with costings and ordering of stock at St. Pauls Street.One of five managers in the warehouse at Leeds

Robert Holliday Blackburn Born 1874 at Bramley, In 1906 at Bramley he married Ethel Ann DICKINSON, daughter of Brow DICKINSON, managing director of the Public Benefit Boot Co. Robert served as a director of the Public Benefit Boot Co in the 1920’s. He was Lord Mayor of Leeds 1932-33. He died at Leeds 31 August 1950 aged 76. for more information consult surnames A-D

Neil Burns Worker at the Queen Victoria Street repair shop active from 1961-1988

Charles Clarke  Manager of Benefit repair facility at 33 Queen Victoria Street,

Joseph Otley Collett Born 1890 at Diss, Norfolk,  In 1937 Joseph was based in Leeds when his wife Dorothea died. He worked for the chartered accountants Price Waterhouse and during the 1941-45 period, when the Benefit Footwear managing director was serving in the army abroad, Joseph took over the Benefit Footwear managing director’s role.

A Christian Lion House Leeds 1924

Mr Cotter worker at Repairs Factory Templar Street Leeds from 1940’s onwards

Mrs A. Crooks Born circa 1870’s began with the company in 1897 in the offices she became affectionately known as ‘Ma’

Harry Daubney Biographical details consult surnames A-G 

Frederick Binns Dawson Born Leeds c.1855 retired from the company in 1923 & died late 1924 worked as a ‘clicker’ in the first Dickinson factory at Bramley, circa 1880

J.O. Dickinson  Manager of repairs at St. Pauls Street in 1924 & 1925 onwards

Percy Earl…..Consult Surnames E-H for full details ANOTHER LEEDS MAN DECORATED. Another Leeds soldier. Sergt. Percy Earl, West Riding Field Ambulance Brigade, has gained distinction in the war…….

Nigel Eggleton worker at Benefit Central Repairs Factory Templar St. Leeds

William Ellis Born circa 1870 he died in 1927-  last job was working in the receiving and passing room at St. Pauls’ Street and began working at the Bramley factory in 1897, one of Dickinsons’ stalwarts.  At ST. Pauls Street Leeds in the receiving department checking stock.

Harry Green Worked at the Benefit Footwear repair facility at Templar Street, Leeds 1950’s/60’s. His brother Norman is below

Norman Green Worked at the Benefit Footwear repair facility at Templar Street, Leeds 1950’s/60’s.

R. Falcon Manager of the Gents Floor  at ST. Pauls Street Leeds. 1920’s

Mr Falkingham Manager sent From ‘Lion House’ Kirkgate to the Hunslet Branch 1st QTR 1927.

Donald George Gray
 worked as a boot and shoe repair apprentice for Benefit Footwear Ltd in 1956.

John W. Haley Born 1875/6 died early 1925 born Bramley began working at the Dickinson factory as an errand boy and by 1891 and 1901 was a riveter along with two of his brothers Harry A. born 1878 & Joseph H. born 1870 and a sister Anne 1873 who became a machinist. 1911 sees John managing the ‘Mens’ floor at St. Pauls’ Street Leeds accomplishing 36 years of loyal service

Edward Thomas Haughton   Both he and his son Frederick were salesmen for the Public Benefit Boot Co and in 1891 Edward managed the company premises at 1891-1903 Roundhay Road, Potter Newton, Leeds

Margaret Hay She commenced working at the age of 14 at the Public Benefit Boot Co repair facility at Templar Street, Leeds. When this closed in 1961 she, along with other workers moved to the Queen Victoria Street repair facility where she continued until the factory closed in July 1988.

J Hazelip Company secretary

Walter Hickey Worked in the 1950’s/60’s at the Templar Street repairs factory

Michael Higgins Company cashier committed suicide consult surnames E-H

Percy Howe
  Born 1901 at Scarborough,  In 1924 he became manager at Bridlington where he began his career as an errand boy and 1925 he married Dorothy FEARNLEY  He managed premises At Bridlington in the 1930’s up to 1936 and in 1937 he took over management of Lion House Kirkgate opposite the market hall into the 1940’s. After serving time in the army during WW2 he returned to the company and was made Inspector for the Yorkshire region. Consult E-H in surnames

Arthur R. Hudson Full biographical details Consult surnames E-H

 W. Hunter  Yorkshire Evening Post 4th November 1918 Pte W. Hunter aged 19 of the Durham Light Infantry killed or died of wounds lived at 26 Leopold square Leeds and was employed at a branch of the company

Fred Lunn Along with his brother worked at the Benefit Footwear repair facility at Templar Street, Leeds 1940’s onwards.

Joe Lunn worked at the Benefit Footwear repair facility at Templar Street, Leeds 1940’s onwards

James Henry Robert Francis Marrian Born 17 June 1881 at Balsall Heath. In 1924, joined the Benefit Footwear board in 1929 and was managing director until 1937. He continued on the board until at least 1947 and died in 1964 aged 82 consult surnames I-O

Mr McGrath  Assistant at ‘Lion House’ Leeds sent to manage Newland Avenue Branch Hull 1st QTR 1926Yorkshire Post & Leeds Intelligencer 1948 on 6th May

Ginger Laurence McManus in nine hours stitched 66 pairs of soles per hour at Templar Street repair factory and was praised in the newspaper (photo).

Christopher merriweather He joined the Public Benefit Boot Co in 1916 and managed one of the company shops before he was appointed inspector of the north Eastern district in 1937 served in Royal Navy during WW2

William Edward Merriweather Became the North-eastern district inspector before retiring in 1928.

Joe Morley  Worker in the Templar Street Factory in the 1950’s and 60’s

A W Newton Manager of 14 Call Lane branch in 1894

Herbert Noble  Yorkshire eve. Post 23rd June 1917 Herbert Noble aged 38 of the Royal garrison artillery killed in action. He served 21 years with the Pub. Benefit at Leeds.

Edward O’Neil in 1911 he managed the company’s premises at 253 Roundhay Road, Leeds.

Albert Berry Popplewell Born 1879 at Pudsey near Leeds, Yorkshire, son of John Alfred POPPLEWELL, woollen waste dealer, and his wife Elizabeth Ann BERRY. At the age of 21 Albert was a boot trade salesman and a shareholder in the Public Benefit Boot Co. He married Lucy CARR in 1903 and they had a son John Alfred POPPLEWELL 1906. In 1911 he was based in Pudsey and worked as a boot store keeper for the Leeds Co-Op Society. On 15 June 1916 he enlisted and served in France as a Corporal in the Army Pay Corps. He died at Roundhay, Leeds, 27 May 1934 aged 55

A. Redhead  1924 & 1925  Repairs manager at St. Pauls, Street factory Leeds then onto assistant manager at Templar Street Repair factory 19261890

Harry Seagrove  was a boot shop assistant in Leeds and a decade later he managed the company’s premises at Morley, Yorkshire 1897-1911

Leonard Vivian Smee  He joined the Public Benefit Boot Co in 1931 as Inspector and shops supervisor of a group of shops in the Midlands. He specialised in staff management and staff control. He quickly earned promotion within the company and in the 1940’s he took charge of the entire retail staff and Inspectors as well as the company’s transportation system. consult P-S surnames for complete biographical details

Cyril Smith Worker at St. Pauls’ Street skidded on his motor cycle 16th June 1928 and fell unconscious, he died three days later

Jim Taylor Worker at Benefit Central Repairs Factory 1940’s onwards

Miss Troughton Assistant at ‘Lion House’ becomes new manager at Osset 4th QTR 1928

Robert Children Vane Born 1861 at Headcorn, Kent, . He managed a number of the Public Benefit Boot Co premises over many years including branches at Leeds and Barnsley

Tommy Walker Worked at Benefit Central Repairs Factory Templar St Leeds 1940’s onwards

Myers Warrington Born 1862 at Hunslet began working with Dickinson brothers at the Back-Lane factory in 1880 as a benchman and eventually became works manager. He died on 2nd August 1925. Brow attended his funeral.

Mr F Watley Worked at the Public Benefit Boot Co manufacturing facility at St Paul’s Street, Leeds until it closed in 1934.

Miss Whitfield  from ‘Lion House’ becomes manager at Hyde Park Leeds 1928

Leonard Williams  Yorkshire E. Post 21st November 1942 Gunner Leonard William R.A. died at the battle of Egypt he worked for P.B (photo in newspaper)

W M Wiseman He worked for Benefit Footwear in the 1960’s and was admitted to the company’s life assurance scheme in April 1967.

G. Woodhouse 1926  manager at Templar Street repairs Leeds. Joined at Brook Street Hull in 1913

Sir James Thomas Woodhouse  Born 16 July 1852 at Flambrough. He was appointed Mayor of Hull in 1891 and sat in Parliament 1895-1966 as Liberal member for Huddersfield. Sir James was appointed chairman of the first board of directors of the Public Benefit Boot Co in 1897. He died at his London residence in Regent’s Park 8 February 1921 aged 68 Consult Surnames T-Z for full biographical details

Walter Worsnop Born 1882 at Armley, son of John Pickard Worsnop, boot and shoemaker, and his wife Mary Elizabeth LEE. He married Mary Hannah Higgins in 1906 at Pontefract, Yorkshire. He managed a boot and shoe business at Pontefract.

Arthur G Wright Mr Wright joined the Public Benefit Boot Co in 1932 and managed one of the company shops before he was appointed inspector of the of the Leeds district in 1937. His primary responsibility as an inspector was to ensure that the company’s policies were carried out consistently throughout his region. He joined the RAF in October 1941, was mentioned in despatches and attained the rank of Flight Lieutenant. He returned to the company in March 1946. Further information is being sought on Mr Wright.

