Northern Branches P-Z

Northern Branches P-Z  Then and Now scenes

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

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

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

Figure 1 Pontefract Cornmarket branch 1901 private collection

Fig 2.Pontefract This area has changed dramatically with a complete face lift like so many tired shopping areas of the U.K. The branch was sited at Cornmarket from circa 1904 & into the 1930’s. 2007 Photo © Stanley Walker (cc-by-sa:2.0)

Fig 3 Prescot The branch may very well be the one on the immediate left in this workaday portrayal of Eccleston Street Prescot Private collection

Fig 4. Prescot: Public Benefit began here at the turn of the 20th Century. They started at number 9, not long after they removed to number 52 in circa 1907 and continuing the ‘jockeying for positions they again removed to number 46. In this view which compares favourably with the old postcard number 52 is on the left with Max Speilman on the corner at 56. Looking at the upper windows, 52 is below the third window along occupying the last section of the dark red brick and ashlar layered building View taken 2016 Google inc.

Fig 5. Rotherham ‘Imperial Buildings’ Private collection

Fig 6.Rotherham “Imperial Buildings, the former Edwardian market building with a central covered glass atrium, built in 1907, is one of the most distinctive structures in Rotherham Town Centre” This became the Public Benefit Boot company Emporium for decades 2011 Photo © Dave Bevis (cc-by-sa:2.0

Fig 7. Sheffield Moorhead branch established 1885 private collection

Fig 8 Sheffield number 28 Cambridge Street is the industrial building with every entranceway and window bricked up. Currently that plot is occupied by ‘Cornerhouse’ a pub and I can imagine the building has been pulled down to make way for this hostelry in a street filled with such premises. Close to the city Hall the view was taken in 2015 prior to the ‘supposed’ development. 28 cambridge Street was a repair facility and it does look extremely industrial. Pleased to have captured this before it vanished.google Inc. 2015.

Fig 9 South Shields 1924 Russel’s Buildings. The company, 57 King Street opened a typical 6 large windowed branch. Rick Dickinson ‘in house magazines’

Fig 10. Shields Saville Street 2013 Photo © Andrew Curtis (cc-by-sa/2.0)

Fig 11 Sunderland Trams trundled down this High street at this era in 1928 prohibiting straying from the pavements. The branch is advertised on the right hand side. Private collection

Fig 12 Sunderland 260-261 High Street West these premises, currently in 2017 the firm of Trespass traded from the 1890’s to the 1960’s. Today the area has been transformed into an almost unrecognisable state from the original view taken over a century ago. 2016 Google inc


Market Place: Peterborough Advertiser 18th May 1912 ad

Peterborough,  41 Narrow Bridge Street, 1913-1928

Peterborough,  41 Westgate, 1924-1931 confirmed Kellys’ Proprietor Luther Austin

Peterborough,  Long Causeway, 1926-1927


11 Market place 1925 Directories and almanacs (Historic and Listed building)


Cornmarket, 1905-1936  

Pontefract, Beast Fair, 1930s

J.H. Lenton 2, Westfield Avenue Pontefract employee 1941 


9 Eccleston Street, 1905

Prescot, 52 Eccleston Street, 1907. A photograph of this branch has been sent by Owen Barton Prescot Townscape Heritage Initiative Officer. It hangs in the Town Hall and is easily dated back to 1907-1909.

Prescot, 46 Eccleston Street, 1909-c1935 Proprietor D.Crow. Mr Barton  also sent in a photo of this shop and the story behind it is most interesting.


1900 & Lancashire Daily Post 31st July 1903 Opening of Preston Branch

Preston, 102 Fishergate, 1903-1924

Preston, 168a Friar-gate, 1910-1913 Preston Library

Preston 38 Market Place in 1938 (previously a Wallace shop taken over by Benefit) Still there in 1944 at 38 Market place

Redcar & Coatham,

43 Station Road, 1896-1939 close to Queen Street with it’s large King Edward V11th Clock Tower.

33 Newcomen street, Coatham was in 1890 a drapery and shoe warehouse, occupied by Robert Warin

33 Newcomen Street 1925 Kelly’s directory


5 church gate confirmed by Kelly’s National directory of Great Britain 1896. This branch opened in 1895 under George E.Franklin and the following year under Public Benefit Boot.

