Northern Branches A-G

Northern Branches A-G

Consult Northern Newspaper accounts & Biographical A-Z

Once again Big Boot can be seen in the depiction of the Birmingham 42 Corporation Street Emporium

Hull Daily Mail Sept 1894                        “England’s” Greatness, commercially, is clearly demonstrated in her Colossal retail Palaces, as it is in her Stupendous Wholesale Warehouses, Factories, Mills, Workshops, etc. I thought when I viewed, near the Royal Infirmary, Hull, a Magnificent Mammoth Boot and Shoe Emporium, that appeared to solve the most difficult trading problem we have in New York—supplying with every possible requirement in one Establishment. It has Sectional Shops and Saloons, with separate street entrances for ladies and gentleman and the general public, and caters for all societies, from the highest and wealthiest to the lowest and poorest, and evidently with great advantage to patrons, or, such an immense Establishment could not be upheld. Verily the energy and enterprise British Tradesmen and their Enormous Marts exemplify England’s Greatness. This American Congressman’s opinion, which appeared in the leading Now York newspaper, alludes to the PUBLIC BENEFIT BOOT COMPANY. (BRITISH AND FOREIGN BOOT EXCHANGE), PROSPECT- STREET, Which, the Congressman says, IS PATRONISED BY ALL CLASSES AND CONDITIONS OF PEOPLE IN HULL And a Wide Circle of Country Towns and Villages. Apart from Baying and Selecting, the MAGNIFICENT WINDOW EXPOSITIONS Are Interesting Sights, conveying Desirable Information.

List of Branches A-G

Aberavon, Glamorgan 


Abergavenny, Monmouth 

Abergavenny Public Benefit Boot Company declared they had traded for the past four years 1888-9 Approximately with G.& W.Morton under a franchise arrangement

Abergavenny Grand opening for 31st October 1893  in Abergavenny Chronicle of  branch in the town under the proprietorship of Charles B.Roe) this was a franchise arrangement

Market Street, 1895 (C B Roe & Co, proprietors, 1895)I am of the opinion that Frogmore Street may have held a market and may have been known locally as Market place? Certainly Frogmore Street was and still is a major trading thoroughfare. 

1st may 1896 Abergavenny Chronicle reported a fire breaking out at the branch at 11-15 p.m. on the Saturday night after Mrs Roe had locked up the shop for the evening. Her husband was at the Abertillery branch. 3 men contained the fire and the fire brigade put the fire out before it spread to four nearby old houses.

4th december 1896 Charles Rowe 0f 4 Frogmore Street is advertising for a strong youth 

Abergavenny Chronicle of 10th February 1897 a young woman was caught pinching boots from 10a Frogmore Street Public Benefit Boot company. LARCENY BOOTS. Julia Kent was brought up in custody charged with stealing a pair of boots. Mr. Charles H. Roe, of the Public Benefit Boot Company. l0a, Frogmore-Street, said that between 7 and 8pm. on Tuesday a policeman entered the shop with prisoner, and asked him to look outside and see whether he missed anything. A pair of womens’ boots  worth 3s. 11d., the policeman showed him which witness identified. He had seen them, about an hour before. P.C. Bayliss said that 8p.m. on Tuesday be was in Frogmore* street and saw prisoner loitering about outside Mr. Roe’s shop. She was examining and handling several pairs of boots which were hanging outside. She unstrung a pair of boots from a stick about 2 feet from the ground, and put them under her jacket and walked off down Frogmore-Street. Witness overtook her and asked for the boots she had just taken. She said she had not taken any. He put his hand under her jacket and found the boots. She said she had picked them up. and begged to be let off that once. Witness took her back to Mr. Roe who identified the boots. He then took her to the station. Prisoner said she was very sorry she bad picked them up. superintendent Davies said the last conviction was at Usk  (Quarter Sessions, in 1884  for stealing 1 lb. beef. Prisoner was committed for trial at the Assizes, and admitted to bail

1901 the premises are occupied by Straker and company Boot warehouse and in 1906 by Stead and Simpsons 

Abertillery, Monmouth 

South wales Gazette Dec 1894 adv. Official Notice come to the Grand opening of the PUBLIC BENEFIT BOOT Co Harrison’s New Buildings, Cwm Street 

Cwm Street, 1895-1896 (C B Roe & Co, proprietors, 1895)


37 Blackburn Road 1938 Lancashire Evening Post


Market Place, 1885

John Henry Patrick  1885 he managed the Public Benefit Boot Co branch at Market Place, Alford, Lincolnshire.




Completely destroyed in 1970’s redevelopment and replaced with a shopping mall. In 2019 looking very jaded and in need of renovation

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

Mr Croskin Manager at the Wicker Branch sent to Armley branch 1st QTR 1926


Mr Wright  New manager sent to new branch Armthorpe 1st QTR 1928

Armthorpe opened January 1928


Blyth News. THURSDAY. JUNE 22. 1922. PRISON FOR THEFT. Chevington Women’s Visit to Ashington. Smart sentence was meted out to four married women belonging to Chevington, were charged at Morpeth Court on Monday  with the theft of articles of clothing etc., from tradesmen at Ashington. on June 12th.  The defendants had arrived with a trip and visited a number of shops three of were indulging In shoplifting. which the chairman (Mr N. J. Wright) remarked was premeditated. The defendants were sent to prison for 14 days and on hearing the sentence. one of the women collapsed and had to be assisted out of court. The defendants were:— Isabella Whittle. 47 Simonside Terrace. Chevington. charged with stealing two pairs of socks two pairs of bootlaces. and girls underclothing. to the total value of 14/4, from the shop of Alex. Thomas. at 11 High Market: and a pair of men’s boots, a pair of girl’s boots, and two pairs of children’s slippers, altogether of the value of £1/14/9. the property of the Public Benefit Boot Company. From a shop in Station Road a pair of boys trousers value 7/11 property of H.Heppenstal. From a shop at 68 Station road five pairs of socks value 5/10d property of Patrick Mullen.Pair of boys boots 5s 11d from Globe Boot company Station road.

The list continues as they stole very much the same  articles the other three women were: Margaret Floe 26 Hedge-hope Terrace Chevington, Ellen Middlemiss 53 Simonside Chevington  and Sarah young 26 Hedge-hope Terrace Chevington. The businesses and proprietors they stole off was Henry Galley 25 station road shop, Thoms shop.  DELIBERATE THEFTS. Evidence was given to the effect that the women visited the Public Benefit Boot shop and asked to have a look at some boots, buying a pair. When they went out the manage missed two pairs of boots and two pairs of slippers. which were identified at the police station. Evidence was given in two other cases. and P.C. Bell. of Ashington, said from a complaint made by Mr Lamb, manager of the Public Benefit Boot Company, he made Inquiries and apprehended the three women in Station Road. At the station he found In their possession the boots stolen from the shop. He visited other shops which the women had visited and other missing articles were identified. When he charged Whittle she said “What I have to say I will say at Morpeth.” When he charged Mrs Young ((lee’s mother) with receiving, she replied: “I did not steal the boots my daughter put them in the bag.” Gee said: “I took the boots and gave them to my mother.” Next day witness went to Chevington and apprehended Middlemiss whom he charged with stealing the boots from Galley’s shop to which she replied: “Yes. that is all I took.” The defendants pleaded guilty, Mrs Young remarking that she had seven children and there was nut much coming Into the house. The chairman said the magistrates took a serious view of the offences. which had been deliberate and arranged by the whole four defendants. As stated, they were sent to prison for two weeks.

Blyth News June 1924 THEFT OF BOOTS Joseph Arkle. Potter’s Buildings. Guide Post, Choppington. charged with having stolen three pairs of children’s boots, value :£I 10/d, the property of the Public Benefit Boot Company from a shop at 17 Station Road. Ashington. on May 17th. Mr. Lamb, manager of the shop said that on Monday, May 19. the defendant entered the shop about noon and asked to see some sand shoes and was shown three pairs he requested that they should be put to one side until he called and paid for them later on. On the same evening while at Bedlington, from information received, he heard about a man displaying three pairs of boots, and from the description given recollected defendant having entered the shop. Witness reported the matter to the police. Defendant pleaded guilty. Supt. Wight said defendant was apprehended and when he was charged with stealing the boots, he said he was sorry he took the Arkle pleaded that he had lost his wife seven weeks ago and had been left with three children. He had been in the army and had received a wound on the head which affected him. Supt. Wight said defendant had been charged with stealing in 1914 and had recently been before the court on a charge of the theft of rabbits and he was just a waster Defendant was fines £5 or in default one month’s imprisonment

17 Station Road, Hirst 1914 still there in 1920 & 1929  & (1948 seeking staff) 

Ashington, 32 Station Road, 1927, 1940’s.

Mrs Margaret Belton Assistant manager of 32 Station Road Ashington 1931-1940’s

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

N.Lamb Manager Found in two felony cases 1922 & 1924 as a witness he is the prosecuting manager. He was also the manager in 1925

E O Sinclair  Assistant 1937 and into the 1940’s 32 Station Road Ashington

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


opened early 1924

David Morgan New manager of new Branch at Bangor found 2nd Qtr 1924 still there in 2nd QTR 1927

Banbury Oxfordshire

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

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

Charles Polly Assistant at Parson Street Branch Banbury 1902. consult Surnames P-S for greater detail

Barnoldswick & Colne,

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

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

via Colne, 29 Albert Road, 1911-1930

John Harris Dean Born 1860 at Blackburn, For many years, he managed the company’s premises at 29 Albert Road, Barnoldswick via Colne, West Yorkshire

Barnsley, Valuable Freehold Shop

Completely demolished   2 Pontefract Road, 1897-1967

Barnsley Chronicle August 1901  Saturday at Doncaster Wm. pledge, labourer, Adwick-on-Dcarnc, was charged with stealing a pair of canvas shoes from the shop of the Public Benefit Boot Company, at Mexboro’, on the 3rd inst., and was fined and 21s. costs, or a month to prison

E Riley Barnsley Branch Manager in 1924 & 1925

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


167 Dalton Road (between Preston St & Cavendish St, Coniston), 1909-1950. Not listed after this date, but listed in 1938 & 1939 Lancashire Evening Post.

Barton on Humber,  

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

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

W H Wainhouse Manager of the Public Benefit Boot Co branch at 18 Market Place, Barton-on-Humber, Lincolnshire, in 1879.


2 Market Place, 1927-1936

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

Mr Sykes manager of Shipley Branch removed to Batley Branch in 1925


Morpeth Herald Oct 1919 Will the Young Lady who Purchased Elastic gusset Slippers at the Public Benefit Boot Co, Bedlington Branch, on Monday, kindly call again. Not a lot to report but I guess in those times a pair of slippers would mean a lot

1925 confirmed by company outing North Party Middleton one Row

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.