Harry Edgar Wright, full biographical details consult surnames T-Z

 

Repairs & Factories

Last benefit repair facility

Leeds, 20 & 22 St Paul’s Street, 1904-1934 stopped manufacturing.  In 1940 St. Pauls’ Street, still the H Q

Leeds, Templar Street, Vicar Lane, (Benefit Central Repairs Factory, employed around 150 people), opened in 1923 , confirmed 1932-1966 Harry Edgar Wright, manager, 1932-1960; Arthur R Hudson, manager, 1960-1961; manager, Harry Daubney 1964 onwards;

Yorkshire Evening Post 26th May 1952. Announcing the modernisation of their large repair factory in Vicar Lane. Reputed to be the most up to date  in the country. Every machine is brand new. Affording new applications and speeding up the repair process also enabling them to service 120 branches. Average repair time is 48 hours, but attention is paid to quality above speed with competitive pricing and first class materials. The factory adjoins the Vicar lane branch

Leeds, 33 Queen Victoria Street, (Benefit Footwear Ltd repair facility), 1961-1988

Head offices

Meanwood branch left and Lion house branch right window displays

The Lion Roars

Meanwood means business

Yorkshire Evening Post Leeds, Lion House, New Market Street/Vicar Lane corner 1900 & 1912-1949 confirmed in 1936 Kellys

Leeds, 39 Park Place, 1897-1904

Leeds, Darley House, West Street, 1948-1949

Roundhay Road

Leeds Roundhay Road,  1891-1903

Leeds, 253 Roundhay Road, 1907-1912 & 1927 Kelly’s Hyde Park corner  The Parade

All other addresses

Yorkshire Post & Leeds Intelligencer June 1885                                                            Exceedingly Valuable FREEHOLD ESTATE, consisting of the Two SHOPS and DWELLING-HOUSES. Nos: 41 , and 42. Commercial  Street, Leeds.respectively occupied by Hunt and Hall and the Public Benefit Boot Company. The property is situate within fifty yards of Briggate, it presents an imposing frontage of 51ft. 6in. to Commercial Street, and covers a total area of 162 square yards. The buildings are unusually sound and substantial erection, and are four storeys in height. Internally the accommodation is excellent, each tenement containing on the     Ground  Floor:—A large Shop, which, in the case of Messrs Hunt & Hull, is divided into a shop and workroom. First Floor Show-room. 24ft. X 15ft., lighted by three large windows; another room. is 15ft. X 12 ft.                                            Second, Third & Fourth  and  Floors.—Six bed or work rooms, housemaids closet, w.c., and servant’s bedroom.                                                                                                                    Basement.—Two large kitchens, coal keeping, and wine cellar.w.c., and ash-place. In addition to the shop entrance, each Tenement has a private doorway, also from the street, The very choice – position occupied by this site, the excellence of the buildings, and the large amount of business and domestic accommodation  they contain &  continue to render one of the most valuable estates in  Commercial Street. 

Leeds Commercial Street The famous Trademark 31545  1884

Leeds, Lisbon Street, 1870 trade directories

Leeds, 40 Lisbon Street, 1872-1886 Trade directories

Leeds, 5 Roscoe Road, 1872 trade directories

Leeds, 27 New Market Street, 1894-1897 (Brow Dickinson, managing director, 1897)

Leeds, 28 Call Lane, 1894-1897

Leeds, 14 Call Lane, 1894-1898 confirmed by Kelly’s National directory of Great Britain 1896

Call lane Corner close to Boar lane and the Kirkgate Market Aug 1899 

Y.E.P.Leeds Mercury December 1905 and 52 Boar Lane, grand opening

Leeds, 14 New Briggate, 1910

Leeds, 3 Headingley Lane, 1912 & confirmed 1927 kellys

Leeds, 54 North Lane Headingley (next to Thrift Grocers Store), 1927 & 1936 confirmed Kellys

358 Kirkstall Road 1927 Kelly’s confirmed 1936 Kellys

Meanwood, 8 Stonegate Road Meanwood confirmed 1927 Kelly’s  confirmed 1936 Kellys

112a Wellington Road 1936 Kellys

Leeds 126 Vicar Lane confirmed 1936 kellys

Leeds, 67-69 The Headrow (Cnr Lands Lane), 1931-1949

Leeds, 2 The Headrow, 1949-1956

Yorkshire Evening Post Sept 1949 BENEFIT ANNOUNCE  THE COMPLETION OF AND MODERNISATION OF THEIR HEADROW STORE

THIS store, which Is undoubtedly unique In the Provinces, carries the widest possible range of footwear, including most of the famous advertised Brands.

LOWER GROUND FLOOR Jacobean Room for Men only. An entirely new departure ‘the retailing of Men’s shoes.’

GROUND FLOOR Reception and general footwear of the best grades for Ladies and Children. Here also repairs are accepted.

FIRST FLOOR designed exclusively for high grade Ladles’ Fashion Shoes, to suit most requirements.

LIFT TO UPPER FLOORS We cordially invite old friends and new pay us visit to see our efforts to make the purchasing of footwear a pleasure

SECOND FLOOR’  BREVITT  Salon  Stocking a complete range of this popular brand-many styles exclusive to Benefit. 

Hunslet (leeds)

53 Waterloo Road 1927 Kelly’s confirmed 1936 Kellys

Mr Falkingham Manager sent From ‘Lion House’ Kirkgate to the Hunslet Branch 1st QTR 1927.

Mr Tunstall  Manager of Hunslet sent to Dewsbury Road 1st QTR 1927

Leigh,

33 Bradshawgate, 1898

Leigh, 36 Bradshawgate, 1929

Lichfield,

1934-1948 confirmed Lichfield Mercury July 1948

Lincoln

Lincoln High Street artists impression of the High Street Branch opened in Oct 1902

Lincolnshire echo  July 1914.  LINCOLN BUSINESS ENTERPRISE PUBLIC BENEFIT BOOT COMPANY’S NEW PREMISES.Today saw the opening in Lincoln of a new and up to date business establishment upon the site of premises, which for almost a century of years were controlled by the late Mr. W. Fowler and his successors. This property situate at the northern junction of High street and St. Benedict-square, has been acquired by the Public Benefit Boot Company who’ have for many years been conducting a business with conspicuous success in  John O’ Gaunt’s High-street. The site of the new shop has a good deal of historic interest attaching to it, for the St. Benedict Vicarage stood there, and the conversion to the requirements of  a modern business  undertaking hare been carried out with the idea of retaining as far as possible the external appearance of that particular portion. The Company, whose headquarters are Leeds, and who have 120 branches up and down the country, including Boston- Sleaford, Gainsborough. Grimsby, and Newark, have certainly secured in these new premises a very commodious, airy, lighted, and convenient shop, for the architects and builders have, made the most of their opportunities, and the result is pleasing to the eye as well as well admirably adapted for business. purposes. Viewed from the exterior no fault can found with the result of the transformation, and the building adds to the architectural attractions of the city s business establishments. The large windows are of the latest style, and give opportunity for a splendid display, which is already being taken full advantage of. Two these windows face High-street there is a bay at the comer and two further windows in St Benedicts’ square. Each these is attractively stocked with samples of the different sections of the Company s goods and present.a particularly smart appearance. One of them is devoted to showing gentlemen’s footwear of high quality, and from this may be chosen pair of boots priced from 8s lid to guinea, or shoes for the  summer wear. There is also a ladies window, with a distinct and attractive range goods from 4/11d upwards. The bay is occupied by a display of the latest styles in canvas and light goods for holiday wear, and in the square is seen an array of  stronger boots suitable for use in the foundries or on the fields, together with children’s school boots, etc. The children are especially catered for, in a show of boots and shoes in pattern and make exact replicas of those their parents will purchase. Coming to view the interior one is somewhat astonished to note the great space which the site has provided. First there is the gentlemen’s department, and the ladies’ saloon is situated beyond-on the actual site, in fact, of the old vicarage. The fittings are of mahogany, there is plenty of light and the illumination is by electricity  installed by Mr. Roe. of Lincoln. The stocks carried is such as to afford a wide range of choice, all, however, bearing the distinctive style and stamp of the Public Benefit boot Company, who evidently intend to live up to their trade name and give the public all the benefit possible through with them The extent of their business throughout the country is in itself evidence that they had pleased the public taste and there is no reason to suppose that the venture should not enjoy the long life which has been associated with the business previously carried in upon the premises. It is added it is intended to retain the premises oatJohn O’ Gaunts, and continue trading there as well as at the new shop.

115a & 115b High Street, (Cnr Gaunt Street), 1903-1928. March 1932 local newspapers show an Adv.: to let a lock up shop at 115 High Street previously owned & used by Public Benefit Boot co.

Sheffield Daily telegraph  Sept 1903  ATTEMPTED BURGLARY AT LINCOLN. About midnight on Wednesday there was another attempted burglary at Lincoln, and again the would-be thief was captured. Police-constable Wright was passing the corner of High Street and Gaunt Street when he heard a noise at the back of a shop occupied by the Public Benefit Boot Company, and upon stealthily going to the rear espied a youth attempting remove a square of glass. Three-parts of the putty had been cut away by a chisel, and stick of wax was at hand ready to be used a precaution against the glass prematurely falling. The chisel was a proper burglar’s implement, for the handle end formed a screw-driver. The constable at once asked the youth what he was doing, and the reply was, “Oh. it;… I can’t get on anywhere.” The youth— George Henry Wright—was some time ago on a training ship at Hull, but absconded.—Yesterday was charged with attempted burglary, and was committed for trial at the Quarter

Daily Herald March 1922 “STAGING” A BURGLARY Dust on Window Rouses ‘Tecs’ Suspicion From Our Own Correspondent LINCOLN, Friday.—There was a sensational sequel to the bogus Lincoln burglary at the police court here today, when George Chambers (28),. manager of the Public Benefit Boot Company, Lincoln, pleaded guilty to embezzling £3 13s. 61d. it was stated that Chambers reported to the police that the premises had been burgled during the night. Detectives found the safe door open, and two large hammers and quantity of burnt matches near by but the safe door bore no traces of being forced, an open window, thickly coated with dust, showed entry had not been effected from the outside Their suspicions aroused, the detectives challenged Chambers, who admitted staging the burglary, and later produced the money. The defending solicitor said Chambers told him he had been to a cinema the previous Monday, and the solicitor remarked that ” pictures seemed arranged to degrade the morals of men.” The man had been over eight years with the company and bore an excellent character. The Bench imposed a fine of £5