Cannon Square is very likely to be the same branch as the one in Church gate as Cannon Square is effectively an extension of Church Gate. Stamford Mercury 5th February 1897 reported a theft of boots and in 1905 the branch  closed for removal to 63 Carol-gate

Lincolnshire Chronicle 7-16-08-1901 Retford Branch embezzlement by manager E Wall at Cannon square.

Retford Times 26th May 1905 announces a new, larger branch is to be opened in carolgate at number 63. on June 1st 1905. The ad goes on to explain that for eighteen years which takes the era to 1887 the area has been well served but I believe local people of Retford would have travelled to a neighbouring  branch as trains were both available and regular. 1895 appears to be the era the company entered Retford. Confirmed in 1914 Nottingham Eve Post November 1914

Retford new branch Carolgate opened 3rd QTR 1925 


Branch opened 3rd QTR 1925 


Market Place, 1881-1941 Kelly’s

Confirmed: Ripley and Heanor News and Ilkeston division free press  for the Market Place Branch of the company regarding the placing of a stipulated route for Taxi drivers who must ‘stand’ between Public Benefit Boot shop and the Red Lion and vacate the Market place via Church Street. The order exists between Ripley and Heage 18th August 1950

Ripley, Church Street, 1912

Ripley, 26-28 Church Street, 1925-1941 Kelly’s and Copes directories


18 Fishergate, 1911-1927 (Historic and listed building)

Ripon, 26 Market Place, 1927-1961 Historic and Listed building


6 Lord Street, 1884 (Charles Burrow, proprietor, 1884) Franchise in receivership 

Rochdale, 136 Yorkshire Street, 1897-1898 (George William Brown, proprietor, 1897) Franchise in receivership 

Rochdale address 47 Yorkshire ~Street (1944) Rochdale observer August 1944


New Village, 1917-1922

Rossington, 1 King Ave, 1922-1936


Sheffield independent 16th March 1883 theft from Rotherham premises 28 High Street.

Rotherham, 1 Imperial Buildings, High Street, 1912-1963

Rotherham, Goldthorpe Street, 1912-1917

Rotherham,  26 College Street, 1933-1963


1922-1936 confirmed as ‘New Village’ in 1927 Kelly’s as Commercial Street still there in 1936 Kellys


Northwich guardian June 1903 branch possibly Simms Cross?


21 Ryhope Street, 1925 Demolished


35 Grafton Street 1933 Kellys Non existent now, returned to housing


1 Bar House, Westborough, 1908-1937

Scarborough, 9 Westborough, 1908-1927

Scarborough, 30 Newborough, 1st QTR 1927-1968 confirmed 1937 Kellys

112a Westborough Kellys 1937


Scunthorpe 1892 Kelly’s directories

65 High Street, 1905–1919 also 1930 confirmed Kellys 

Seaham Harbour 

Sunderland Echo & Gaz. 28th April 1913 adv. 53 Church Street mentioned

Seaham Harbour, 53 Church Street, 1925-1938

Selby, Important Freehold premises

2 Market Street

Selby, 10-11 Finkle Street, 1891-1936 Freehold

Selby, 64 Ousegate, 1927-1936

Sheffield   Important Freehold Premises

see also Darnall

Sheffield, 175 South Street, Moor, 1882 (William Henry Franklin, proprietor 1882;

Sheffield Daily Telegraph 24th March 1883 Auction at a branch 59 Fargate as premises coming down

Moorhead Branch Freehold

Sheffield Independent 24th December 1885 advertising new emporium Moorhead

Sheff. Independent 30-07-1887 Theft of Slippers Moorhead branch

The Moorhead, Emporium opened in 1885 -1959 (William Legge, manager, 1897)