Florrie Gregg worked at Public Benefit Boot Co premises at Whitley Bay and Bedlington

Mr H J  Aynsley 

Manager of 7 Market Place 1924-30’s Bedlington

Bedlington 7 Market Place, 1927-1938

BEESTON HILL  (leeds)  

1a Tempest Road confirmed 1927 Kellys confirmed 1936 



Belper News 1901HERE THEY ARE„ UP-TO-DATE SUPPLIES. extra Good Wearing Qualities. Extra Good Fresh Varieties. Extra Good Value at Low Cash. To Savingly Serve Everybody’s  Autumn Boots Shoes- PUBLIC BENEFIT BOOT COMPANY. LTD. KING-STREET MARCHE. Ask All Men. Women, Families. “Come and Look”  “Come and Know” ” Come and See Windows”. Whoever Comes. Certain to Buy. Whoever Buys. Sure to save Much. Public Benefit’s Gold Medal Boots, Workmen’s, Railwaymen’s-, Farmmen’as, Labourers’, Pitmen’s, Youths’ Boys’, Nailed Boots. Best Wear Ever Made. Public Benefit’s Specials,” Football, Champion Boots, Men’s, Youths’, Cycling. Golfing. Fishing, Farming Boots. Tan, Brown, Chrome, Strong Boots, Shoes, Gaiters, Leggings. Overshoes, Storm Boots, court. Dress, Dance, Wedding Shoos, Boots. Greatly Benefit Themselves Everybody Should Buy PUBLIC BENEFIT BOOT COMPANY, LTD. Manufacturers. Bespoke Makers, Repairers. KING-STSEET. BELPER. BATH-STREET, ILKESTON. MARKET PLACE RIPLEY. METROPOLE BOOT MARCHE. ST. PETER STREET, DERBY. England’s Largest Manufacturing RetailersTypical ad repeated daily or weekly and accepted of the times, constantly repeating the same message and introducing new words to the English alphabet!!

Derby Mercury Jan 1887 THE MAGISTRATES AND THE EXPOSURE OF GOODS. –Elizabeth Troth, of Belper, was charged with stealing a pair of boots of the value of 4s. 1 Id., from the shop door of the Public Benefit Boot Company, at Belper; and the girl’s mother, Rebecca Troth, was charged with receiving the boots knowing them to have been stolen.-Mr. E.G. Jackson defended. The boots were missed from the shop door on the 10th inst., but the police could not find them, although they had suspicion. On the 13th the younger prisoner attended the police-court in a case of bastardy, and brought a witness named Elizabeth Yardley, who was wearing the boots. It transpired that the boots had been lent her by the Troths, and the police kept them. They had been worn, and the witnesses could not positively swear to them.-Mr. Jackson commented upon the practice of tradesmen leaving their goods at the shop doors, and said he had known magistrates go so far as to state they would not convict any person of stealing under such circumstances. The Bench dismissed both charges, as the boots had not been identified. They also said they fully endorsed the remarks of Mr. Jackson regarding the exposure of goods. This was the first case that had come before them, and there had been no occasion to give expression to an opinion on the matter.-Mr. Jackson replied that he had not conducted a case of that nature in which the Bench had not made remarks of a like character. 

Nottinghamshire Guardian Jan 1895 Charge Against a Woman at Belper. — A woman, who gave the name of Mary Payne, and said she came out of Gloucestershire, has been remanded at Belper on suspicion of shop breaking. On the evening of Wednesday two shop windows in Belper were broken and articles extracted. The shops belonged to the Public Benefit Boot Company and Mr, Charles Smith. Both are situate in King-street, the chief thoroughfare of the town. P.C. Blackburn traced the accused through Ambergate end Cromford to Matlock, and finally captured her at Wirksworth.

Long Eaton Advertiser March 1895 ….. A Xmas spree of robberies and damage… During the same week the plate glass shop window of Mr. Charles Smith and the Public Benefit Boot Company. nearly opposite to each other in King-street. were smashed in the night, two odd boots, being abstracted , from the latter window. Still later, the shop window of Mr. Jeremiah Ratcliff was similarly broken in the night time, and eight pairs of boots removed, The police succeeded in tracing the perpetrator of the King Street boot robbery in the person of a woman named Payne, who was convicted and sentenced to one month’s imprisonment.

Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald June 1930 THEFT AT BELPER DERBY Woman Bound over. A young Derby woman named Jane Driver, Shelton Terrace, was charged at Belper court Thursday with stealing the following articles at Belper June 13th: —One lady’s jumper and one silk spun handkerchief, value 9s.5d the property of Leonard Parker: one bottle of lavender perfume, the property of Johnson Foster; one lady’s all-wool jumper, the property of Emma Rollinson ; one tube of seccotine, the property of J. C. Brittain ; two blocks of Needler’s chocolate, the property of Fredk. Wainwright; one pair of plimsole shoes, the property of Public Benefit Boot Company; six yards garter elastic, the property of Messrs. Hunter’s. She pleaded guilty to all the offences. The only evidence was that given by Supt. Wilson, who stated the woman was now at a convalescent home; she was suffering from neurasthenia. Following a complaint in the first charge. the other articles were found on the defendant, the owners of which had been traced. After consultation with the mother of the defendant the Bench bound the defendant over to be of good behaviour for six months, in the sum of £5. She is to go back to hospital

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

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

Staff associated with Belper

William John Booth Belper News 26th February 1915 William John Booth died of meningitis during military training at Glasgow was an assistant at the branch in Belper

George Elliott Innot Began working for Public benefit circa 1900 at the Belper branch and was manager in 1901

Bentley a small mining village close to Doncaster

Mr Harold Hardcastle  New manager for the Bentley shop found 1st QTR 1926

 Harold Hardcastle (37), formerly manager of the Bentley branch Bentley 1927 consult court below

L W Heath  New manager sent to Bentley Branch 4th QTR 1927

Sheffield daily Telegraph May 1927 PRISON FOR EMBEZZLEMENT. A former Bentley shop manager, who admitted having frittered away stolen money, but who could give no explanation why he took it, was yesterday sent to prison for three months by the Doncaster West Riding magistrates. The prisoner was Harold Hardcastle (37), formerly manager of the Bentley branch of the Public Benefit Boot Company, who pleaded guilty to embezzling £71, but denied the second charge, which was dismissed, of stealing a quantity of keys and a bank paying-in book. Prisoner explained that these were given to him when he took over the management of the shop. 

High Street 1926

A G Cowie New manager sent to Bentley Branch 2nd QTR 1927


Toll Gavel, 1882     

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

Joseph Haigh he married Emily BOOTH of Leeds in 1889. Around that time, he was the resident manager of the Public Benefit Boot Co premises at 22 Toll Gavel, Beverley, this lasted for approximately ten years

H M Howes Beverley Branch 1924

William Wilson  Manager in 1882 (Franchise) Toll Gavel Beverley

Beverley Echo & Beverley & East riding recorder displays advertisements week in, week out, for example during  1895 urging Beverley shoppers to visit the Hull Prospect Street shop instead of the branch at Beverley.From the MINSTER CITY To the PORT CITY.” Great numbers of all classes constantly coma to make special purchases. Get distinct advantages by dealing in the PUBLIC BENEFIT BOOT CO.’S MAMMOTH ESTABLISHMENT, PROSPECT STREET, HULL (Three Minutes’ Walk from Paragon), GRAND DAILY DISPLAYS. SIX WINDOW EXHIBITIONS. LADIES’SALOON, GENTLEMEN’S SECTION GENERAL SALE DEPARTMENTS. Imposing Show of Spring Varieties, Qualities, Specialities. Most considerate prices ever known. Equal value obtainable elsewhere. Those who are not patrons and have not seen the EXTRAORDINARY EMPORIUM, Are respectfully invited and advised see the Superior Qualities and varieties. See the superior specialities and value. Inspecting purchasing visits will amply repay. When visiting Hull and not buying, viewing the Six Window Expositions will be Interesting. PUBLIC BENEFIT BOOT CO., PROSPECT STREET, HULL. Largest Manufacturing Retailers in the Kingdom. Prize Gold Medalists ! Bespoke Makers. Have not, nor never Had a Branch in Beverley.

15 Toll Gavel 1925 onwards

13 Toll Gavel still listed in kellys in 1937

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

Billingham,  See Stockton


John William Hale In 1911 he managed the company’s premises at 55 Church Street, Bilston, Staffordshire

John William Wilkes Born 1867 at Hitchin. In the early 1890’s he managed the Public Benefit Boot Co premises at 55 Church Street, Bilston, Staffordshire.

55 Church Street, 1891-1911

Birkenhead, See Liverpool & district Image  



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


Birmingham, 42 Corporation Street, 1887-1982

Charles Staniforth Employed by the Public Benefit Boot Co in Birmingham… 

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

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

Birmingham Daily Gazette January 1914  Albert Goodwin, ‘aged 34, bricklayer, pleaded guilty stealing a pair of trousers, the goods of Thomas Pugh Bird, and a pair of boots, the goods of the Public Benefit Boot Company, Limited, and was sentenced to one month’s imprisonment with hard labour on each charge, the sentences to run concurrently

UNION STREET/ Corporation Street

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


Birmingham Daily Post July 1892 Charles Devereux (18), living in Cecil Street, was sent to gaol for one month for stealing a pair of boots, valued at 5s. 11d., belonging to the Public Benefit Boot Company, Coventry Road-On Wednesday last, prisoner snatched the boots from a peg on which they were hung outside the shop. He was pointed out by two boys to Police-constable Holmes (82E), who arrested him.

Birmingham, 186 Coventry Road, 1892-1914 

Theft of boots reported in Birm D.Post July 1892

Birmingham 372 Coventry Road in 1940  

Various address

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


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

Birmingham,  Springhill, Brookfields 1914

Balsall Heath, 

Birmingham,  71 Longmore Street, 1896 confirmed by Kelly’s National directory of Great Britain 1896. See the story below from 1890

SERIOUS ACCIDENT AT BALSALL HEATH. Birmingham Mail December 1890. Shortly after noon today, a pony driven by Mr. F. Greaves, farmer, of Kings’Heath, took fright at the corner Balsall Heath Road and Longmore Street. The sudden swerve which the animal made overturned the trap, and the driver was thrown out in front of a steam tram, but not injured. The pony, with the overturned trap, dashed across Longmore Street, and rearing in front of the new premises of the Public Benefit Boot Company, at the corner of Longmore Street, dropped his forequarters into the shop front. The window and the framework were completely smashed, and damage to the extent of £50. was thus caused. The pony was cut, but no one was injured, though several had narrow escapes when the pony plunged across the road.