Nottingham Evening Post July 1923 WOMAN FAGIN. LINCOLN DEFENDANT WHO TAUGHT SON TO BE A THIEF. JUSTICES’ At Lincoln to-day. Phoebe Quibell. 34, and her son, aged 11, were charged with stealing two pairs ladies’ shoes, value 7s. lid., the property of the Public Benefit Boot Company, on July 7th; with stealing shoes, value 7s. 6d., from shop in the Strait, the property of Robert Henry Needham; stealing a pair of men’s boots, value 8s. 11d., and a lady’s dress, 6s. 6d., from Choice, Limited, on the same date. The Chief Constable said he was glad to say it was very rare that a case of this sort came before the courts in this country, but was quite evident that the boy was acting under the direction of the mother, and to make up for the mother’s unkindness to him, asked permission to withdraw the charge against the boy. The woman had forfeited all sense of womanhood and mother hood. The mother pleaded guilty to all the charges and Det.-Sergt. Capes, who was on duty on the High Bridge noon on Saturday, he said he saw defendant push the perambulator against the shop front of the Public Benefit Boot Company, and the boy took two pairs of boots which were hanging from the front and put them in the perambulator. He went to her and found the boots in the perambulator, and visiting her house at Ivy Cottages, Waterside South, found other shoes and the skirt and dress which she confessed to having stolen. it was a very serious thing for a defendant to avail herself of the opportunity afforded by the way in which such goods were exposed for sale.It was made worse by taking the boy of 11 years along with her. She had not recognised at all what was her responsibility as a parent. The duty of parents to bring children to understand that stealing was wrong, and instead having done that she had taken him and shown – him how to steal, and the boy naturally thought what his mother did must-be right. She had started the little boy in a career of crime. She was ordered to pay the costs 15s. in each case —and the husband was bound over for her good behaviour for six months

Lincolnshire Standard & Boston Guardian Aug 1928 Lincoln Police Court on Tuesday, in the adjourned case which John Sneyd (6o) of no fixed abode, was charged with the larceny over two pairs of boots, the property the Public Benefit Boot Company Lincoln on August 4th. Mr C W. Pennell at Lincoln Police court advised him that as he had gone straight for seven years he would only sentence him to three weeks imprisonment.

High Street Branches 115 & 203 High Street 

Staff associated with Lincoln

A. Ashley  Manager of 203 High Street branch Lincoln 1919.

A J Baldry Manager of John O’ Gaunts 115 High Street  branch Lincoln 1903

J.D. Brown 203 Lincoln High Street Branch 1924-1928 and again in 1935

Cecil Chambers Manager of John O’ Gaunts 115 high Street  Branch Lincoln in 1919

George Chambers involved in embezzling his company in 1922 after eight good years service consult case above

Fred Maggs 1901 he managed the Public Benefit Boot Co shop at 211 High Street, Exeter. 1905-1913 manager of John O’ Gaunts branch 115 High Street Lincoln. He later managed the company’s premises at 31 Sidwell Street, Exeter, where he died in 1923 aged 53.

Mr Mallinson of John O’ Gaunts 115 High Street Lincoln 1924 & 1925 

Mr Ralph  New manager sent to John O’ Groats 115 high Street Lincoln 1st QTR 1926

Mr Smith  New manager from Brunswick road Liverpool branch to John O Gaunt branch 115 High Street in Lincoln 4th QTR 1926

Fred Thistlethwaite Born 1873 at Burnley. At the turn of the century he lived in Bramley and worked as a boot shop assistant. He married in Bradford and may have been involved with a branch there as two children were born there in 1906 & 1909. From at least 1911 to 1919 he managed the Public Benefit Boot Co store on the corner of High Street and Gaunt Street, Lincoln.

Lincolnshire Echo 22nd December 1921 also lists 203 High Street as being next to St. Benedict’s Church 

Public Benefit,  Dunns & Lennards Ltd fined for keeping their shops opened beyond 8 p.m. in Lincoln in 1932 

3rd December 1947 Ad for 203 High Street Lincoln 1948 & 1955.

Liverpool new for old 21 Brunswick Road

Liverpool, & district

Toxteth Park, Liverpool,

21 Brunswick Road, 1925-1934 (repairs) Lancaster Library confirmed by (Benefit Magazines) opposite C. R. Anderson manager 1925/6

Arthur Bemend In 1911 he managed the company’s premises at 603 Smithdown Road, Wavertree, Liverpool

Mr Brayendale New manager sent to Brunswick Road Liverpool 4th QTR 1926

Thomas Curtis Born 1873 at Ashby de la Zouch,  1901-11 he managed the boot shop at 107-109 Grange Road, Birkenhead, Cheshire.

Henry John Hughes He managed boot shops in Liverpool in the 1890s and early 1900s and 1905-11 he and his wife managed the premises at 120 Earle Road, Liverpool. consult E-H surnames

Mr Parr   Working initially for the Public Benefit Boot Co in Liverpool, he was subsequently moved to Doncaster, Sunderland and finally in 1937 to Stockton where he managed the company’s repair facility at 15 Norton Road. When the Stockton repair business closed in 1961 he started up his own business in Church Street.

Mr Smith  New manager from Brunswick road Liverpool branch to John O Gaunt branch in Lincoln 4th QTR 1926

Joseph Henry Owen Born c1858 at Peterborough, son of Henry Joseph Owen, formerly a grocer, later a boot merchant, and his wife Ann Eliza Westmoreland. In 1871 Henry managed a Leicester shoe shop and 10 years later he was a boot manufacturer’s manager. Both Joseph and his father Henry were listed in 1891 as boot and shoe merchants in Toxteth Park, 69 Granby Street. Joseph married Lydia Pennington of Prescot in 1892 and a few years later he managed a boot dealership in Warrington and became a shareholder in the Public Benefit Boot Co. In 1911, still based at Warrington, he worked as a district manager for the company.

69 Granby Street, 1891

Liverpool 81 Byron Street, 1900 Lancaster Library

Liverpool, 126 Kensington Street, 1900 Lancaster Library

Bootle  441 Stanley Road, 1907 Kelly’s Lancashire

Birkenhead: 165 Grange Road 1894 Lancaster library

Birkenhead, 230 Grange Road, 1925-1934 Lancaster Library

Birkenhead, 258 Grange Road, 1946-1966 Lancaster Library

Sefton Park,

16 Lodge Lane, 1907 Kelly’s Lancashire

Liverpool, 120 Earle Road, 1905-1911 Lancaster Library 

Liverpool, 215-217 Park Road (W A Golby & Co, proprietors), 1907

Liverpool Great Crosby branch opened 1924 

Liverpool, 58 Bold Street,  a ladies store, opened 1950& confirmed 1955 Lancaster Library

Wavertree, Liverpool,

603 Smithdown Road, 1911-1935 Lancaster Library

Llandudno, Caerphilly

Mr Whiteside  Manager of Llandudno found 3rd QTR 1925-1927

45 Mostyn Street, 1905-1942

Llangeffni

Mr Griffiths New manager given new Llangefni branch found 3rd Qtr 1924

Loftus, North Yorkshire

Miss Hutchinson  Loftus Branch 1925

Market Place, 1913

Loftus, 91 High Street, 1925 -1937 confirmed kellys

London

58 Hornsey High street 1938-9 Haringey Council this is an ex. Amies Wallace branch taken over by ‘Benefit as part of a batch of fifty. 40 remained open 10 closed.Situated on the fringes of ‘Crouch End’ close to Turnpike Lane Tube Station and the famous Crouch End Clock Tower58 High Street  

Frank Ford Born 7 April 1875 at 14 Lovell Street, Bristol Circa 1899-1903 manager of 7, Commercial Street Aberdare. In 1911 he managed the Public Benefit Boot Co premises at 176 City Road, Roath, Cardiff and 58 High Street Hornsey by 1914 he was managing the company’s branch at 21 Bridge Street, Spalding, Lincolnshire. 

Ernest Victor Forse Born 1870 at Marylebone, London. He initially worked as a boot salesman in Battersea in the 1890’s, his children were born in Hornsey 1902 & 1907 suggesting he managed the shop there, 58 High Street confirmed by the  1911 census .

George William Swaffield  Born 1875 at Newington. 1901 he was managing the Public Benefit Boot Co branch at 58 High Street, Hornsey. From the early  19o’s1 to 1916 he managed the company’s large premises in the Albert Buildings, 21-23 Derby Road, Nottingham. 

164 Trafalgar road SE10 Greenwich1942-1948 same source as above

Long Eaton 

Long Eaton Advertiser April 1899 Important Sale of Boots sod Shoes, removed from Bradbury’s Public Benefit Boot and Shoe Stores, High Street. Long Eaton, for convenience of Sale. MR. FRANK RUFF is favoured with instructions from the above Company to SELL BY AUCTION, at his Mart  High Street, Long Eaten, the whole of the above valuable stock, consisting  of 2,500 PAIRS OF BOOTS & SHOES Of every description, suitable for Men, Women, Boys, Girls, and Infants. Also a Large Assortment of Cycling and Dancing Shoes & Slippers, Canvas Shoes, Football and cricketing boots, Plimsolls, Gaiters, etc. The Auctioneer begs to call the attention of the trade, heads of families, and others, to this exceptionally large Sale, as being well worthy of their attention. The Goods will be on View on Saturday previous to the. Sale. NOTE.–The Auction Sales will commence Monday Afternoon at 2.30, and 6.30 in the Evening, and continue every Night during the week until cleared.

Long Eaton Advertiser Feb 1899 PUBLIC BENEFIT BOOT STORES WILL COMMENCE THEIR GREAT BOOT SALE ON FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17th. £1000 WORTH OF BOOTS AND SHOES TO BE SOLD REGARDLESS OF COST COME EARLY AND SECURE THEM WHILE THEY LAST. Note the address Public Benefit Boot Stores 46 High Street Long eaton

Longton,

64 Market Street, 1891-1892 kelly’s 

Staffordshire Sentinel Dec 1940 Horace Craythorne 8, Hamilton Road, Longton summoned in respect of a light at the Benefit boot shop

Henry Abijah Pearce Mondey 1891-1892 he was based at 64 Market Street, Longton branch and stores in the district. Ten years later he was manager of the shop at 15 Market Place, Gainsborough.