Sheffield D. Tele. 9th October 1895 ADVERTISEMENT

Sheffield Daily Telegram page 8 24th June 1899 Paris exhibition winners

1, Moorhead Union Street confirmed 1933 Kellys


Sheffield Evening Telegraph 03/09/1888 Blonk Street premises

Sheffield Inde. 10th May 1888 Wicker branch corner of Blonk Street and fronting the church damaged by vandalism 

17-01-1899 Map of Blonk Street improvement scheme

Sheffield, YKS, 10 The Wicker, (cnr Blonk Street number 65 ) 1911 

4,6,8,10 Wicker listed in 1920

4-6 Wicker 1933 kellys


Sheffield 15-17 Infirmary Road, 1895-1920 confirmed in 1933 Kellys

Sheffield, 15-17 Shalesmoor, 1896 confirmed by Kelly’s National directory of Great Britain 1896

UNION STREET BRANCH Proprietor John Dickinson Public Benefit Boot shareholder

Sheffield 46-48 Union Street 1896 – 1912: confirmed by Kelly’s National directory of Great Britain 1896

Sheffield Telegraph 5-06-07-1904 objection by John Dickinson to drinks license being issued

Various addresses

Sheffield Attercliffe, 30 Chipping Rain Street, 1897

Sheffield, 15 Havelock Street, 1897-1901 

Sheffield, 26 Montgomery Road, 1897

Sheffield, 51 Sheaf Gardens, 1897 

453 Firth Park Road 1933 Kellys


Sheffield, 28 Cambridge Street, (repairing department), 1905 removed to Devonshire Street.

Sheffield, 96 Devonshire Street, (repairing department), established 1908 confirmed 1911-1920 and gone by 1926 (Benefit Magazine)

Repairs.Sheffield 23 Wellington Street newly opened in 1926 (benefit Magazine)

175 West Street 1933 Repairs Dept. confirmed Kellys

Healey (Sheffield) new branch opened 31st August 1928 a corner shop

Sheffield 3 Holmes Lane Hillsboro opened August 1924 confirmed again 1933 kellys

Sheffield  68, 70, & 72  & also 462 London Road opened August 1925 confirmed 1933 Kellys

462 Chipping House Road 1933 Kellys

Sheffield,  1/3 Holme Lane, Hillsborough 1959

Sheffield, 721 & 715/717 Attercliffe Road, between 1920- 1959

715-717 Attercliffe road only in 1933 Kellys

Shipley ( Bradford)

Opened November 1921 premises at 6 Briggate Shipley (Shipley Times Nov. 1921-1952 confirmed 1936 Kellys

19th Oct. 1949 Shipley Times & Express Mr S. Waterworth manager in 1952. Branch adjoins the ‘Palace’ this branch was put up for sale and on 6th April 1955 the council withdrew their offer due to the poor state of the building.


Branch trading in 1921:  72 Lumley road Skegness in 1925 & 1933 & 1948 

In October 1942, the shop here along with several others agreed to close early daily to save fuel and light

16th June 1944 Skegness Standard advert for a youth to work in Lumley Road Shop


Swadford Street, 1917-1936


16 Southgate, 1913-1937 (1930 & 1937 confirmed by Kelly’s Directory) 

Small Heath, See Birmingham

Solihull see Coventry

South Bank: Normanby

Advertisement: Daily Gazette Middlesbrough New branch opened on 16th July 1915 at SOUTH BANK in the Middlesbrough district a free tin and polishes was handed out as a gift. In all likelihood 41 Middlesbrough Road this address was also found in 1925

South Bank, 41 Middlesbrough Road, 1937 confirmed Kellys

South Elmsall,


South Normanton (Derbyshire) Alfreton

recorded in 1921 and again in 1928 Kellys address 46 high Street

South Shields

79 King Street, April 1899-1911

South Shields, 77 King Street, 1911-1924

South Shields, 57 King Street, 6 window Emporium opened 1924-1938

South Shields, 45 King Street, 1938-1940.

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.