Birmingham Daily Gazette March 1908 Frank Ward (33), warehouseman, was sentenced to twelve months’ hard labour for burglariously breaking into the dwelling-house of Clarence Richard Primer at Aston and stealing four boots, the property of the Public Benefit Boot Company.

Longmore Street, 1905-1914 Birmingham district


Aston 78 Lichfield Road corner of Upper Portland Street heading towards Birmingham city centre.


78 Lichfield Road, 1895–1914 Aston area Birmingham Daily Post 1895

Birmingham Lichfield Road found 1927 





Coventry Herald March 1908 Frederick Ward (33), warehouseman, pleaded guilty to burglariously breaking open the dwelling-house of Clarence Richard Primer, at Aston, and stealing four boots, the property of the Public Benefit Boot Company. Detective Inspector Jackson said the prisoner was discharged from the army with disgrace, and there were previous convictions. ‘Ward was sentenced to twelve months’ hard labour.

166-168 Stratford Road Sparkbrook 1907 (adv)

Birmingham,  Albert Road, (warehouse), 1914

Birmingham,  6 Alum Rock Road, 1946-1969 

Birmingham, , 622 Bristol Road, 1946-196o’s

Staff associated with Birmingham

Edgar Alfred Barnsley Evening Despatch 20th April 1918  one time manager of a Branch in Birmingham

T. Fradgley  1926 Manager of 59 Coleshill Street repair facility since 1901

F. Hammond Inspector of Birmingham district in 1924

J. Higgs Bench-man at Birmingham for 22 years

John Hoddle 1911 managed the company’s boot shop at 61 Spring Hill Road, Birmingham.

Mr Mann  Manager of Small Heath found 4th QTR 1927

John Marston In the 1880’s he managed the Public Benefit Boot Co shop at 4 Hales Street and Spon Street, Coventry. He later moved to Edgbaston where his son William John assisted in the boot shop

James Augustine Moran appointed the manager of The Public Benefit Boot Co branch at 42 Corporation Street, Birmingham pre-WW1 In May 1916 as WWI progressed the British Government began the conscription of married men and James was called up. consult I-O surnames for full details

Mr Ponter  Manager at Stratford Road Birmingham Branch found 2nd Qtr 1925

Samuel Frederick Potter In 1911 Samuel managed the company’s premises at 78 Lichfield Road, Aston Manor, Warwickshire. consult surnames P-S

Mr & Mrs Potter Lichfield Road Branch announce birth of a son found 3rd Qtr 1924

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

Mr Spraggs Temporary manager of Bromsgrove Branch found 3rd Qtr 1924

Walter Tamlin Born c1863 in London. Walter was a company shareholder and manager of the large Public Benefit Boot Co premises at 42 Corporation Street, Birmingham. By 1911 Walter was a district inspector for the Public Benefit Boot Co.

Arthur Weston Born 1867 at Derby. He first worked at the Public Benefit Boot Co premises in Derby before going on to manage a branch in Warwickshire and in 1911 the company’s premises at 95 High Street, Bromsgrove, Worcestershire.

W.Williams  New manager of Sparkhill Branch (Midlands) 2nd QTR 1926

George Winspur  A half time boy at Spark Hill Birmingham branch 1st Qtr 1927

Bishop Auckland,  

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

46 Newgate Street, 1914-1938 (Sold) 

Bishop Auckland 74-75 Newgate Street up to 1939

J H Davis Bishop Auckland Branch manager 1924 & 1925 in the same year Mr Davis was replaced by Mr G. T. Leggett of Spennymoor   2nd QTR 1926

William Scott. He worked in boot shops in Bishop Auckland, Bristol and in 1911 he managed the company’s premises at 155-157 Commercial Road, Landport, Portsmouth, Hampshire.


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

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

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

Blackhall Colliery,Castle Eden

1921-1934 Hartlepool Northern D. Mail mining village

Mr G A Campbell Assistant at high St. West Sunderland &  sent to manage Blackhall 3rd QTR 1928

H Jeffrey New manager Blackhall Branch 1924



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

1-3 Bank Hey Street 1924 Kelly’s Lancs

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 to 1894 and at 109 Bath Street, Ilkeston, Derbyshire, from 1894-1901

A. Ashley Manager 1921 sent to Victoria Street Grimsby 1924

Arthur Lewis Burnley Born 1861 at Shipley. in 1911 he managed the company’s premises at 12 Lytham Street, Blackpool, consult surnames A-D 

Miss Bennington Manageress  prior to 1916 when she was transferred to osset 

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

Mr Twydale Assistant at Blackpool found 1st Qtr. 1924

Blyth,  Valuable Freehold shop 

Blyth News April 1919 Sergeant Edward Simpson Corner Manager up to June 1916  …..Consult Surnames A-D for full details of Mr Corner

Blyth News December 1924 Yet another case of a female this time a typist being sent to prison for six months for her adventures around the town of Blyth Agnes Mary Forster was charged at Blyth on five counts of obtaining goods from Arthur Carrick, Public benefit Boot company and Margaret Allen and to stealing 10s from Mary Larsen 2 Percy Street. VISIT TO BOOT SHOP. The next charge was in connection with a pair of boots value 16s, which accused had got from the shop of the Public Benefit Boot Company on Dec. 2nd. The manager of the shop said accused on the above date came to the shop and asked for a pair of shoes on approval and asked to open an account. She was told their’s was a cash trade. Accused then put on an air of indignation and said she would go somewhere else She produced a cheque-book and said she could get the goods at Carricks. Witness then let her have the goods to the value of 16/11. Detective Andrews said when he charged her with the offence she replied: “I know I have done wrong”. Detective Andrews giving evidence revealed she had said “I had no clothes and had to get them on way or another. She had no means, no friends, and asked the  magistrates to give her another chance. She had been deserted by her husband and was living with a single man 

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

Regent Street, 1938-1952 

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

Irene Bate She worked as a shop assistant at the Public Benefit Boot Co premises at Regent Street, Blyth 1938-1941.

George Marmaduke Frear 
 Born 1895 at Hartlepool At the age of 19 he enlisted and served in France with the 10th Battalion Liverpool Scottish Regiment. He was wounded in action in August 1916 and returned to duty some months later. He married Rebecca Arbuckle in 1922 at Hartlepool and their children included Arnold M FREAR 1924, Joan FREAR 1926 and Beryl FREAR 1933. During the 1930’s and 1940’s he managed the Public Benefit Boot Co branch at Regent Street, Blyth, Northumberland. First mention of him is in 1924 at Blyth. He rode a bicycle to work and half a century later his former employees still remembered him. His wife Rebecca died in 1976 aged 78 and he died in 1981 aged 85. 

Miss Betty Carr Worked as a shop assistant at the Public Benefit Boot Co premises at Regent Street, Blyth, Northumberland in the 1930’s.  In 1938 she spoke on behalf of a neighbour William Clayton

Joyce Davidson Assistant at Regent Street Blyth shop 1930’s

Nancy English  Mrs  worked as a shop assistant at the Public Benefit Boot Co premises at Regent Street, Blyth, Northumberland 1938-1941.

Miss Milly Holland,  Shop assistant at Regent Street Blyth 1930’s

Bill Clayton who was then taken on at the shop as an errand boy 1938 until 1941 when he went to Northumberland Street 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

Alfred Merriweather Born 1882 at Wakefield brother to William Edward left the company in 1924 after managing the Blyth shop.

Blanche Moffatt Shop assistant at the Public Benefit Boot Co premises at Regent Street, Blyth, Northumberland 1938-1941.

Miss Margaret Moseley  Shop assistant regent Street Blyth 1940’s

Emma Harvey Smalley  At the age of 16 she commenced work at the Blyth branch of the Public Benefit Boot Co where the manager was George Marmaduke Frear and the first sales lady was Miss Thomas consult P-S surnames for biographical details

Miss Thomas, First sales lady, 1930’s; Regent Street Blyth


32 Market Place listed in 1920 Derbys. Times & Chesterfield Herald 30 Oct 1920 and still there in 1932. The impressive castle can be seen clearly from the M1 motorway and at night it is lit up.

G F Brewin Bolsover Branch 1924

Mr J. Shields  Bolsover branch found 1925- 1st  QTR 1927


47 Bradshawgate, 1896-1908 (William Herrenden Harker, manager 1896-1898). This branch was transferred to Lennard in 1907 by founder William Franklin. By then T.J.Lennard was chairman and MD of both southern and Northern companies. He removed to 12-14 Bradshawgate in 1908  a brand new development after selling property 2 & 4 Deansgate to accommodate the improvement and expansion of the area

Bootle, see Liverpool


Confirmed as having a branch 1927 kellys directory


Boston Guardian Sept 1909 Valuable Freehold Shop NEW BUSINESS ESTABLISHMENT. Opened Friday 1st October, Is often necessary, in these progressive times, to dispense with old and familiar landmarks, and create others which perhaps lack tho antiquity time and association, but for modern ideas and uses answer far more the needs of the present moment. Who, among the inhabitants of Boston and district, is not familiar with the old Angel Inn, of Market-place renown, now thing of the past, subject for recollection only. In its .stead The Public, Benefit Boot Company, Limited, an enterprising and well-established firm of boot and shoe producers. and retailers, wilI open next week an up-to-date store, well fitted and furnished, and stocked with a range of fine footwear not often met with in provincial towns. The firm, who style themselves England’s great footwear providers, possess retail establishments in some hundred towns and cities ’twixt Trent and Tweed, and supply millions ot workers in that vast area with foot coverings for work recreation. Present and future may be interested to know that the business was founded some thirty-five years ago, and has since perpetually grown, the company selecting and opening stores in the principal cities. They possess some of the largest emporiums, and successfully combine first-class and general trades, serving the most distinguished families and personages and the humblest working people. They own large modern factories, and with excellent materials and best-skilled, highest-paid labour, produce Qualities and varieties in footwear that win gold medals in every competing international exhibition. On the same page a large ad seen below setting out their policies and strategy

Boston Guardian Sept 1909 OPEN FRIDAY. The opening of the “BENEFIT” Boot and shoe Store affords to the inhabitants of Boston District the facility to obtain BOOTS & SHOES of undeniable merit and sound construction at the very lowest prices possible, consistent with honest value. PUBLIC BENEFIT BOOT COMPANY, Ltd (ENGLAND’S GREAT FOOTWEAR PROVIDERS!, trust to gain and retain your patronage by supplying goods which possess all the fine qualities which make them distinctive and absolutely reliable BOOTS & SHOES. Every ‘•BENEFIT” Boot is made to sell another “BENEFIT” Boot, each a recommendation for sterling worth and good wear-resisting quality. MARKET PLACE, Boston. also at Lincoln, Peterboro’. Newark, Hull, Grantham, Sleaford, Retford, Gainsborough