Loughborough

Nottingham Journal Jan 1899 Sarah Ann Barlow, widow, of no fixed abode, was charged on remand with stealing metal teapot, the property of Joseph Cook, Oxford-street, Loughborough, value 3s. 6d This case was taken as a  test, and Mr. Deane therefore offered no defence in the following charges of stealing and receiving a pair of boots, value 5s. 11d., the property of the Public Benefit Boot Company.— Joseph Phillips, manager of the Loughborough branch of the boot company, identified the boots.—The next charge was with respect to a church service book, value 3a., the ‘property of Mr. A. E. Shelton, newsagent, of Church, gate, Loughborough.—Mr. Shelton identified the book as his property —The defendants were convicted on all the charges. Barlow was sentenced to one month’s hard labour on each charge, the sentences run concurrently. Ward was fined 30s., including costs, in each case, or one month, to run concurrently; in all £4 10s. or one month’s hard labour.

Nottingham Evening Post Feb 1909 A GREAT TEMPTATION.” TRADESMEN’S PRACTICE CONDEMNED BY MAGISTRATES. Loughborough Potty Sessions to-day, tramping labourer, named Thos. Mardy, was charged with stealing a pair of boots, value 10s. 9d., on February 2nd. The boots were hanging outside the shop of the Public Benefit Boot Company in Church-gate, Loughborough, and prisoner was seen by a lad named Bernard Berry take the boots off the hook. The Bench commented very strongly against the practice of tradesmen hanging goods outside shops, and hoped this would be discontinued;- and thus remove temptation from such persons as the prisoner. Mardy was committed to the Quarter Sessions. 

Nottingham Evening Post Nov 1910A MISSING COAT. LABOURER SENT FOR TRIAL FOR THEFT AT LOUGHBOROUGH. Charles Bates, labourer, of no fixed abode, was charged at loughborough to-day with stealing a jacket, value 11s. 6d, the property of J. A. Broughton, on November 25t’h. Robert Rowse, manager of the Public Benefit Boot Company s shop, which is next door to the. prosecutor’s premises, said about 5.45 o’clock on the. date named he saw the prisoner take the jacket from outside the shop in Church-gate and walk away with it. Witness told Mr. Broughton, and information was given to the police. Prosecutor said he missed the jacket from a hook outside the shop after the last witness had spoken to him. Police-Constable Jesson said he received a complaint of the loss of the coat, and proceeded with Police-Constable Potterton to a lodging-house in The Rushes, where he saw the prisoner. The latter at first denied taking the coat, but afterwards admitted the theft. The coat, they found, had been pawned at Mr. Quails for 2s. 6d. When arrested the prisoner said he was hard up and wanted something to, eat. The pawn-ticket was found upon him. J. W. Quail, pawnbroker, said the prisoner called at his premises  on November 25th and pawned the coat. ‘ witness asked him if the coat was his own property, and he said, “Yes, if it wasn’t I shouldn’t have brought it, he asked for 2s. 6d., and witness let him have that sum. Prisoner, who had nothing to say.was formally committed to take his trial at the next Quarter Sessions

Biggin Street

Loughborough 6a Church Street, 1885-1931

6 & 6a Church Gate Kellys 1928

Loughborough, 30 Swan Street, 1911

Loughborough, 31-32 Swan Street, 1931-1962

John George Dennis Born 1867 at Leicester, For several decades, at least he lived at Loughborough, Leicestershire, where, assisted by his wife Ada, he managed the company’s premises at 30 Swan Street, Loughborough consult surnames A-D

 Mr Hicks Loughborough Manager married found 3rd Qtr 1924 & in 1927

William Richard Pagett
 In the mid-1890’s he managed the Public Benefit Boot Co branch at 6 Church Gate, Loughborough. By 1901 he was managing a boot shop in Worthing, Sussex and in 1911 he managed a boot shop at Westbourne, Bournemouth.

Joseph Phillips manager of the Public Benefit Boot Company, Uttoxeter 1896, 1899-1909 went on to be manager of 6 Church Gate Loughborough all information gleaned from court cases where Joseph Philips was either a witness or prosecutor.

Robert Rowse  Manager of Loughborough. Nottingham Evening Post Nov 1910 A MISSING COAT consult surnames P-S for in depth story

John W. White Manager of 6a Church Street, Loughborough 1889-1892

Louth,

Mr Williams 

New manager of new branch in Louth 84 Eastgate  1st QTR 1927

86 Eastgate, 1919-1927 Louth Library

Louth new branch opened 84 Eastgate 1st QTR 1927 -1967

Luton

Luton Clock House adv 1902

Bedfordshire Mercury April 1908  TO SAVE HIS PENSION. Wm. Clark, 43, labourer, of Hastings Street was indicted for stealing five pairs of boots, value £2 95., the property of Susanna Taylor, at Luton, on Feb. 17. was further indicted for obtaining them false pretences. Prisoner pleaded not guilty, Mr Ryland Adkins prosecuted. The facts of the case were that the prisoner wrote a letter purporting to come from Mr Lee, of The Cookshop, near the Four Horse Shoes, Park-street, Luton, asking for some boots to be sent from the Public Benefit Boot Company on approbation. He took the letter to the shop, and subsequently the errand boy employed by Mrs Taylor, being  Alfred Albert Battrick St peter’s Road Dunstable  was despatched by John Oldroyd  Jowett, the manager, with five pairs, which he left at Mr Lee’s, owing to prisoner entering just as he was told to take them away and saying it was all right, he had ordered them.” Later he sent another letter from another address, purporting to come from a Mr Chalkley, saying he would keep the 12s. 11d. pair and call and pay in the morning. On that the matter he was put in the hands of the police, and it was found that the prisoner had pawned one pair, sold others and was wearing the last. Evidence was given as to these facts and also to there being Mr Chalkley at the address named, and no authority given to prisoner in any way to get the boots for anyone. Prisoner’s defence was that Mr Chalkley had asked him to get them but when they didn’t suit he did not like to take them back and so tried to get rid of them, intending to pay for the lot when he got his pension money £10 the next day. The Jury found him guilty. It was stated that he had served in South Africa, that his head had been injured by a bullet and also he had had sunstroke, the result being that at times he was not quite the thing mentally. The Court, taking these things in consideration and also that imprisonment might lose him his pension, bound him over in the sum of £20 to come up for judgment if called upon.

Susannah Taylor was born Susannah Harker her father being Jabez Harker she was the proprietor of the Clock House and married John Henry Taylor who at one time became manager. John died December 22nd 1907 aged 43 years and was buried at the general cemetery in Luton.

Luton reporter July 1894 Park Square the Clock House electric lighting fitted and a free concert by the Red Cross band

 Clock House, Park Square, 21 Park Street, 1896-1917 Mrs Susannah Taylor, manageress, 1911; S Taylor & Co, proprietors, 1914 which would also include Dunstable if still trading and St Albans but the latter branch had gone by this time.

Luton Times and Advertiser June 1913  NOT A SUFFRAGETTE RAID.—A casual glance at the windows of the Public Benefit Boot Company in Park-street, on Tuesday evening might have led one to conjecture a surprise visit had been paid by a band of suffragettes. A window at the side of the door was completely smashed, and pieces of glass mingled with boots of various descriptions in the window space. This, however, it appears, was the work of a young horse attached to a plait cart out for a trial trip with a view to purchase. Two persons seated in the cart happily escaped without injury, but the horse was not quite so fortunate.

Luton reporter March 1924 PUBLIC BENEFIT BOOT CO• (S. TAYLOR & CO), Clock House, Park Square, Luton. We are going out of business, therefore all our regular stock is greatly reduced. 

Luton, (near Empire Cinema), 1959

John Oldroyd Jowett John was manager for the Clock House Luton working for Mrs Susannah Taylor. In 1908 a curious case of an old man deceiving them to the point of supplying boots. See above for the complete story. 

1916 John applied to be a conscience objector.

Malton,

13a Saville Street, 1909-1937 confirmed Kellys

Floor mosaic opposite

Malton, 17 Saville Street, 1909-1913

15 Saville Street occupied by Lennards ltd up to the 1960’s

Malton, 54 Market Place, circa 1911 this branch was also close to the livestock market.

F L Dawson Manager Malton Branch 1924

Mr North  From Hillsboro branch and one time assistant at Malton branch sent to Driffield Branch 1st QTR 1926

Edward Potts 1911 he managed the Public Benefit Boot Co premises at 54 Market Place, Malton, Yorkshire.

Mansfield

Mr J H Hopkins Mansfield Branch 1924 & 1925

In November 1892 Mr Barr was advertising in the Mansfield Reporter NOTICE. FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE PUBLIC. THE BEST AND CHEAPEST BOOTS AND SHOES Are to be obtained at BARR’S, WEST GATE (OPPOSITE THE MARKET CROSS), MANSFIELD. I suspect Mr Barr was franchising for Public Benefit Boot before fully committing himself.

Mansfield Reporter Dec 1893 THE PUBLIC BENEFIT BOOT STORES ALBERT STREET, MANSFIELD, Is the BEST AND CHEAPEST SHOP For all kinds of BOOTS & SHOES If you buy your boots there you wil be highly satisfied with price and quality. GIVE THIS SHOP A TRIAL. Note the Address: R. BARR , THE PUBLIC ‘ BENEFIT BOOT STORES ALBERT STREET, MANSFIELD. 