97 Eastbank Street Kelly’s Lancashire 1913 & 1924 Kelly’s Lancs

opened 20a Chapel Street 4th QTR 1927 & 1930 confirmed Lancashire eve Post Nov 1930

opened Lord Street 1950 


Stratford Road, 1905-1914


34 High Street, 1925-1938


4 Gaolgate Street, 1880-1917                                                                 Staffordshire Adv. 28th March 1914 announcing the company was established 38 years ago.

Stafford: No: 4 Gaolgate established 1880. As told by Staffordshire Advertiser 3rd December 1921.  

10 Gaolgate Opened 19th March 1937 still there in 1951


17, Station Road, 1927-1936 image recently added.


Stamford New branch  22a High Street opened August 1924- traded up to 1970 Confirmed in 1937 Kellys

Stanley, See Horden

Stockport, 15 & 19 Lower Hillgate, 1883-1890 (Charles Burrow, proprietor, 1884) Slaters & Woods directories and rate books at Stockport

75 Prince’s Street 1934 Kellys

STOCKTON ON TEES HIGH STREET Important freehold Premises

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.

Stockton-on-Tees, 152 High Street, 1880-1896

Stockton-on-Tees, 144-145 High Street (west side), 1894-1918  Brow Dickinson Branch all repairs sent to Norton Road from 1915 confirmed by Benefit Magazines Freehold Premises

 144 high Street April 1899 A separate Ladies and childrens dept is advertised

Stockton-on-Tees, 135 High Street (west side) 1921, 1954-1963 confirmed by Stockton Library using Directories and telephone directories

Stockton-on-Tees, 1 Clarence Street, 1896-1939

Stockton-on-Tees, 6a Norton Road, 1915- 1929 repairs facility

Stockton-on-Tees, 15 Norton Road (repair facility), 1930’s-1961 (Mr Parr, manager, 1937-1961)

Billingham. Stockton

Mill Lane, 1934-1938


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.

Sunderland, 261 High Street West, Sunderland.  1896, 1899 to 1909 Sunderland Library Freehold premises

Daily Echo & Shipping gazette 10th October 1898 advertisement. 

Sunderland, 260 High Street West, (cnr King Street), 1914-1953

Repairs & Shop

Sunderland, 180 High Street West, 1924-1935                                     


Sunderland, 40 Hendon Road, 1902. by 1904 the company repairs were carried out at number 41 Hendon Road  

53, & 55  Hendon Road, 1905-1929 & 1934 Directories sited near the bridge

1908 Confirmed Sunderland D.Echo dec 1908 


Sunderland, 175-177 Hylton Road/Gilsland Street, 1916- 1963 Sunderland Daily Echo & Gazette 7th April 1916 announce opening of 175-177 Hylton Road Free tin and polishes given away open until at least 1949.


85 Market Place found in 1925 Kelly’s directory

85 Market Place P.B. shop being sold at Auction Y.P. 19th Nov.1935

Thornaby on Tees,

50 Mandale Rd, 1894-1939 opposite the post office


Goole Road 1927 kellys 


February 1931 Todmorden News advertises new branch


19 Market Street, 1909 & 1924 Kelly’s Lancashire

Ulverston, 20 Market Street, 1911 -1938


9 Market Place, 1892-1950


High Street, 1896 confirmed by Kelly’s National directory of Great Britain 1896

Wakefield, Freehold Premises

105 Kirkgate, 1887

Wakefield, 124 Kirkgate, 1892-1897 confirmed by Kelly’s National directory of Great Britain 1896 Freehold

Wakefield, 126-132 Kirkgate, 1898-1936

Wakefield, 1 Kirkgate, 1936

Wallsend on Tyne,

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.

15-17 High Street East, 1910-1938

17 High Street East 1936 Kelly

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


The Quadrant, 1 Stafford Street, 1895-1905 close to railway Station

Walsall, 16 Park Street, 1905-1929

Walsall Observer & South Staffordshire Chronicle 31st March 1917 four freehold front shops with dwelling houses situated in the best part of Park Street. No: 16 occupied by Public Benefit on lease for 21 years from 25th March 1907 at a rental of £120. Per annum for the first 14 years & £140. Per annum for the remaining 7 years.