Boston Guardian 3rd Feb 1917 Manager Henry Gardiner aged 40 at 21 Witham Bank Branch Consult Surnames E-H for story under Henry Gardner

Lincolnshire Standard and Boston Guardian June 1939 SERIOUS ALLEGATIONS JOSEPH KIME, salesman, whose address on the charge sheet was given as 13, Tower Road, Boston, failed to appear at Boston Police Court on Tuesday to answer seven charges, alleging the obtaining of goods by false pretences and obtaining credit by fraud. The Chief Constable (Mr. L. Johnson) asked that a warrant be issued and the bail entered into by accused’s father be estreated. The alleged offences involve total sum of £11 3s. 11d: Amongst the seven businesses defrauded by Obtaining  credit, for the sum of 18s. 31d. was Public Benefit Boot Company Limited, on  March 10th. When Kime appeared on Tuesday week he was remanded for a week, bail being fixed in one surety by himself of £20 and one other of £20 or two of £10. The first person to be approached, said the Chief Constable, was his father. Mr. Joseph Kime, of Swandyke. He declined to stand bail. After about twenty other persons had been approached, Mr. Kime. senr., came to the police station on the Thursday, and said he desired to stand bail for his son. It was pointed out in the presence of the accused and Mr. Kime the serious list of offences alleged against Joseph Kime, junr.,” stated the Chief Constable, “and the answer I got was,I   am going to do the job if it costs me £120. Mr. Kyme, senr., was warned of the risk he was taking, and insisted on standing bail.” Called before the magistrates. Mr. Kime. senr., said he knew nothing of the whereabouts of his son, who had been living at home and who disappeared some time the previous day. “I stood bail for him. expect I shall have to pay.” he said. The magistrates issued a warrant for Kime’s arrest, and ordered that his father’s bail should be estreated. The latter asked for a fortnight in which to pay the £20, but was told it must be paid that day. 

41 Market Place, 1909-1960.

41 Market Place 1913 & 1930 Kellys confirmed 1937 

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

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

Mr Ratherham Manager of Boston found 4th QTR 1927

Peter Geoffrey Meade, the only son of Sergt. J. V. Meade, County Police, and Mrs. Meade, Bennington, left the village tins week for training with the R.A.F. For the past three years an employee of the Public Benefit Boot Co.. Market Place, Boston Peter had been a member of the 141 (Boston) Squadron, A.T.C., for 18 months

Signalman Raymond Wombwell Lincolnshire Standard 23rd October 1943.Father and son are volunteers in the present conflict, of 10, Wheeler Close, Boston.  Raymond was employed in the Public Benefit Boot Stores, Boston . He has been in the Army for three years, two of which he served in the Sherwood Foresters, after which he transferred to the Royal Corps of Signals. For the complete details in particular mentioning the appalling condition suffered by locals in Sicily consult surnames T_V



Bradford Daily Telegraph Jan 1882 Ann Kirkby (32), a respectable looking married woman, residing in Mount Street, was charged on remand from the previous day with stealing two pair of boots, value 15s, the property of the Public Benefit Boot Company, Westgate, and also with stealing an ulster, value 9s/9d, the property of Edward Barker, draper, Wakefield Road.—The prisoner when before the Court yesterday professed inability to give any account of the theft, and appeared completely dazed by her position. ‘The case was adjourned in order that her husband might appear.—On being put into the box to-day he stated that his wife had always been a steady, hard-working woman, and could not understand what had led her to commit the theft.—The prosecutor not wishing to press the case, the prisoner was dismissed

Bradford Observer  Jan 1882 BREAKING INTO A BOOT SHOP. Julia Harrison (37), weaver, 16, Chain Street, was charged with stealing four pairs of boots, value £1.8s 3d, the property of the Public Benefit Boot Company, Westgate.—lt appeared that a square of glass in the premises of the company, worth £5. had been smashed, and six pairs of boots abstracted through the opening thus made. Prisoner was taken into custody this morning by P.C. Brear whilst attempting to pledge two pair of the boots stolen at Phillip’s pawnshop, Lumb Lane. addition to the two pairs of boots she was attempting to pledge two odd boots were also found in her possession, which were recognised by Mr Falkingham. the manager of the company, having been stolen from the shop, prisoner was remanded till Wednesday.

Bradford Observer July 1882 Theft from a Shop Door.—Kate Taylor (37), millhand. of Long croft Place, was charged with stealing a pair of boots, value 4s. 11d., the property of Public Benefit Boot Company. Yesterday afternoon the prisoner went into the shop in question and asked to see pair of 13s. boots. She left the shop without purchasing any boots, and was observed by a passer-by take a pair which were hanging outside the door and conceal them under her shawl. He went into the shop and informed the manager of the occurrence, and the latter to showing the prisoner gave her into custody.—She, was committed for trial at the Borough Sessions

Bradford daily Telegraph Feb 1892 James McDermott (30), barber, of no settled residence, was committed to gaol for twenty-one days for stealing a pair of boots, the property of The Public Benefit Boot Company. The prisoner was seen by an officer to go into* the Dusty Millar Inn, and from information received be apprehended him.and found the boots in his possession, which were identified as having been stolen from The Public Benefit Boot Company.

Bradford Daily Telegraph Jan 1894 A TRADESMAN’S PROTEST AGAINST MAGISTERIAL LENIENCY. Some time ago Mr J. s. Bullough. who trades as the  Benefit Boot Company, at 78a, Westgate.Bradford…… Consult Surnames A-D for full details of J.S.Bullough and Thomas Coonan his assistant

Bradford Daily Telegraph March 1903 THEFT BOOTS. Ann Gilchrist (40), 15, Long croft Place, with stealing two pairs of boots, value 7s.11d., on 6t March the  property of the Public Benefit Boot Company, Westgate. Last night the prisoner cut the from boots from a hook outside the shop door, and was caught with the boots in her possession. The woman, who pleaded guilty, had a bad character, and was sentenced to six  weeks’ imprisonment with hard labour.

Bradford D.Telegraph Feb 1904 Two youths named respectively Fred Raistrick (18). 93. Myrtle Street, and John McKay (17). 8, Laurel Street, were charged together with attempting to steal a pair of boots, valued at At.4s 6d belonging to the Public Benefit Boot Company. 78. Westgate It was stated that on Wednesday, the 24th instant, the two youths went to the prosecutor’s shop, and endeavoured to pull a pair of lady’s boots from a hook at the front of the shop.—The Stipendiary said it. was a very suspicious case, but there not sufficient evidence to convict The two youths were discharged.

Bradford Daily Telegraph November 1905 THIEVES SMASH A PLATE WINDOW. At an early hour this morning a very impudent robbery took place at the premises of the Public Benefit Boot Company, Westgate. Some one broke a large plate-glass window, valued at £5, & stole 10 pairs of boots. The matter has been reported to the police, who are making enquiries into this matter. 

Bradford Daily Telegraph Jn 1886  78a. WESTGATE. BRADFORD. THE PATRONS OF FOOTBALL.Ladies & Gentlemen The question is often asked, why is Bradford the leading Football Club? A definite answer to this enquiry is, they would not have gained this distinction had they not been cheered to victory and success by the spectators. The spectators could never have withstood the cold and damp had they not been to 78a. Westgate, for their boots and shoes. This is a factor which be should well known and practically applied lovers of football in Bradford and district by increased visits. Yours truly, THE PUBLIC BENEFIT BOOT COMPANYI quite enjoyed the advert even though it is pure ‘Flannel ‘ 

Bradford Daily Telegraph Jan 1892 GOLD MEDAL AWARDS TO THE PUBLIC BENEFIT BOOT AND SHOE COMPANY. “The Public Benefit Boot & Shoe Company, who have their Hull Establishment in the handsome structure at the corner Prospect Street and Albion Street, are the recipients of two massive gold medals, awarded to them for the excellence of their exhibits this year at the Midland Counties Industrial Exhibition, held at Derby, last summer; and at the Sheffield Industrial Exhibition, held in March and April last. The diploma awarded with the gold medal the Midland Exhibition, sets forth that the Exhibition was under the distinguished patronage of the Mayor of Derby (Sir Alfred Seale the Eight Hon. Lord Waterpark. Bight Hon. Lord Helper, the Bishop of Derby. Sir Francis Burdett, Bart., and Sir J. J. Allport. Knight. These names constitute efficient guarantee as to the high value attached to the award, and the Public Benefit and Shoe Company deserve highest encouragement for their ability to compete successfully against other and equally well-known manufacturers of boots and shoes from all parts of the country. The diploma accompanying the Sheffield gold medal shows that the exhibition was under the patronage his Worship the Mayor of Sheffield (O. Osborn. Esq., J.P.), and the Master Cutler of Sheffield (Robert Colver. Esq.). Both medals are unique specimens of the goldsmith’s art. and will be on view in the windows of the Hull branch of the Company. The awards will undoubtedly be an additional incentive to the company to continue enterprise which has stood the test of years, and who to-day have extensive emporiums for boots and shoes all over the country.” The Medals and Diplomas above referred to are now on Exhibition in the window of the PUBLIC BENEFIT BOOT COMPANY. SUNBRIDGE ROAD.

Staff associated with Bradford

Bradford, Westgate, 1881-1893 (Charles Burrow, proprietor, 1884;

Jabez Sidney Bullough, proprietor in 1893 Filed for bankruptcy trading at 78a Westgate

Thomas Coonan Assistant at Bradford under MR Bullough

Mr Falkingham Manager of Westgate Branch Bradford 1882 as a Franchise. Consult Northern Branches A-G for details.

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

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.

Various addresses on Westgate up to circa 1912

Bradford, 20 Sunbridge Road,1887. Sunbridge Road  is on Westgate. 

Sunbridge Road 12-14 from the 1890’s up to circa 1912. Advert placed in the Bradford Telegraph clarifying to the general public that this branch is on the bottom end of Westgate and on the corner of Simes Street All buildings apart from a large chapel have been cleared..

Bradford, 184 Manchester Road, 1891-1898

78a West gate 1882

Bradford 78 Westgate 1897 

Bradford 124 Westgate confirmed Yorkshire Evening post 1907

31a Ivegate confirmed Kellys 1927 confirmed 1936 Kellys


Bramley town centre was decimated in the 1960/70’s. No resemblance today to the former woollen centre and Boot making centre 

206 Upper Town Street, 1950’s-1960

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.

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

65 Station Road 1936 kellys


16th Feb 1906 a franchise arrangement in ‘Marshalls’ 52 High street Bridlington free Press. The arrangement ended on 1st May 1906. This establishment the first toe hold into Bridlington for Public Benefit Boot was still trading up to 2019, from the same position number 52 and owned by the same family and has been since 1905! The firm of Marshalls began at number 25 High Street.