Mansfield Reporter adv June 1919 smart, experienced young LADY.—AII particulars, by letter. to the PublicBenefit Boot Co.. Ltd., Church Street, Mansfield

Mansfield Reporter June 1927 The Public Benefit Boot Company had a call from an undesirable customer on Monday morning, a cow walking into the establishment. A wag in the crowd which quickly gathered, suggested that the moo-cow wanted some dancing pumps. She certainly did a bit of a Charleston on getting back on to the pavement. The manager appeared greatly relieved when the old lady decided to leave the premises and go on her way rejoicing. The animal walked out of the place quite quietly, but it was amusing to see the women scuttle into places of safety

Market Weighton,

Market Place, 1892-1911 (Charles Whitaker of Leeds, proprietor, 1892)

Henry Duffield Born 1869 at Kilburn, Yorkshire, son of Thomas Duffield, farm worker, and his wife Elizabeth. Age 21, he was working as a shoemaker, Henry married Anne HARLAND at Leeds. They had two children: Thomas Henry 1891 (referred to as Henry) and Ethel 1893. Around 1892 he became the resident manager of the Public Benefit Boot Co shop at Market Weighton with his wife and son Thomas Henry assisting. He died at Market Weighton 22 February 1938

Maryport opened summer 1925

Melton Mowbray

George Pepper He worked initially as a boot shop assistant at Melton Mowbray and by 1911 managed the Public Benefit Boot Co premises at 36 Westgate, Elland, West Yorkshire

Mexborough,

Sheffield Independent March 1897 ROBBERY BY A MEXBRO MINER. A Mexboro’ miner, named William Turner, alias Traikes, alias John Thomas, was summoned on Saturday for stealing a pair of youths’ boots from the shop of the Public Benefit Boot Company Mexboro’ on the 1st inst.—Evidence was given by a youth named Theophilus Oething to the effect that he saw the man hurry away with the boots, and the witness was complimented on his intelligence.—P.c. Cade deposed as the apprehension of the man. —The prisoner, who had been previously convicted, was committed for trial at the sessions

165 Wath Road, 1896 Sheffield district

Mexborough, 159 Main Street, 1900-1901

Mexborough, 11 Main Street, 1911

Mexborough, 66 High Street, 1927-1936

T F Winfield Manager of Mexboro branch 1924 & 1925

Middlesbrough,

Daily Gazette Middlesboro Oct 1893 MIDDLESBROUGH STILL ADVANCING. ANOTHER RED-LETTER DAY IN’ THE HiSTORY OF THE TOWN. ON FRIDAY, OCTOBER 6th The Public Benefit Boot Company will Open their premises at 44, LINTHORPE-ROAD, MIDDLESBOROUGH with one of the Best Selected STOCKS of Boots and Shoes IN THE TOWN. The quality of our Goods is known throughout the Kingdom, and the PRICES ARE RIGHT. Give us one trial and prove the truth of what we say. LOOK OUT FOR THE ELECTRIC LIGHT.

Daily Gazette for Middlesboro Aug 1898 MIDDLESBROUGH TRADES’ EXHIBITION. The space is fast filling up which is intended for exhibition, at this Middlesbrough Trades Exhibition. The Mayor has to-day allotted ground on which four of the finest Boot Manufacturing Machines will be placed. Visitors to the Exhibition will see how the renowned Boots of the Public Benefit Boot Company are manufactured. The public will do well to remember this most interesting show, where they can see the commencement of a boot to the finish, when they are placed in their box ready for the first purchaser. The Public Benefit Boot Company manufacture all their own Boots and, therefore, give First Value at First Cost, Note.— Branches In Stockton, Middlesbrough, Thornaby, Hartlepool, Darlington, Bishop Auckland. Sunderland, South Shields, Hull, Leeds, and almost every town. Daily Gazette for Middlesbrough 20th Aug 1898

Daily gazette for Middlesboro Feb 1898  The Small pox Epidemic. The public Benefit Boot Company, Limited, beg  respectfully to inform their numerous customers that their Middlesbrough establishment has been thoroughly disinfected from commencement of the outbreak. Also, all the assistants and porters Have been successfully re vaccinated

Daily Gazette for Middlesboro October 1899 We open our New Branch To-day. Come and see the” wonderful display. Public Benefit Boot Co., Ltd., 191 and 193, Newport-road, Middlesbrough corner of Jamieson Street

Daily Gazette Middlesbrough Jan 1908 Boys raids on shop. They literally visited a large number of shops thieving what they could and from Public Benefit shop pinched a pair of boots from the doorway. 

Daily Gazette Middlesboro several Managers names printed as attending a presentation at ripon Aug 1907 to the Silver wedding of Brow and Mrs Dickinson. A Cosgrove Manager for Middlesboro

Daily Gaz Middlesboro Oct 1910 BOOTS FOR NUMBER FIVE. At Middlesbrough to-day, Jane Ann Joyce of 76, Gilkes Street, pleaded guilty to stealing by means of a trick boots valued at £2 7 1ld, belonging to the Public Benefit Boot Company. Ltd., on August 20th Chief Constable Mr Henry Riches said that the defendant called at No. 191, Newport-road, and asked to be shown some boots, and asked for them to be sent to No. 5, Gough Street. and gave the name, of Jones. A boy took them to Gough Street, and while looking for the house she came up to him and said: ” Are those boots for No. 5′ and he said, “Yes She took the parcel and ran across the road Into a house and banged the door to. The boy waited for some time and eventually knocked at the door, and receiving no answer he opened it and found the house unoccupied. The police were informed, and she was arrested this morning. When charged she said, “I have nothing to say.” she was sent to prison for twenty-one days 

Middlesborough Gazette advising they supply 5 million people with boots every year (1899)

Daily Gaz Middlesboro June 1916 Plans approved to improve the premises in Middlesborough

44 Linthorpe and 91 Newports Roads 1908

Middlesbrough, 191 & 193 Newport Road, opened 16th October 1899 (cnr Jamieson Street), 1900-1947

Middlesbrough, 83 Linthorpe Road, 1932-1939

Anderson Crossgrove Born 1874 at West Auckland, Co Durham, son of Thomas Anderson Crossgrove, a Prudential Assurance agent, and Jane BROWN. He married Ada SIMPSON of Newcastle in 1896 the following year he managed the Public Benefit Boot Co premises at 78 Lynn Street and 113 Musgrave Street, West Hartlepool. From 1901 until at least 1911 he managed 44 Linthorpe Road at Middlesbrough, Yorkshire.

John Thomas Crossgrove Born 1872 at West Auckland, Co Durham, son of Thomas Anderson Crossgrove, a Prudential Assurance Agent, and his wife Jane BROWN. In 1893 he married at Middlesbrough where he was employed as an assistant manager at 44 Linthorpe Road 1896-1911

Andrew Dyer Manager of the Public Benefit Boot Co premises at 50 Mandale Road, Thornaby on Tees, Yorkshire, in 1897. consult surnames A-D

E Mitchell Linthorpe Road Middlesbrough Branch 1925

F Noddings manager Newport Road Middlesboro Branch  1st Qtr 1925 he removed to Widnes Branch

R. W. Stangroom junior Middlesboro Manager 1924

Robert William Stangroom. Senior In 1907 he attended the wedding of Brow Dickinson as manager of the Middlesbrough branch. From 1908 to 1911 he managed Public Benefit Boot Co premises in West Hartlepool and later went on to become an Inspector for the firm. During WWI he served in the Royal Regiment of Artillery. He retired from the company as manager of the branch at Ashington and died in 1957 aged 79  Consult Surnames P-S for full biographical details

Ernest William Tomline Born 1875 at Fiskerton. In 1901 he managed the Public Benefit Boot Co premises at 193 Linthorpe Road, Middlesborough, Yorkshire; 1904-05 he managed the company’s premises at 78 Lynn Street, West Hartlepool and in 1911 he managed the premises in Sunderland, Co Durham.

Moorends,

Mr Gaynor New manager sent to St Anne’s’ Morecambe 4th QTR 1926

H W Parsisson Rossington Branch Manager from 1924 transferred to new Moorends branch in 2nd QTR 1927

Goole Street, 2nd QTR 1927

Moorends, 147 Marshlands Road, 1936

Morecambe

 Mr Holt  New manager of St Anne’s on sea new branch opened May 2nd Qtr 1924  Sent to Leamington Spa branch 1st QTR 1926. Sent to Bank Hey Street 4th QTR 1926.Captain Huckenhall M.C.  was assistant at Blackpool and became manager of Bradford on sea branch in 1st qtr. of 1924. The latter branch was in reality St.Annes on sea but was colloquially called Bradford on sea because it was frequently visited by Bradfordians

St Anne’s opened May 1924

Morecambe 34 Euston Road listed in 1938 Lancashire evening Post also found in Morecambe Guardian in 1951

13th may 1939 Morecambe Guardian reports on a massive break in

Morley,

9 Fountain Street, (warehouse), 1894-1904 Founded by William Henry Franklin.

Morley, 96 Queen Street, 1912-1922

Morley, 28 Queen Street, 1911-1936.

In 1912 number 28 Queen Street Y.E.Post 4th May 1912 was being sold off and the tenant was boot repairer Benjamin Caley. The shop and living quarters was purchased by Public Benefit Boot installing William Caley as the Manager and his father Benjamin worked as boot repairer along with Rowland Caley

Mr Buckley Manager of Morley Branch but ent to King Street Huddersfield 1928

William Caley,                                                                                                                    Benjamin Caley,                                                                                                                  Rowland Caley

William Born 1887 at Hunslet, Yorkshire, the son of Benjamin CALEY, a boot repairer, and his wife Laura LONGBOTTOM. In 1911 William managed a new boot Warehouse at 28 Queen Street, Morley while his father Benjamin and brother Rowland worked as boot repairers. He married Ethel CROSSLAND in 1912 and their children include Cyril 1914 and William 1921. He died at Morley in 1922 aged 34.  In 1912 number 28 Queen Street Y.E.Post 4th May 1912 was being sold off and the tenant was boot repairer Benjamin Caley. The shop and living quarters was purchased by Public Benefit Boot installing William Caley as the Manager and his father Benjamin worked as boot repairer along with Rowland Caley

Harry Seagrove  was a boot shop assistant in Leeds and a decade later he managed the company’s premises at Morley, Yorkshire 1897-1911

Morpeth,

3 Bridge Street, 1938 branch opened March 12th 1937 still trading November 1948: Morpeth Herald.

Still trading in 1973 as Benefit Footwear confirmed Newcastle Evening ChronicleBeyond that (1979) it became a Saxone Store. HQ 69 Headway Lilley and Skinner.