WARRINGTON Lancashire Freehold Premises

118 Bridge Street, 1891-1924 (George Kirby, manager, 1891-1896) This is the only address in 1901 confirmed by Slaters Lancashire. December 1904 Northwich Guardian the company extended into 116 Freehold

Warrington 116 Bridge Street 1905 & 1924 Kelly’s Lancashire

Nantwich Guardian 25 Feb 1893 Bridge Street under the clock (118 Bridge Street) (Works) confirmed by Kelly’s National directory of Great Britain 1896

18-20 Bridge Street, 1895-1901

Warrington, 6 Bridge Street, 1909-1966

Jan 1941 number 6 Bridge Street confirmed Liverpool Eve Express 

Warrington 212 Wilderspool Road, 1897-1901

Nos. 16, 18 and 20 (Formerly listed as Boots store)II GV

Extends between no: 14 and passage to Barbauld Street. Stone, Victorian, 3 storeys and attics. Ground floor occupied by modern shop front. Giant Gibbs-type Composite pilasters to both upper storeys. Symmetrical front has 3 round-arched windows in middle of each floor, flanked by recessed windows, with curved balcony to 2nd floor. Egg and dart cornice moulding. 3 gabled attics with swags. Curved corner to passage, with pediments over windows. Nos 11, 13, 39 to 45 (odd), The Lion Hotel, Nos 2, 4, 8 to 14 (even), Nos 16, 18 and 20, and Nos 22-24 form a group.


26b Market Place, 1936-1940


14 Palk Road, 1893-1911 (Fred Watkin Page, manager – boot manufacturing, 1896-1911)

West Bromwich

176 High Street, 1892 (Stephen Hilton, proprietor 1892)


opened 4th Qtr 1927 ex branch of Underwoods. 12 high Street 1927 Benefit Magazine .1928 kellys  & 1934 Shrewsbury Archives

Whitehaven Cumbria

82 King Street /Duke Street 1938 Kellys directory & Lancashire Eve Post May 1938

Whitley Bay,

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.

40 Esplanade, 1922-1929

Whitley Bay, 215 Whitley Road, purchased off Mr Matthias and opened 1924-1960

215 Whitley Road 1936 Kellys 


Conservative Club Buildings, Victoria Road, 1895-1901 Slaters and Kellys Lancashire

Widnes, 45 Widnes Road, 1901-1924 Slaters and Kellys Lancashire

Widnes, 47 Victoria Road, 1901-1924 Slaters and Kellys Lancashire 


1 Standishgate, 1892  & 1893  Next to the Royal hotel. Wigan Observer & District Advertiser of 5th November 

Wigan, 33 Wallgate, 1909 Wigan Library directories

Wigan, 19 Market Place, 1952-1959 Wigan Library directories


11-12 Victoria Street, 1904-1930

1916 the company downsized to number 11 Victoria Street

Wombwell, Barnsley

39 High Street, 1922-1936


Gt North Road, opened June 6th 1924-1936


(Sheffield area) opened August 1924 confirmed in 1933 Kellys as 702 Chesterfield Road 


1901-1914, 1921 mentioned in newspapers for these dates


opened 4th Qtr 1927 ex branch of Underwoods


York Herald 22nd May 1883 small ad wanting a riveter for the 3 Goodramgate shop repair facility

York, Clifford Street, (cnr Cumberland Street) 1889-1896 confirmed by Kelly’s National directory of Great Britain 1896

York, Coney Street, 1902

York, 8 Gillygate, 1896 confirmed by Kelly’s National directory of Great Britain 1896


York, 12-18 Market Street, Grand opening April 1902 -1911                                

York 24 Market Street, 1913 -1916 Wyles Bros, proprietors, 1915) 

17-19 Market Street (Wyles Brothers proprietors) 

York, 17 Market Street, 1937 (Wyles Bros, proprietors, 1937)confirmed Kellys 

York, 18 Market Street, 1961-1963 (Wyles Bros Ltd, proprietors, 1961-1963)

York, 13 High Ousegate, 1920- 1937 & 1939 confirmed by Kellys