34 King Street, 1911-1917 (James Herbert Lee, manager 1911-1916; Mary Ann Lee, manageress 1916-1917) Consult Surnames I-O for full details of James and Mary

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

James Herbert Lee  He managed the Public Benefit Boot Co branch at 34 Queen Street, Bridlington from when it first opened in 1911 until 1916 when he enlisted in WWI, after which his wife Mary took over as manageress. He served in the 8th Battalion East Yorkshire Regiment and was killed in action in France 1 May 1917 aged 31

Fred Marshall franchisee consult Surnames I-O for full details

George William Miles He operated his own boot repairing business in Bridlington before moving to Hull where he managed the Public Benefit Boot Co Repairing Factory. During WWI, he served in the 1st/4th Battalion East Yorkshire Regiment

Miss Joan Taylor Assistant at 33-34 Queen Street Bridlington 1930’s-1939.

34 King Street 1925 Kelly’s directory

1922 The company is trading at 24 Queen Street

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

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

Bridlington 34 Queen Street ad for staff 1950,


Market Place, 1922-1932

Brigg, 33 Market Street, 1933-1937

BRIERLEY HILL (MIDLANDS, Stourbridge, Dudley etc)

County Express November 1889 BLOCKING OF FOOTPATH Richard Wilson (Public Benefit Boot Company), High Street, Brierley Hill, was charged with obstructing the footpath of High Street, Brierley Hill, on the 16th Inst.—Police-constable Birch said that on the Saturday night in question he saw a box on the footpath in High Street, Brierley Hill. He cautioned the defendant to remove the box. The box remained in the same position for an hour and a half afterwards—Superintendent Woollaston said he had received a letter from the clerk to the Local Board to try and put a stop to these obstructions. He did not wish to press the case against the defendant.—Defendant said he could not remove the box on account of his shop being full of customers—Defendant was ordered to pay the costs 7s

County express July 1891 George Timmins (11), Potter Street, Brierley Hill, was charged with *stealing Is. 10d., the money of Thomas. Morgan, on the 4th inst.—Alice Morgan, wife of Thomas Morgan, 49, Cottage Street, Brierley Hill, said on Saturday, at 7.15, she sent her boy with some work which her husband had done to the Public Benefit Boot Shop. He. returned at 7.30, and from a communication he made to her she went in search of the prisoner, whom she found in the Horseshoe Market at 9.10. At first he denied having the money, but afterwards gave witness 4s Id. When asked where the other 9d. was, prisoner said he had lost it at first, but subsequently said he had bought some fried fish and had been in the show. —Prisoner was sent to an industrial school for five years.

County Express March 1890 A suspicious  Case-Walter Robinson, manager of the Public Benefit Boot Shop, High Street, Brierley Hill. lodging at No. 4, Level Street, Brierley Hill, and Joseph Hurley, foreman blacksmith, and lodging at the same place, were charged with being on licensed premises during prohibited hours,. -Mr. Waldron raised an objection to the summons on the ground that it was not mentioned that there was any drink sold. He would, however, withdraw this, and rely upon the evidence of the officers, which clearly showed that there was no offence. as no beer was sold. It was not an offence for a public house to be open after time to neighbours, if there was no drink sold.-The Bench said it was a suspicious case, and a proper one to bring before them, but they did not consider the evidence strong enough to convict, and dismissed the case

Walter Robinson  Manager High Street Brierley Hill 1889 consult Northern Branches A-G  above for details

Richard Wilson  Manager of the High Street Brierley Hill branch 1889. Consult Surnames T-V for full details 


Christian Frederick Stubbs  Born 1864 at Leeds. He married firstly at Huddersfield in 1885, and secondly in 1891 in Dewsbury. He may have been franchising from 1885. The family for some time lived at Brighouse and at the turn of the century Christian managed a boot shop in Wakefield.

Broadheath near Altrincham

Woodfield Road Boot repairs and shop Manchester Eve News Jan 1899


Photo confirms presence of a company branch circa 1900-1910. Man and woman standing outside could be man and wife team or she could be a manageress? Very good image lots of detail. 

Mr Bishop New manager for Bromsgrove Branch 1st QTR 1926

Mr Jones New manager sent to Bromsgrove Branch 1926


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

A G Tregaskiss Manager of 80a Main ST. Bulwell 1894-5


John Goodchild In 1891 he worked as an assistant in the Public Benefit Boot Co premises on St James Street, Burnley and he managed that branch from at least 1901 to 1911. His cousin Florence Wilkinson also worked as a shop assistant at the Burnley branch around the turn of the century

Burnley Express July 1905 A young assistant aged 16 Robert Whiteside at 75 St James Street hung himself he lived at 62 Clive Street Stoneyholme. Consult Surnames T-Z for full details

Burnley Express March 1932 BURNLEY SHOP MANAGER. DEATH OF MR. TITUS ROBERTS. Consult Surnames P-S for full details

Burnley 4, Market Street 1938 confirmed by Lancashire Evening Post 1940-May 1942 ‘Nelson Leader’

75 St James Street, 1904-1954 Confirmed by Burnley Express consulted 12th May 1904. & Lancashire Evening post 1938. One side of the street was demolished in the 1970’s (The odd numbers) along with 75. It now appears to be part of a monstrous shopping mall. Directories consulted-Barratts


Staffordshire Sentinel Dec 1947 staff required 33 Market place Burslem (could be a branch recently acquired from Amies or Wallace)


Mr Waters Manager Burton on Trent for many years his wife assisted

Burton Chronicle March 1885 NOT INEFFICIENT MANAGEMENT THE PUBLIC BENEFIT BOOT COMPANY Are selling the Best and Cheapest Boots & Shoes In the town. ALL NEW GoodsNO SLOP GOODS, NOR A SALE. Note the Shop Nest door to the Little Dustpan 71 STATION STREET, BURTON ON-TRENT.

Burton Chronicle  September 1898 Burton-upon-Trent,  Mr. Orme considered for the benefit of the inhabitants at the Market Place and that portion of the town it was very desirable that a letter box should be erected, between the shop of Mr. Wood and the Public Benefit boot Company. —Mr. Hall was of a similar opinion, and Mr Orme gave notice to move that the Postal Authorities be petitioned in this matter

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


108 The Rock, 1934-1936.

Buxton, Images 

6 Terrace Road, 1912-1916

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


Belfast Telegraph November 1910 Striking miners from the Glamorgan pits were charged by mounted police brought in from Bristol and elsewhere. Injuries were incurred on all sides and shops were ransacked including the Public Benefit Branch in Tony Pandy. Damage to business premises and shops amounted to several £thousands

Queen Street

90 Queen Street South Wales Daily News September 1898 Advertisements one for a smart youth as an assistant. The other for boys to sell Public Benefit Wax Vestas 90 Queen Street and 79 St. Mary’s Street

South wales Daily News Aug 1898 Adv to sell Outside Lamp and fittings, 2  check tills (O’Briens & Gledhill), 3 T Gas Pendants, 3 4 and 6 light Gas Pendants, 1 Doorway Lamp, and several second-hand Counters.—Apply Public Benefit Boot Company, 90, Queen-street. Cardiff

90 Queen Street, 1900-1929 Listed in 1931 & 1935

St. Mary Street

Cardiff St Mary’s Street

Cardiff 79 St. Mary’s Street South Wales Daily News 21st September 1898

Cardiff 79 St Mary Street, 1899-1920

Cardiff, 48 St Mary Street, 1926, 1929 listed in 1931 & 1935

Other addresses

Roath, Glamorgan 

Roath 176 City Road, 1901, 1906, 1909-1926 & 1929 Listed in 1931 & 1935

Cardiff, 33 Whitchurch Road, 1914-1929 listed in 1931

COURAGE FAILED HIM. JAIL FOR BOOT SHOP MANAGER. Belfast telegraph August 1908 Three ago Charles Green. 31. left his overcoat and a  farewell letter on the river bank at Cardiff. Consult Surnames E-H for full story of Mr Green

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. His wife Florence died at Spalding in 1940 he died there in 1964


Newcastle Evening Chronicle Sept 1915 ALLEGED SHOP-DOOR THEFT AT CARLISLE.  Thomas Murray, of no fixed abode, was charged on remand with having stolen a pair of bools, valued at 10s. 6d from the shop at  9, Botchergate, the property of the Public Benefit Boot Company. It was stated by the  manageress of the shop that the boots were taken from a stack of boots at the shop-doorway The Bench committed prisoner to next Quarter Sessions for trial

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

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

Carlisle Journal throughout  1888 Garnett Todd is advertising his franchise with PBBC and is still at 27 Botchergate

Pub. Benefit advert franchise 39 Bothchergate up to 1924

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

Mr T. B. Drake Manager of latest English Street Carlisle branch found 1st Qtr. 1924 he removes to Great Crosby in 1st Qtr 1925


7 Carlton Street, 1892-1901

Castleford, 24 Carlton Street, 1897-1917

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

William North Driver Born 1863 at Wakefield, the youngest of three children born to Joseph DRIVER and his wife Emma NORTH. By early 1871 at the age of seven, William, and his sister Jane North DRIVER aged 11, worked as boot closers with their father Joseph, a Wakefield boot maker. William worked as a boot maker for some years but by the age of 27 he managed the Public Benefit Boot Co branch in Wakefield (1890) . He married Lily Waddington of Castleford in 1895. From the 1890’s until the 1920’s he managed Public Benefit Boot Co premises at 24 Carlton Street, Castleford, Yorkshire. William was civic minded and well-known in Castleford where he helped establish the town’s free library. His wife Lily died in 1950 aged 75 and he died in Pontefract, Yorkshire in 1953 aged 89.


Franchise advertisement Chester observer May 17th 1890 “Morton’s Public Benefit Boot Stores” 116 Northgate Street and 37 Foregate Street.

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

Opposite Chester repairs 5 Grosvenor Street 1924 

Liverpool Evening Express Jan 1941 HIS 90th APPEARANCE George Hughson, aged 46, a native of Chester, of no settled address, made his 90th police court appearance today, when he pleaded guilty at Chester to breaking a window, the property of the Public Benefit Boot Company, Ltd., Northgate-street, Chester, valued £l5, on Saturday last. Hughson was sentenced to three months’ imprisonment.