William (Bill) Clayton  after the war whilst based at Blyth, where he began in 1938  spent a number of years window dressing various branches. His  first management position (on a wage of £5) was a small Benefit Footwear shop in Spennymoor, 1950 circa after which he went on to manage branches in Morpeth and the branch at Ashington that he managed for more than 36 years. He was managing from 1947-1983

Nelson,

14 New Arcade, 1941 Barrett’s Directory Nelson

Nelson, 9 Leeds Road, 1941 Barrett’s Directory Nelson

Newark-on-Trent,

George Edwin Haydon Manager of 37 Market Place Newark 1891-1892, 1895 -1902 manager of 7 Parsons’ Street Banbury

F Wright Manager of Newark Branch from 1894-1926 32 years. His daughter W. Wright was assistant at the same Branch until 1926 when she married  Consult Surnames T-Z for full biographical details

Nottingham Evening Post Oct 1924 Frederick Lloyd at Newark yesterday of no fixed abode was sent for trail at the Nottingham assizes on a charge of breaking and entering the Public Benefit Boot Company branch in the Market place and stealing boots worth £3.4s

Grantham Journal Feb 1898 Churchgate branch

37 Market Place, 1891-1892

Newark-on-Trent, 42-44 Market Place, 1896-1971

Newark 43 Market place confirmed by Kelly’s National directory of Great Britain 1896

Newcastle Under Lyme Benefit footwear acquired Amies branches 7 High Street

Newcastle Under Lyme  

Staffordshire Sentinel May 1938 New branch  7 High Street as BenefitFootwear has taken over an acquisition an Amies branch on a par with ‘Benefit’ branches. Both companies sold in the same areas lower to middle 

 

 

 

Newcastle Upon Tyne,

Newcastle Evening Chronicle April 1913 New shop 61 Clayton Street next to Newgate Street Corner

By 1962 the company were down to 3 Branches trading up to 1968

Newcastle Byker District 131 Shields Road, Byker, 1904-1925 

Newcastle Upon Tyne, Byker district 82 Shields Road, 1921-1956 

84 Shields Road 1929 Kellys Northumberland the firm had extended 82 & 84 Shields Road was still trading in 1953 Kelly’s Newcastle

Newcastle Upon Tyne, 61 Clayton Street, 1913-1968 confirmed 1936 kellys

Still trading 40 Northumberland Street in 1973 as Benefit Footwear confirmed Newcastle Evening Chronicle Beyond that (1979) it became a Saxone store . HQ 69 Headway Lilley and Skinner.

Gateshead

John Tyrel Green Prior to 1911 John managed boot shops in Oxford, Rochdale, Gateshead and in 1911 he managed the company’s premises at 7 Parsons Street, Banbury

Gosforth Newcastle

Olive Gospell Born 1917 in Northumberland,  She commenced work in 1934 aged 17 at the Public Benefit Boot Co branch of Whitley Bay where the staff consisted of two female sales assistants, a manager and an errand boy. During the war years Olive took over management of the branch. After the war her future husband James SMEATHAM took over management of the Whitley Bay branch and they married in 1952. Olive was then assigned to retraining all the men returning from the conflict. Her new role took her to places such as  Newcastle, Gosforth (1960’s), North Shields, Bedlington, Redcar and Carlisle. Consult surnames E-H for further details.

201 High Street, opened 1st QTR 1926-1968*

WALLSEND Newcastle region

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

Herbert Harding In 1911 he managed the company’s premises at 45 High Street, Wallsend on Tyne

15-17 High Street East, 1910-1938

17 High Street East 1936 Kelly

Staff associated with Newcastle

J R Burn Newcastle Branch 1924 & 1925

Daily Gazette Middlesboro several Managers names printed as attending a presentation at ripon Aug 1907 to the Silver wedding of Brow and Mrs Dickinson. Mr Noble Manager for Newcastle

William Clayton arrived from Blyth branch in 1941 after three years service there. He came to Newcastle to learn window dressing. served as a driver/gunner in Belgium, Holland and Germany. In 1945 he returned to the Benefit Footwear branch in Blyth and continued with window dressing the company’s branches in various regional towns. In 1949 he married Margaret MOSELEY, a Benefit Footwear shop assistant and they had a son Ralph CLAYTON the following year. William’s first management position (on a wage of £5) was a small Benefit Footwear shop in Spennymoor, 1950 circa after which he went on to manage branches in Morpeth and the branch at Ashington that he managed for more than 36 years. He was managing from 1947-1983

Mr R Craven Assistant at Newcastle becomes manager of Wallsend 4th Qtr 1924 & 1925 . Sent to South Shields In 3rd QTR 1926 sent to Consett in 1928

Miss Foster Assistant at 11 & 40 Northumberland Street, 1950’s

Miss S. Burn Assistant at 11 & 40 Northumberland Street, 1940’s/50’s

Newcastle Upon Tyne,  40 Northumberland Street, 1936 (Kellys) -1971 Mary G Comb nee Allison assistant  1948

Thomas A. Mason manager in 1940 shop at Wallsend in 1944  (Mr Patrick, manager, c1950’s-1960’s)

Mr Chivers Manager of the Co branch 61 Clayton Street Newcastle in the 1950’s and Wallsend c1960’s.

Olive Gospell Born 1917 in Northumberland,  She commenced work in 1934 aged 17 at the Public Benefit Boot Co branch of Whitley Bay where the staff consisted of two female sales assistants, a manager and an errand boy. During the war years Olive took over management of the branch. After the war her future husband James SMEATHAM took over management of the Whitley Bay branch and they married in 1952. Olive was then assigned to retraining all the men returning from the conflict. Her new role took her to places such as  Newcastle, Gosforth (1960’s), North Shields, Bedlington, Redcar and Carlisle. Consult surnames E-H for further details.

Miss Hackenby Assistant at 11 & 40 Northumberland Street, 1950’s

Mrs McAlpine Cashier at 11 & 40 Northumberland Street, 1950’s

Billy Mackie Trainee manager at Newcastle 61 Clayton street 1950’s

Thomas A Mason Manager of Newcastle Wallsend shop in 1940’s

E Mitchell Manager of Linthorpe Road from Wallsend Branch 1924

Miss Nevison 1950’s & 1960’s worked at the Public Benefit Boot Co branch at Northumberland Street, Newcastle.

Mrs Pat Nicholson  Assistant at 11 & 40 Northumberland Street, 1950’s

Mr. Noble  Manager of Newcastle shop 1907

Gertrude M Patrick Born 1916 in Northumberland, daughter of John PATRICK and Margaret HISCOCK, in 1939 she married James NICHOLSON. Known as ‘Pat’, Mrs Nicholson continued to work as 2nd sales in the 1940’s at the Public Benefit Boot Co branch at 38 Northumberland Street, Newcastle. Her brother also worked for the firm and managed the Wallsend branch.Mr Patrick

Mr Patrick The son of John PATRICK and Margaret HISCOCK and brother of Public Benefit Boot Co employee Gertrude M PATRICK, he managed the company’s premises at Wallsend on Tyne, Northumberland c 1950’s/ 1960’s.

R Rowntree Byker Branch 1924 & 1925

Miss Stevenson  Assistant at 11 & 40 Northumberland Street, 1940’s/1950’s

Miss P. Taylor  Assistant at Northumberland Street Newcastle 1940’s/50’s

William Wilford  Manager of a branch in Northumberland Street Newcastle 1953

Mrs A M Wilson Assistant at Northumberland Street Newcastle 1940’s-50’s

Miss Young  Assistant at Northumberland St. Newcastle 1940’s & 50’s

Newton Le Willows see Earlestown

Normanton,

York Herald Nov 1893 A somewhat novel sight was to be witnessed at Normanton yesterday morning. The neighbourhood of the Market Place was thronged with women and children, all with cans and bags or baskets in their possessions. The reason was that several benevolent tradesmen were expected to distribute a quantity of loaves of bread and soup, and the respective shop doors of these gentlemen were surrounded by large crowds. Mr. George Rudge, of the Market Temperance Hotel, gave away a large supply of soup, whilst the Public Benefit Boot Company distributed some 400 loaves of bread.

R Hartley South Normanton Branch 1924 & 1925

Arthur Robert Stubbs Born 1870 at Leeds. Arthur and his brother Christian Frederick Stubbs were both boot salesmen. By 1891 Arthur managed a boot shop in Leicestershire and circa 1901 managed the Public Benefit Boot Co premises in Normanton. He married at Wakefield in 1909 and his brother became manager of the Wakefield branch in and around 1911.

Daniel Thomas Woodman Born 1856 at Oldham, Lancashire.  For many years possibly from as early as 1880’s Daniel managed a boot dealership on High Street, Normanton Yorks. This could have been a franchise arrangement for a while trading under the Public Benefit title. he had assistance from his son William and his daughters Florence and Sarah. He died in 1923 and the Public Benefit Boot Co and Benefit Footwear continued to trade at that address until around 1960.

Florence Woodman
Born 1879 at Altofts, Yorkshire, daughter of Daniel Thomas Woodman. boot dealer, and his wife Harriet Ball. In 1901 she worked as a shop assistant at the Public Benefit Boot Co premises managed by her father at 38 High Street, Normanton, Yorkshire.

Sarah Ella Woodman
Born 1881 at Normanton, Yorkshire, daughter of Daniel Thomas Woodman, boot dealer, and his wife Harriet Ball. In 1911 she worked as a shop assistant at the Public Benefit Boot Co premises managed by her father at the new premises at 38 High Street, Normanton, Yorkshire.

William Ewart Thomas Woodman
Born 1886 at Normanton, Yorkshire, son of Daniel Thomas WOODMAN, boot dealer, and his wife Harriet Ball. He worked as a boot dealer’s assistant at the Public Benefit Boot Co premises managed by his father at 38 High Street, Normanton, Yorkshire. In 1920 at Normanton he married Jessie Copley. 

11-12 Market Place, 1894-1922 1901-1917)

Normanton, 38 High Street, 1922-1960

North Shields

Sheffield Independent Oct 1923 WALLSEND WOMAN’S RECORD Committed to Prison for False Pretences. Lucy English (46), a married woman, Wilberforce Street, Wallsend, was charged at North Shields, to-day, with having obtained on false pretences on March 1923, a’ pair of shoes valued 15s, from Ernest Kirkup, the property of the Public Benefit Boot Company. She was further charged with having obtained in a similar manner, a pair of boy’s bools and a pair of lady’s shoes from Ella Yorke on December 19, 1922, valued £1 6s 9d. the property the North Shields Co-operative Society, Ltd. In the first case an assistant with the Public Benefit Boot Company said a ‘woman who answered to the description of the accused came into the shop and asked that she might be shown some ladies* shoes, size 5. She picked out a pair of shoes produced in court, and asked to be allowed to have them  on approval. She gave the name of Mrs Stevenson, 50 Howdon Road. The next day the assistant found that the name and address were fictitious. Information was given to the police. Similar evidence given by Ella Yorks in the second case. After evidence to the effect that the shoes were pawned Detective Hoyle Said he received the woman in custody from the Newcastle police. She admitted the offences. He received every assistance from the prisoner towards the recovery of the goods. English pleaded guilty, and said she took the things simply because she was short of money. The Chief Constable read her record out, commencing from 1916. On Friday, he said, she had received six months from the Newcastle magistrates for two offences and another seven cases were adjourned sine die. The superintendent asked that cases obtaining a large quantity of goods might be taken into consideration- The magistrates committed English to prison for three months on each charge, concurrently, but to follow the termination of the Newcastle sentence. 