Cheshire Observer Oct 1946 ALLEGED DAMAGE TO WINDOW CHESTER MAN COMMITTED FOR TRIAL AT ASSIZES George Hughson (52), a Chester man of no fixed address. was committed by Chester Magistrates on Monday for trial at Chester Assizes. on charges of doing wilful damage to a plate glass window and a mirror at the premises of the Public Benefit Hoot Co.. Ltd., Northgate-street. Chester, and doing damage value £30 on 21st September. and breaking and entering the shop of the Public Benefit Boot Co. Ltd.. at the same and stealing two gentleman’s boots value £1.18s.2d. Mr. C H. Weller. Deputy’ Town Clerk, prosecuted. and said shortly after midnight on 21st September P.C Hartley was on duty In Princess-street when he heard the sound of breaking glass. He ran In the direction from which the sound came. and while he was crossing Northgate-street heard another crash of glass. As he got to the Public Benefit. boot shop, it was alleged that he saw prisoner standing by the side of the window with two boots in his hand. P.C. Hartley then saw a mirror near the entrance to the shop broken and the large side window, broken and the footwear in the window rearranged. When cautioned and charged Hughson made no reply. P.C. Hartley said near the window he found a large atone. George Fenton, of 27. Woodlands-drive. Chester. manager of the shop, said the boots taken were not a pair. -. I RESERVE MY DEFENCE” Phillip Walter Hewitt, 31. Vicarage-road, Hoole, employed In the Chester Corporation surveyor’s Dept., estimated the damage to the mirror and window at £30. Formally charged, Hughson said, ” I reserve my defence.” 

Chester, 42 Northgate Street, 1907- 1938

Chester, 54 Northgate, 1938- to at least 1941 & Liverpool Evening Express confirms still a repairing factory

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

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

Staff associated with Chester

William Herrenden Harker He had connections with the Rendable Shoe Co and managed Public Benefit Boot Co premises in Bolton, Chester and Urmston likely dates around 1880’s up to 1900’s  

Mr Crawford Manager of Foregate Street Chester found 4th QTR 1927

Mr Ballard Manager of the new repair factory at Chester 1926 & still there in 1928

George Frederick Blackburn Born 1861 at Diss, Norfolk, He worked in various locations and In 1911 he managed the company premises at 32 Northgate Street, Chester, Cheshire.   

William Robert Chapman 1911 he managed the company’s premises at 23 Foregate Street, Chester.consult surnames A-D

George Fenton Manager of the Chester shop in 1946 consult Northern Branches

Mr Morrish Managing Northgate Chester Branch 1st QTR 1928


Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald Nov 1882 George Williams, was further charged with stealing a pair boots the property of the People’s Benefit Boot Company, Low Pavement Chesterfield, of the value of 6s. lid. on Friday night. Superintendent Emery stated that when Prisoner was brought before Mr Marsden on Saturday for remand he said that he had never done any work and never should do so until he was sent to a place where they would make him. He likewise observed that he had Pinched” a pair of boots from a shop in the town and had he been able to dispose of them he would not have there. Enquiries were made which showed the place from whence the boots had been stolen. The prisoner had previously been convicted ot felony and had served seven years thereafter. That being the case he (superintendent Emery) asked the Bench to commit him for trail on the charge. Evidence was given by John Goodwin in employ of the People’s Benefit Boot Company P.c. saddler showing that the boots were found in prisoner’s bundle on his being brought from the workhouse to the Police Station, the enquiries made showing that they were placed outside the boot shop on Friday morning” and were missed shortly before seven the same evening. The Bench committed the prisoner for trial at the sessions

Derbyshire Courier June 1892 A SHOP ASSISTANT 8 DEFALCATIONS. £100 STOLEN. George Edward Evans, shop assistant, living at Brimington. was brought up in custody and charged with stealing during in 1892 the sum of £100, the monies of John Kirby, boot factor, of Sheffield.—Mr. W. E. Clegg of Sheffield, appeared to prosecute, and the prisoner was represented Mr. J. Middleton. Chesterfield. The prisoner, who is but a youth of 18 is. pleaded guilty in response to the charge.- Mr. Clegg said his client carried on business at Sheffield and Chesterfield under the style of the Public Benefit Boot Company, and as the Bench had Heard prisoner pleaded guilty to the charge. The circumstances were shortly as follows :-The defendant bad been in Mr. Kirby’s employment for about 18 months as assistant in a shop in Chesterfield. A few days ago Mr. Kirby took stock at the shop and found that it was considerably lower than it ought to be. In consequence that he made inquiries and the result was that he discovered the defendant had been taking monies from the till for some considerable time. He had of coarse under the circumstances to prosecute him as an  example to his other employees. So far as Mr. Kirby was concerned he had no desire whatever to press the case against the defendant. He was young lad and as far as the prosecution had been able to ascertain had prior to his entering Mr. Kirbys’ employment borne a good character. He was afraid that for sometime he had been going wrong and he had got hold of bad companions, and had been given to betting: altogether living in a loose way. and that had very likely caused him to take this money. He was afraid too there had not been that supervision exercised over the lads at the shop which there might have been, and to some extent the manager of the place had been lax in his duties. Had he exercised more supervision he would have probably found out the decreasing of the stock much sooner. So far as Mr. Kirby was concerned he was not desirous to press the case unduly and if the Bench after hearing Mr. Middleton would deal with him under the first offenders Act. so far as the prosecution was concerned they would be satisfied with that. He was a youth and had life before him. and Mr. Kirby thought that if he were sent to gaol his life would be ruined and he would get into company which it was very undesirous he should meet with. Whereas if he were dealt with as he suggested he would have another chance, and might in time redeem the character he had lost.—He then called Mr. Kirby, who gave evidence Supporting this statement. He added that the prisoner confessed to the theft when questioned in the presence of Sergt. Fennemore.—Mr. Middleton said he pleaded guilty on the lad behalf.—Prisoner expressed his willingness to enter into recognisances to come up for judgement when called upon.—The magistrates released the prisoner, ordering him to come up for | judgement when called upon, and to find sureties for his good behaviour prisoner was bound in £1oo and two sureties of £50 each

Derbyshire Times October 1901 Man steals mat from the free library. Martha Robinson assistant at the Public benefit Boot Company shop Corporation Street stated between three and four in the afternoon on the 10th inst. she witnessed Daniel Collins coming down the free library steps carrying  a mat over his arm. He went towards St.Marys’ Gate

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

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

Chesterfield, 21 Stephenson Place, 1894-1950

Mr W. Brown Belper News From 1884 to 1904 he managed the Chesterfield Premises.Consult surnames A-D 

Chesterfield 21 Stephenson Place. Established since 1894

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

George Edward Evans…….Consult Northern Branches A-G for full details Born 1874 at Brimington, Derbyshire, son of Matthew EVANS, blacksmith, and his wife Hannah. From 1891 until 1892 he worked as a shop assistant at the Public Benefit Boot Co store at Chesterfield, Derbyshire. He assisted the owner & director John Kirby. George was caught embezzling the company and was prosecuted in 1892John Goodwin  Employed in 1882 by Peoples Benefit Boot company (Lennards) Chesterfield  

Martha Robinson  Assistant at Corporation Street Chesterfield 1901 consult Northern Branches A-G for details on court case Martha was a witness

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

Mr John Woolley Born 1877 at Sheffield, Yorkshire, he married Gertrude Woolley in 1902 at Sheffield. They had a son Clifford Woolley 1904 at Chesterfield, Derbyshire where John managed the company’s premises at 21 Stephenson Place.  March 1944 and had been manager of the branch since 1903 Consult surnames T-Z for full details of Mr Woolley


Newcastle daily Chronicle Sept 1922 At the Chester-le-Street Police Court Sarah Morales (31), married woman, was summoned for doing wilful damage, to the amount of £19  10s. early on Sunday to some shop windows of premises occupied by the Public Benefit Boot Company. The defendant was bound over for six months, and agreed to pay the damage by weekly instalments of 10s

85 & 87 Front Street

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

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

T. R Mason Chester Le Street Branch 1924 & 1925

Fred Ward Born 14 January1875 at Kendall, Westmorland. At the age of 16 he worked as a Kendal boot dealer’s assistant and from at least 1901 to 1911 he managed the company’s premises at 85-87 Front Street, Chester-le-Street. consult T-V surnames 


15 Chapel Street Lancashire Evening Post June 1938 in 1941 

Chorlton Cum Hardy

Jarrow Express July 1906 BREAKING VALUABLE WINDOWS . An Ashton-under-Lyne young man, Thomas Lawrence, appeared before the magistrates at Manchester City Police Court, on Monday, charged with breaking large plate glass windows at the shop of the Public Benefit Boot Company, doing damage to the extent of £55, and also with breaking a large plate-glass window of Messrs. Johnson Bros., and again doing damage to the  extent of £35. The shops are in Oxford Road . Chorlton-on-Medlock, and it transpired . . prisoner put his foot through them in the early  hours of the morning. He was apprehended policeman as he was leaving the boot shop. Inquiries had been made as to the state of his mind. Prisoner said his nerves were in a weak state. The doctor from Strange ways said whilst the  prisoner was rather weak, he was mentally sound. prisoner was sent to gaol for FOUR months. 

Branch at Stockton Road/Beech Road Confirmed Manchester Evening news January 1897


21 Bradford Road 1927-1936 the Branch was on the corner of Albion Street and Bradford Road. It stood opposite the Town Hall on Bradford Road occupying a unit within the Conservative Club.

J D Brown  in the 1st QTR 1928 sent to manage the Cleckheaton Branch. 

Colwyn bay

found in 1927 4th QTR


Congleton & Macclesfield & Cheshire general advertiser Oct 1884 THE PUBLIC BENEFIT BOOT STORES, HIGH STREET. BRADLEY GREEN B. MILNES (LATE W. TYLER) TAKES the present opportunity of thanking his numerous patrons in Bradley Green and neighbourhood, for their kind and liberal support, and trusts by strict attention to their interests, to secure their continued favours. His Business is conducted on READY CASH Principles. which enables him to purchase in the Cheapest markets, and to sell Better Value than Buyers on Credit can Supply. All the usual requisites for a Boot Trade are in Stock. Repairs are now done on the Premises in superior Style; or the common work will be done at Reduced prices when specially ordered. New Side-Springs put into old Boots for Is., and upwards per full set. It does not make any difference where the Boots were bought. All our Goods are Warranted. Punctuality and attention to Customer’s wishes may be depended on. B. M. respectfully solicits all parties who want full value for their money to come to The Public Benefit Boot Stores, High Street, Bradley Green. 

The above branch advertised consistently from June to december 1884

5 Bridge Street 1934 kellys. A photo of the branch is now on the gallery sent in by Chris Thompson.

Staffordshire sentinel May 1947 adv for staff at 5 Bridge Street

He sent in two photos one with his uncle,Archer Stubbs, once thought to be his Grandfather standing outside. This photo was thought to be 5 Bridge Street but after intense research believe strongly it is actually number 16 high street opposite the Town Hall. Further details can be accessed in Surnames P-S for Archer Stubbs.