4 & 5 Saville Street opened 3rd October 1919 as brand new shops coming to North Shields for the first time. As advertised in the Shields Daily News 1st October 1919, Sunderland Daily Echo 1st November 1919  but by November 1920 number 4 & 5 appear to have gone. Unfortunately I have been unable to find any other information relating to this branch?

Still trading in 1973 as Benefit Footwear confirmed Newcastle Evening ChronicleBeyond that (1979) it became a Saxone store . HQ 69 Headway Lilley and Skinner.

3. Saville Street Shields Daily News 11th February 1920 the company are advertising for a apprentice to work at number 3

3, Saville Street 1920 -1936 confirmed by Kellys in 1936 and by the Sunderland daily echo and shipping gazette for 20th November 1920 & 1940 confirmed by kellys North shields

Shields Daily News 1956 shop at 3 Savile Street 

Conducting research into this  building it turns out to be a large public House by the name of Sir Colin Campbell listed as number 3. Number one was another pub still trading , Mariners Arms and this is number 1. Number 2a is a hairdressers ‘Unwind’. Likely scenario looking at old post cards which tell the story of a Comedy Theatre situated on Saville Street, North Shields on a site which began life as the Oddfellows’ Hall in the 1890s. This early Public Hall was situated above a Public House and Boot Shop on Saville Street. The Public House was the Sir Colin Campbell and the boot shop is unknown. The frontages of both pubs were let to other businesses and in this case Public Benefit from 1920 took up trading from this pub but may have been there much earlier.

The Pub today has been converted to ‘The Prestige Furniture Company’ Number 4,& 5 is a company called ‘Desserts Direct’ and number 6 where the Palace of Varieties was sited erected in 1901 is a company called ‘Bentinck Furniture Clearance centre’

Corporal Thomas William Garner Shields Daily News  March 1942 Official notification has been received Mr and Mrs Harry Garner, of the City of Newcastle Golf Club. Gosforth. and formerly of the United Services Club, North Shields, that their son Corporal Thomas William Garner, of the Royal Corps of Signals, has been posted as missing while serving in Malaya. Born in Tynemouth. Corporal Garner was educated at the Priory and Queen Victoria Schools and was employed by the Public Benefit Boot Company at North Shields to the time he joined the army in 1936. He served for three years in Singapore and was then posted to Malaya. He is the youngest son of Mr and Mrs Garner and his brother is a Quartermaster Sergeant in the Royal Army Medical Corps

Ernest Kirkup  Manager of P.B.B.co at North Shields 1923 details of a court case surrounding theft he was a witness consult Northern branches H-O

Northampton Northern territory

Mr A W Cooper Sheffield Moorhead annual outing 22 June 1900 Public Benefit Boot Company’s annual excursion for the employees. . Mr A.W. Cooper of Northampton proposed a toast to the chairman

Staffordshire Sentinel June 1947 Junior assistants required to local branches apply Mr W.J.Whiting  120 Park Ave North, Northampton

Olive Gospell Born 1917 in Northumberland,  She commenced work in 1934 aged 17 at the Public Benefit Boot Co branch of Whitley Bay where the staff consisted of two female sales assistants, a manager and an errand boy. During the war years Olive took over management of the branch. After the war her future husband James SMEATHAM took over management of the Whitley Bay branch and they married in 1952. Olive was then assigned to retraining all the men returning from the conflict. Her new role took her to places such as  Newcastle, Gosforth (1960’s), North Shields, Bedlington, Redcar and Carlisle. Consult surnames E-H for further details.

Mr Stoakes of the North Shields Branch sent to Consett 2nd Qtr. 1924 He remained at Consett until 1928 when he was sent to Batley

NOTTINGHAM NOTTINGHAM NOTTINGHAM NOTTINGHAM NOTTINGHAM 

Nottingham

see also Bulwell, Hucknall Torkard

Nottingham Evening Post July 1914 Nottingham. HALF-GUINEA SHOES. • Benefit Hall guinea Value was what made the Public Benefit Boot Company famous from Northumberland to Warwickshire. They were the Pioneers of the 10s 6d. Boot, and the sterling worth they offered in 1876 they maintain today. To do so they know means good business for them. -Public Benefit Boot Co.. Ltd.. Clumber Street. Nottingham: The Metropole. Derby. 

DERBY ROAD

Nottingham Journal 19th February 1880 Applying for staff at 21-23 Derby road (Flagship store) Albert Hall buildings. Corner of North Circus Street 1881-1916, (Franklin & Co, proprietors, 1885; J Harker & Co, proprietors, 1894-1901; George Edward Franklin, director, 1904;

Nottinghamshire guardian July 1881 WANTED, Stable and Coach-house ; also Groom, young and steady, and to make himself useful.— Apply Public Benefit Boot Company, Albert Hall Buildings. 

Kellys trade directory for Great Britain 1896 lists the branch as being 17-19-21-23 on the corner of North Circus Street. Today it is known as Mia House. Nottingham Evening Post November 1914 records the branch being 21-23 Derby Road

Nottingham Guardian 6th July 1881 Ad: Wanted, Stable and coach house; also Groom, young and steady, and to make himself useful. apply Public benefit Boot Boot Company Albert Hall Buildings

Nottingham Evening Post June 1885 an ad appeared claiming : The only Public Benefit Boot shop in Nottingham is the Standard Boot Company 34 Derby Road (Close to the P.B.B.Co premises Albert hall buildings) This is something the company  endured for a time until in 1890 the first of three incorporations they not only made a limited merging of partners but also registered the company name. 

Nottingham Journal Jan 1904  GUILDHALL. NOTTINGHAM.  Londoner sent to Prison. —George Smith. alias Purchase, labourer, whose address was given as St. George-street, Battersea London was charged with loitering  with intent to commit a  felony, and wilfully damaging a plate-glass window, value 30s.the property the Public Benefit Boot Company, Derby-road, on the 3rd . The attention of Police-Constable Merrick was called to the prisoner, whose movements had aroused suspicion on the mind of an assistant in the shop, and when asked what he was doing he said was going to break in. The window was already broken.—The Magistrates ordered the man to prison for three months

Nottingham Journal March 1907 A Midland railway van , which was being backed out of the Maypole-yard into Clumber Street  crashed into the  windows of the Public Benefit Boot Company. Two large sheets of glass, which were  painted black were smashed

Nottingham Journal Aug 1916  WOMEN AS MANAGERS. Nottm. Tribunal refuse Multiple Boot shop Firm’s Appeal. women are doing marvellous things  nowadays and we are very sceptical when we hear any limit put on their capabilities,” said Ald. E. Huntsman at Nottingham  Local Tribunal yesterday to a representative  of the Public Benefit Boot Company who asked for the exemption of a shop manager. The company’s representative said  that although women were being employed very largely in their shops it was necessary to have a man as manager. He had to admit, however, that as yet not one of the company’s 130 shops had been closed. In  the shop in question there were  nine female assistants. The application was refused. 

Nottingham Evening Post May 1917 Nottingham Guildhall today Frances G. Turner alias Chester, 34, a charwoman, Addington-road, pleaded guilty to stealing two pinafores, value 1s. 6d., the property of Mrs. Greenwood, fancy draper, 191, Radford-road, and further stealing an apron value 1s 6d, the property of Emily Turner, of 209, Radford-road. Harry Slaney, manager of the Public Benefit Boot Company, and a special constable, described how he saw prisoner loitering alt the entrance to his shop. His suspicions being aroused, he kept the woman under observation, and noticed her emerge from Mrs. Greenwood’s with two pinafores. She proceeded to Mr. Poyser’s pawnshop, and following her, the officer found the prisoner in the act of offering the articles in pledge. He challenged her with with having taken them from a shop in the neighbourhood, and when she denied the allegation Slaney promptly called in the prosecutrix, who identified the pinafores. Thereupon he took Turner to the Hyson Green police station, and charged her with the theft, and also with stealing the apron. The Chief Constable informed the magistrates that prisoner was a single woman and the daughter of a farmer. She did little charing, but was too tired to work. Prisoner was placed on probation for three years. 

CLUMBER STREET

Nottingham, 29 Clumber Street, (cnr Maypole Yard),1907 confirmed Nottingham Journal Jan 1907 + 1910-1911

Nottingham, 8 Clumber Street, opened 10th May 1912 Nottingham Evening Post 8th May 1912. Nottingham’s central establishment. Confirmed 1913 & 1916 

Nottingham, 8 Clumber Street, 1966 confirmed Notts Eve. Post 

Repairs

F Henderson Began as a errand boy at Hyson Green, assistant at Doncaster then Wombwell as manager 4th QTR 1928 

Nottingham, Hyson Green, 73-75 Radford Road, 1896-1899 

Nottingham, 97-99 Radford Road, Hyson Green, 1904-1916, 

1921 @ 97-99 Radford Road, Hyson Green, & 1947 (Just the premises at 99)

Nottingham 97 Radford Road reported The Era 20th June 1925

VARIOUS ADDRESSES

Nottingham Journal July 1898 The Robin Hoods, nearly  600 strong, left Nottingham by train yesterday afternoon about half-past two for Skegness for their annual encampment. The arrival of the regiment at Skegness a sensation was caused by the carrying out of the station on a stretcher of the corpse of Private Trevaskis of A Company, who died of heart disease and excitement en route. He was employed by Public Benefit Boot Company, Derby-road, and was about 28 years of age. The sad event caused quite doleful feelings in tbs camp

Nottingham Evening Post Nov 1899 RUNAWAY HORSE IN NOTTINGHAM. The breaking of a shaft frightened the horse attached to a Corporation dray in John-street soon after nine o’clock this morning, and the animal bolted away at a gallop through Coal-pit Lane and down the crowded thoroughfare of Hockley . A drayman named William Bowman made a futile attempt to stop the runaway. which causing no little commotion. and ultimately William Goodman manager of the Public Benefit Boot Company, succeeded, with the assistance of P.c, Dunsmore in checking its wild career in Sneinton-Strect. Fortunately no damage was done. 

Nottinghamshire Guardian May 1900 Wm. Parks, 45, labourer, and Fredk. Brown,(38) labourer, pleaded guilty to breaking into the shop of the Public Benefit Boot Company, limited, at Nottingham, on April 19th, and stealing eight pairs of shoes. Parks was sentenced to nine months* hard labour, with one year’s police supervision, and Brown was ordered to undergo three months’ hard labour

June 1886 adv for staff a young lad 18years for their branch establishment  Beck Street apply J.Harker Albert Hall Buildings Derby Road.

17-19 Beck street Public benefit Boot manufacturing co. 1894 

Nottingham, Commercial Buildings, Beck Street, 1885-1899 (Jabez Harker, proprietor, 1894-1899)

Nottingham, 2 Newark Lane, 

Nottingham, 2 Sneinton Road(Cnr Sophie Street ), 1904,

Nottingham, 45-48 Pelham Street, Nottinghamshire Journal Jan 1907 + 1910-1911

Nottingham 66 Bridge Street 1912

Nottingham, Bentinck Buildings, 9-Wheeler Gate, close to the market place-1911, 1914 confirmed Nottingham Evening Post & 1916

Nottingham New branch on 85 Wilford Road 3rd QTR 1925 also listed 1948

Staff associated with Nottingham

George Frederick Blackburn Born 1861 at Diss, Norfolk, he married Ellen Elizabeth TAYLOR in 1888 at Nottingham where he worked as a porter and boot shop assistant before taking over management of the Public Benefit Boot Co premises at 73-75 Radford Road from 1898 Consult Surnames A-D for full biographical details

Percy Alfred Elton  Born 1884 at Kings Heath,  In 1911 he managed the Public Benefit Boot Co premises at 46-48 Pelham Street, Nottingham in 1911 and possibly beyond. He died at Birkenhead in 1948 consult surnames E-H  for full biographical details

William John Goodman From 1898-99 at 2, Newark Lane Nottingham branch as a shopman and boot trade manager. Consult Surnames E-H for full biographical details  

Elizabeth Harker For at least a decade Elizabeth worked as a boot and shoe saleswoman in her father’s Public Benefit Boot Co premises in Nottingham (1890’s) Consult Surnames E-H for full biographical details

Nellie Harker  Between 1891 and 1901 Nellie worked as a cashier in her father’s Public Benefit Boot Co premises in Nottingham   Consult Surnames E-H for full biographical details

Mr Hardman   New manager of a new branch 85 Wilford Road 1st QTR 1926

William Hempsall He worked firstly as a shop assistant and then as manager of the  Nottingham premises circa 1900 onwards Consult Surnames E-H for full biographical details

W. H. Pearce District inspector Nottingham District 1924 & 1925

Manager A Quartermaine Derby Road Nottingham 1924 & 1925  consult Surnames P_S

Mr Simmonite Assistant at Chesterfield made manager of Sherwood Forrest new branch found 3rd Qtr 1924

Harry Slaney By the turn of the century he managed a boot shop in Worksop. From 1910 to 1917 he managed the Public Benefit Boot Co premises at 97-99 Radford Road, Hyson Green, Nottingham. He died in 1947 aged 68. consult P-S surnames and the court case 1917 court case to view Harry as a witness to prosecute a felon

Nellie State  Nottingham Evening Post 30th December 1915 Nellie State aged 17 a shop assistant fell down 15 steps at the derby road branch injuring her head-taken to hospital

George William Swaffield  Born 1875 at Newington. 1901 he was managing the Public Benefit Boot Co branch at 58 High Street, Hornsey. From the early  19o’s1 to 1916 he managed the company’s large premises in the Albert Buildings, 21-23 Derby Road, Nottingham.

Private Trevaskis  of A Company,  “Robin Hoods” who died of heart disease and excitement en route. He was employed by Public Benefit Boot Company, Derby-road, and was about 28 years of age consult Northern Branches H-O Nottingham for further details

Nuneaton,

5 Market Place, 1911-1940

William Thomas Oakley In 1911 William managed the company’s premises at 5 Market Place, Nuneaton, Warwickshire. 

Oldham

Market Place

Oldbury

Mr Gleeson 

Previously from Oldbury Branch replaces previous manager who left the company at Wolverhampton Branch 4th QTR 1928

Mr Jack Wilkinson  New manager sent to Scunthorpe 4th QTR 1927. Sent on to manage Oldbury branch in 4th QTR 1928

Birmingham Daily Post Feb 1894 A ROGUE AND VAGABOND.-At the Police Court, yesterday Thomas Beresford (43), of no fixed abode, was charged with begging and assaulting Police constable Cox whilst in the execution of his duty, on the 20th inst. Prisoner visited several shops in the centre of the town and asked for alms. In one he behaved insolently, and when the assistant threatened to call a policeman he replied that if he did have him ‘pinched” he would give him something when he came back. Cox found the prisoner in the Public Benefit Boot Company’s shop, in Halesowen Street, and he said the accused was abusing the assistant in a scandalous manner. He heard prisoner threaten what he would do if the assistant caused him to be arrested. When the officer went to take prisoner into custody he assaulted him in a vicious and cowardly manner by striking him in the face and kicking him. Mr. Heaton pointed out that the accused had thirty-seven previous convictions against him. He was sent to gaol for fourteen days for begging and for two months as a rogue and vagabond and as the accused was leaving the dock he stoutly protested that he was no rogue or vagabond

Halesowen Street, 1894

34 Birmingham Street 1904- 1916

Osset,

12 Market Place, 1917-1927

Miss  Bennington Manageress at Osset Branch since 1916 and previously at Blackpool fell ill at the Easter period and died. Described as a keen business woman, happy as a bird with a smile for everybody but not of robust physique. found 3rd QTR 1927 & 1928

Olive Bennington Assistant at Osset was placed in charge 1928. Married in last QTR 1928 becomes MRS Shaw and unemployed

Osset,

New Branch Kingsway, 3rd QTR 1927-1960

Oxford.

TWO CASES IN THE SAME COURT. Oxford Times dec 1904 William Boasten. of the Public Benefit Boot Company. St. Aldate’s, sued the London and North-Western Railway Company for £3. 12s 8d. damage to goods.—Mr. Cosens, who appeared for the plaintiff, said that a mirror, along with other goods, was conveyed to Messrs. Pollard and Co., of Buckingham to Messrs. Nicholls, of Oxford, who were acting agents to the plaintiff. Messrs. Nicholls signed the company’s books haying received the goods unopened, and on opening the package the mirror was found to be broken. The crate in which it was packed showed signs of having been damaged. William Boasten, the plaintiff, gave evidence in support of his solicitor’s statement. His Honour asked, if there was any evidence to show in what condition the mirror was delivered to the railway company. Mr. Eddy, who defended, said the mirror was delivered to Messrs. Nicholls and they delivered it to the plaintiff. His Honour said that the plaintiff had no evidence to give in reference to the delivery of the mirror to the railway company, he would have to give Judgment in favour of the defendant company.

BOOT CASE ADJOURNED. The Public benefit Boot Company, St Aldates  sued Joseph Watson of Meadow lane Iffley, for £1.18s 6d for goods supplied. Mr Cosens, for Mr E.T.Hatt, represented the plaintiff and said the defendant was supplied with boots for himself and his daughter. The boots were obtained at the shop by the daughter.— Defendant’s wife denied having received boots from the plaintiffs without having paid for them. —His Honour adjourned the case to the next court in order to admit of the attendance of defendant’s daughter and son, who it was alleged had obtained the boots. A follow up  to this as William Boasten the manager produced the Books to prove that someone in the Watson family had received a pair of boots value 10s 6d and the judgement would be returned in the plaintiffs’ favour.

Oxford Times March 1907  SHOP-ASSISTANTS’ UNION AND RADIUS AGREEMENTS. To the Editor of The Oxford Times. Rm.—l am instructed by the Oxford branch of the Shop-assistants Union  to thank you for the publicity you have always  given in your columns to our efforts for more Just and equitable conditions of employment in shops, especially in reference to “Radius Agreements.” We heartily thank those friends and the public generally who came to our support locally. In fairness to the Public Benefit Boot Company, we earnestly desire to make it as Widely known as possible that the firm has now unconditionally withdrawn their Radius Agreement

Oxfordshire Weekly News Jan 1909  Thomas Chillingworth. labourer, no fixed home, was charged with stealing from outside the shop No. 39, Queen street, at 7 p.m., on Saturday, a pair of men’s nailed boots, value 6e. 11d., the property of the Public Benefit Boot Company —William Shepherd, manager to the Public Benefit Boot Company. said in consequence of information he received he examined the stock outside his shop and missed the boots in question. The boots, with others, were stacked outside in a manner so that in the event of a pair being taken the whole …and would come down, hut the laces had been cut.— The prisoner elected to have the case dealt with summarily. One calendar month’s hard labour

William Boasten Manager of the Oxford shop: 1904

Robert Albert Cossey Born 1871 at Crossness, Kent, 1902. In 1911 he managed the company’s premises at 39 Queen Street, Oxford consult surnames A-D

John Tyrel Green Prior to 1911 John managed boot shops in Oxford, Rochdale, Gateshead and in 1911 he managed the company’s premises at 7 Parsons Street, Banbury

William Shepherd  Manager of the Oxford branch. Excerpt from a court case:    Oxfordshire Weekly News Jan 1909  Thomas Chillingworth. labourer, no fixed home, was charged with stealing from outside the shop No. 39, Queen street, at 7 p.m., on Saturday, a pair of men’s nailed boots, value 6e. 11d., the property of the Public Benefit Boot Company —William Shepherd, manager to the Public Benefit Boot Company….Consult Oxford Northern Branches H-O for the full story

Oxford Times 1900 adv confirming a shop at 98 St.Aldates Oxford

39 Queen Street, 1907-1911

 

 

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