John McDougal Manager of Consett Branch in 1923 as reported in Yorkshire Post 4th July 1923.

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

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

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

21 Middle Street, 1925 

Consett, 23 Middle Street, 1934-1938 Kellys northumberland

COVENTRY including Solihull   

Coventry Herald March 1905 Edward Southwell (22). labourer, was indicted for breaking into the premises of the Public Benefit Boot Company and stealing twenty pairs of boots. boot laces, and pairs of leggings. Frederick Clayton (18), filer, and Samuel Henry Cox (22). polisher, pleaded guilty to the offence, and Southwell not guilty. Mr. Horace Rowlands prosecuted.—The property was stolen from the shop and secreted behind lavatory door of the adjoining disused factory. A watch was kept, and prisoners were captured Detectives Potts & Scott with the articles in their possession  after an exciting chase. In trying to escape Cox dropped forty feet off the warehouse roof and had to be taken to the hospital.—Southwell said be did not take part in breaking into these premises, but that knew the others had done and came to help them remove the stolen property. Prisoner said that the boots he was wearing were given to him by Cox.—Southwell was found guilty of receiving.—Cox was sentenced to three weeks’ imprisonment. Clayton was dealt with under the First Offenders Act. Southwell was sentenced to a week’s imprisonment. 

Coventry Evening Telegraph Jan 1936 The New “Benefit” Shoe Store open” to morrow The Public Benefit Boot Co.. Ltd. is well-known in Coventry and district, and their entirely new and modern store opens to-morrow, January 31st, with a complete selection of footwear for all occasions. A premier range of early Spring Shoes has been provided, representing the newest style shoes for ladies exceptional value in the famous Benefit shoes for men—and children’s shoes of all kinds. You are Invited to inspect the extensive window display. See this outstanding selection of shoes for all —at prices to suit all Old and new customers will Note the address the new appreciate the modern and building in Smithford Street furnished and equipped to comfortable fitting rooms. make shopping • pleasure. 

Coventry, 3 & 4 Hales Street & Branch Spon Street, 1880-1884 (Spon Street opened June 1880)

Coventry,  40-41 Smithford Street, Great Boot Hall 1884-1937                                         (Samuel Harker, manager, 1884; S Harker & Son, proprietor 1912-1913; consult surnames E-H for full details of Samuel Harker

Edith Ann Harker 1891-1893 assisting her father at the Coventry branch

Frederick John Harker He worked at the Public Benefit Boot Co dealership set up by his father in Smithfield Street, Coventry from circa 1898 and up to 1902 approx could be beyond.

Gertrude Ruth Harker At age of 12 she joined her brother Frederick and sisters Edith and Miriam, assisting in her father’s large Public Benefit Boot Co premises in Smithfield Street, Coventry.

J Handford  Manager 40-51 Smithford Street Coventry 1921 -22

John Marston In the 1880’s he managed the Public Benefit Boot Co shop at 4 Hales Street and Spon Street, Coventry. He later moved to Edgbaston where his son William John assisted in the boot shop

T J Pitt  Manager at 40-41 Smithford Street Coventry found 3rd QTR 1924 -1927

Coventry,  45 Smithford Street, 1937-1940

Coventry   46 Smithford Street Public Benefit Boot Chambers Rugby Advertiser 15th January 1937 This was a financial centre?

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

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

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


Crewe Chronicle 10-12 Victoria Street (Hilton’s) & Messrs Cleland Mill Street Dec 1920

68 Market Street, 1914-1934 confirmed Kellys & Cheshire Observer 1926 

Crewe Chronicle May 1922 11 Coppenhall Terrace Crewe

 B W Breeze Chester Chronicle 4th august 1917 Private W. B. Breeze reported killed October 1st 1916 in the South Lancs regiment he was the late manager of the Market Street Branch at Crewe. His epitaph reads: The unknown grave is the bitterest blow. None but aching hearts can know. From his loving wife and child.


W P Laws Manager of Crook branch 1924 sent to manage new branch at Gosforth 3rd QTR 1926

Fred Lax Born 1865 at Crook, Co Durham, he married Emily Jane PROCTER in 1900 and ten years later 1910 he managed the company’s premises at 10 Hope Street, Crook

10 Hope Street, 1911-1938


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

Miss Batton moves to managership of Crossgates 2nd Qtr 1924

Mr Broughton Manager of Dewsbury Road and sent to Crossgates 1st QTR 1927


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


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 Merriweather Manager for Darlington also consult surnames A-D for Merriweather

George Graham In 1891 he was a boot salesman in Newcastle and after spending some years at Middlesbrough, by 1901 he managed the Public Benefit Boot Co premises at 19 High Row, Darlington.

J. E. Hall manager of Darlington 1924, Manager of Sunderland in 1925 & Appointed inspector for the North-East region in 1927

C Ward Darlington Branch 1925

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

Darlington, 43 High Row, 1908-1926

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

Darlington, 1945


 231 Main Street, 1911 Sheffield district

Darnall  660 Staniforth Road listed 1920

Miss Batton Previous branches Birmingham and Darnall moves to managership of Crossgates 2nd Qtr 1924In 1911

Albert Hickinbottom senior managed the Public Benefit Boot Co premises at 231 Main Road, Darnall, Yorkshire. He worked for the company for 22 years



Derby Babington Buildings St Peter’s Street.

DERBY DAILY TELEGRAPH 23rd OCTOBER 1879  The ” Big Boot ” Trouble.—At the Borough Police Court, on Tuesday morning, before Messrs. Longden and Turner, a man named William Miller ..Consult Surnames I-O for full details of Mr Miller

1880 7th April Derby Telegraph Man in the Boot Trouble.—This (Wednesday) morning, at the Derby Police Court, John Brelsworth ….. Consult Surnames A-D for full details of Mr Brelsworth

Derby Daily Telegraph July 1887 Two Ads: ANOTHER BOOT SHOP IN PETER’S STREET (OPPOSITE COMMERCIAL BANK). GRAND OPENING NEXT FRIDAY. PUBLIC BENEFIT BOOT COMPANY (BRANCH FROM THE BIG BOOT. 2nd Adv. PUBLIC BENEFIT BOOT COMPANY, 24, 26, and 20, London-street, Derby, have secured the shop lately occupied the National Tea Company NUMBER 2 opposite the Commercial Bank, St. Peter’s-street, and will be OPENED with a Grand Selection of BOOTS and SHOES, suitable for all classes

Derby Mercury November 1888 Alleged extensive thefts of boots— Elizabeth Westwood and Fanny Westwood, mother and daughter were charged with stealing a pair of boots, and a pair of shoes, from a stall in the Morledge on the 7th inst. belonging- to George Cousins, of Leicester. Fanny Westwood was further charged with stealing a pair of boots from the shop of Richard Stonier, of St. James’s-street and Elizabeth with stealing a pair of boost, from the shop of the Public Benefit Boot Company.— Detective Clay deposed to receiving information from Mr. Cousins of the articles being stolen from his stall in the market held in the Morledge. Witness made enquiries and found that the boots, had been pledged by the younger prisoner at the shop of Mr. Butters, in Willow-row. The boots belonging to the Public Benefit Boot Company were found to be pledged at Cooper’s shop in the Morledge for 3.. 6d. by the elder female. Witness should be able to prove that the women were seen together near Mr. Cousin’s stall shortly before the things were missed. On the prisoners, house, 14, Liversage-street. being searched, no less. than 79 pawn tickets were found chiefly relating to boot, and shoes. The prisoner Elizabeth, upon being charged with the offence, said she was not in the Morledge until late on Friday. The other woman Said she had destroyed the tickets relating to the pledging of the. articles. — Both women were remanded until Tuesday

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

Derby Daily Telegraph Feb 1891 Said lady to a friend, ” I think our children wear out more boots than any other children.” The reply was, ” I thought the same of mine until I bought their boots at the Public Benefit Boot Co., London-street, and Peter’s street. They last twice as long as any others, and are cheaper.

From 1887 to July/Aug 1893 the only two retail premises were 24-28 London Street and 2 St.Peter’s Street(Bottom end)


Derby, 24-28 London Street, 1879-1899 (George Edward Franklin, proprietor, 1881-1896) confirmed by Kelly’s National directory of Great Britain 1896

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


Derby Daily Telegraph October 1896 Robbing his Master..—John Nunneley, ….Consult Surnames I-O for full details of Mr Nunneley

Derby Babington Buildings depiction

GEORGE EDWARD FRANKLIN  became a Derby councillor and during the course of this engagement helped to oversee the taking down of the Jacobean manor house Babington House. The house had been for some years used as a retail establishment supporting many small and medium sized concerns, and in 1896/7 traders were selling off their stock in preparation for the last day of trading in 1897. Franklin became the proprietor of the extensive eight windowed premises he erected.



George Edward Franklin Born 1849 at Elton,  In 1872 at Grimsby he married Elizabeth HUNN. George came to Hull in 1873 and opened a grocery and beer off with a liquor license and soon joined his brother William Henry FRANKLIN in the very early days of the Public Benefit Boot Co not only in Hull but Derby. He was subsequently based at Derby from where he managed the company’s branches in the region. Consult E-H surnames 

Miss Appleby assistant babington buildings 1950/60’s

Anne Bakewell Assistant Babbington Buildings Derby 1950’s/60’s

Anne Beardsmore  1958 she started work as a shop assistant at Benefit Footwear in Derby on a weekly wage of £2.50.

Joan Eley Assistant Babbington Buildings Derby 1950’s/60’

Peggy Goodwin Assistant Babbington Buildings Derby 1950’s/60’s

Miss Hawley Assistant Babbington Buildings Derby 1950’s/60’s

June Hood  Assistant Babbington Buildings Derby 1950’s/60’s

June Key Derbyshire Times & Chesterfield Herald 21st July 1950 married she was a Benefit Footwear employee (photo in the news paper)

Jean Manning  Assistant Babbington Buildings Derby 1950’s/60’s

John Nunnerley Shop assistant at the Public Benefit Boot Co branch at St Peter’s Street, Derby in 1896. Consult I-O for full details of court case involving John in embezzlement

Frederick Schofield He worked as a boot salesman and buyer in Derby and later managed the prestigious Public Benefit Boot Co Metropole branch in Derby. By the 1920s he was living at Birmingham and a director of the Public Benefit Boot Co. He was also a district manager as was proven by a 1901 Felony case at Retford.                                        Long Eaton Advertiser  Aug 1901 At Retford Edward Wall late manager of the Retford Branch of the Public Benefit Boot co. was charged on remand with embezzling certain sums of money. Consult surnames P-S

Pat Sharpe Assistant Babbington Buildings Derby 1950’s/60’s

H.Silk  Manager of 88 Osmaston Road repairs factory Derby

Basil Walker In the 1950’s he managed the large Benefit Footwear premises on the corner of St Peter’s Street and Osmaston Road, Derby. The company occupied this site for more than 70 years and there were three busy sales floors. Basil’s daughter Jackie also worked at this branch

Judy Walker  Assistant Babbington Buildings Derby 1950’s/60’s

Harry Ward Manager of Babington Buildings Derby from 1915-1941.Consult T-V surnames for full details of obituary

Arthur Weston Born 1867 at Derby. He first worked at the Public Benefit Boot Co premises in Derby before going on to manage a branch in Warwickshire and in 1911 the company’s premises at 95 High Street, Bromsgrove, Worcestershire.

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

Derby Daily Telegraph Sept 1910 A Franchise arrangement was set in place the franchisee Fred Schofield would be installed into the Large emporium Babington Buildings (BIG BOOT).The PUBLIC BENEFIT BOOT COMPANY, Limited, beg to announce that they have PURCHASED the BUSINESS of the SOLACE SHOE COMPANY, Limited, carried on at 47 St. Peter’s-street, Derby, and that the said business has now been transferred to the (Metropole) Babington-lane, which establishment will In future be under the personal supervision of Mr. Fred Schofield. THE PUBLIC BENEFIT BOOT” CO., LTD

Nottingham Evening Post Sept 1909 A Huge gas explosion tore holes in the pavement with the greater force manifesting itself at the corner of babington Lane . Apart from holes in the pavement Two large plate glass windows in the shop occupied by Public Benefit Boot company were smashed. Such was the extreme force people thought it was an earthquake as eleven man hole covers weighing 2 cwt a piece were hurled into the air. It began in a transformer chamber near to the Queens’ statue at the ‘spot’ as Thomas Thorne of Corporation lighting department turned on a switch the explosion occurred from a spark from the switch.

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

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


Mr Cooper Window dresser Dewsbury described as an artist on musical matters and his wife is an accomplished soprano soloist.

Mr Horner  New manager at Dewsbury branch 1st QTR 1926

An attempt to  nurture a presence in Dewsbury and other towns as a franchisee began with Charles Burrows. A manufacturer and boot factor from the leeds/Bradford markets. In this stamping ground he wold have met and befriended the Franklins and lennards and for a time it looked like he was going to be a winner, until sales in the boot market plummeted, if only for a while but it was enough, along with his large investment into the grand central coffee tavern, to turn success to failure. His shops, mainly in Yorkshire, traded mainly under the Public Benefit Boot Company banner at 15, Buxton Road, Huddersfield, he also took on shops at  Cleckheaton, Stockport, East Hartlepool, Grimsby, Bradford and Heckmondwike and Rochdale using other trading titles Eagle shoe mart & Yorkshire Boot company.Franchising was commonplace in Victorian England.

circa 1901 Then 14 Market place 1917-1936

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

Dewsbury  199 Dewsbury Road in 1947

 1940 it was Northgate corner off the Market place. no: 32-34. A company ad. for 17th April 1953 in Yorkshire Evening Post advertises Airborne brand shoes at their Dewsbury branch.


Mr Mallinder New manager sent to new Branch at Dinnington 2nd QTR 1926

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


Pontefract Advertiser July 1891 The dagger waving flags. A shocking accident has occurred to a man named Samuel Roper, who is employed at the Doncaster plant, and who resides Stanley Street. The locality of the accident was Jubilee Buildings, a new and high erection facing to the new road leading to the station. In connection with the Royal Show the manager of the Public Benefit Boot Company who occupies one of the shops, placed out of the attic Window a pole to which was suspended a long flag. On the topmost coping of the building, and in a line with the buttresses that are built in front of the building -a number of large stones were placed carved as urns. Whether these had not been secured sufficiently  remain to be seen. During the time that the flag has Been waving it has wrapped itself around one of those stone urns, and with the evident result that it must have loosened the ornament. As Roper was walking past the Jubilee Buildings the urn fell, striking him on the temple and dashing out his brains. The stone next rebounded, and crushed one of his heels. Of course, when the poor fellow was reached he was dead.

Sheffield independent Feb 1896 A GENTLEMAN’S SERVANT IN TROUBLE AT DONCASTER. At the Doncaster Borough Police Court yesterday, there stood in the dock Alfred Broughton, aged 24, of smart appearance, and described as a gentleman’s servant, of Darrington, near Pontefract. He was charged with having stolen a pair of shoes and gaiters, and 10s/-. “by a trick” from the Public Benefit Boot Company.— Charles Hill, assistant in the service of the Public Benefit Boot Company, stated that about 11 o’clock on Wednesday morning, the prisoner entered the shop and asked for a pair of gentleman’s brown shoes and a pair of gaiters. The shoes sold were valued at 7s. lid., and the gaiters at 2s. o_d. The prisoner passed to him a coin purporting to be a sovereign, and he was given 10s. o_d. in change. After the man had left the shop, the coin was examined and found to be only an imitation one. Information was given to the police, and witness and Sergeant Clayton went to the railway station. There the prisoner was recognised at the book- stall, and he was given into custody.— Ada Sarbutt, assistant, gave evidence as to receiving the coin produced, and then giving change, believing it to be a sovereign. She found out afterwards that it was not a proper coin.— Chief Constable Lister applied for the prisoner to be remanded in order that further inquiries might be made concerning him.— Mr. Parks, solicitor, said he appeared for the prisoner, but would reserve what he had to say until afterwards Consult surnames P-S for full details of Ada Emily Sarbutt & E-H for details of Charles Hill

Goole Times Feb 1896 Shop door robbery George Utley Blacksmith stole a pair of boots hanging outside the door. Mr Isaac.Vaughan manager said the prisoner was begging and after he had gone the boots were missed. Prisoner remanded

Goole Times March 1896 Charles William Howgate  of Leeds was  charged on suspicion of stealing boots missed from the front of the shop. Prisoner and another man were found dealing with them. Remanded for enquiries

William Bilton 1893-1897 at 41-43 St Sepulchre Gate Doncaster

Mr Damms Manager of Doncaster Repair facility 4th Qtr 1927 began at Sheffield in 1900

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

Charles Hill Shop assistant at the Doncaster premises 41-43 St Sepulchre Street of the Public Benefit Boot Co in 1896. Gave evidence of a crime committed at the shop E-H for details

Robert Haywood Jones In 1911 Robert was a partner in the Public Benefit Boot Co dealership that traded at 41-43 St Sepulchre Gate, Doncaster, West Yorkshire. He was also the grandfather of David Robert Jones who went on to become the well-known singer David Bowie. Robert served in WWI and was killed in action in France on 18 November 1916 aged 34.

Haywood Stenton Jones born St. Sepulchre Street Doncaster David Bowies’ dad

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

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 G L Reed Newly appointed manager of Woodgate’s 2nd Qtr 1924 sent to manage Doncaster Branch 1st QTR 1926

Ada Emily Sarbutt. She was a sister-in-law of William Henry FRANKLIN, founder of the Public Benefit Boot Co. In 1896 she worked as a shop assistant at the Doncaster premises of the company.

F J Simpson  manager of Doncaster Branch 1924 & 1925

Isaac Vaughan Born 1858 at Llansilin, Denbighshire.  Throughout the 1880’s and early 1900’s he was associated with Public Benefit Boot Co branches in Louth and Grimsby and for some years managed the company’s large premises at 41 Sepulchre Gate, Doncaster. In 1911 his daughter Mable and son Harold were assisting in the business at Doncaster. Consult Surnames T-V for full biographical details

Born 1895 at Doncaster, Yorkshire, son of Isaac VAUGHAN, boot dealer. In 1911 he worked as a shop assistant in the Public Benefit Boot Co branch managed by his father at 41 Sepulchre Gate, Doncaster. During WWI he served in the Yorkshire Light Infantry.  see surnames T-V  for full details

Mabel Vaughan   Born 1890 at Doncaster, Yorkshire, daughter of Isaac Vaughan. In 1911 she worked as a shop assistant in the Public Benefit Boot Co branch managed by her father at 41 Sepulchre Gate, Doncaster. In the 1940’s she ran a shop at Penmaenmawr near Conway, Wales with her widowed sister-in-law Mildred Vaughan. see surnames T-V  for full details

Miss Walker Many years’ assistant at the Doncaster Branch married 3rd QTR 1926

Doncaster,  47 St Sepulchre Gate, 1901-1920’s at least!

Doncaster 1945


Driffield Times Oct 1943 SMASH AMD GRAB RAID AT DRIFFIELD On Monday night a smash and grab raid took place at the shop of the Public Benefit Boot and Shoe Company. Limited, situated in the Market Place, Driffield. One of the large plate glass windows was broken and boots and shoes extracted . The thief or thieves must have been very Ignorant of the customs of boot and shoe dealers because for all their risk and trouble all the boots and shoes stolen were odd ones. The Police are dealing with the matter. 

4 Market Place, 1913-1937 confirmed Kellys

Driffield: opened circa 1913 at 4 Market place

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

William Butterfield  from the 1880’s to 1911 he and his wife managed the boot dealership at 31-32 Market Place, assisting in the business at various times their daughters Jessie and Jane and nieces Clara Pickles and Anna Marie Hainsworth.

Anna Marie Hainsworth  daughter of Alfred Hainsworth, boot-maker, and his wife Annie Maria Butterfield. From 1891 until 1901 she worked as a boot shop assistant at the Driffield premises managed for many years by her uncle and aunt, William and Mary Butterfield

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

Clara Pickles From 1891 until 1911 she worked as a boot shop assistant at the Driffield premises managed for many years by her uncle and aunt, William and Mary BUTERFIELD.

Dudley (See also Brierley Hill)

Dudley Mercury Brierley Hill 30th November 1889 216 High Street 

216 High Street, 1892

31 Market Place 1916


Thomas Atkinson In the early 1890s he managed the Public Benefit Boot Co premises at 216 High Street, Dudley, Worcestershire.

Mr Fisher Manager of Dudley Branch in 1924

Mr Wildridge  Manager of Dudley branch moved to Springhill branch 1924


22 Silver Street, 1901-1911

Durham County Advertiser Friday 28th January 1910 Opening of the BENEFIT BOOT & SHOE COMPANY, limited (ENGLAND’S GREAT FOOTWEAR PROVIDERS) trust to gain and retain your patronage by supplying goods which possess all the fine qualities which make them distinctive and absolutely reliable BOOTS & SHOES. Every BENEFIT Boot is made to sell another “BENEFIT” Boot, each a recommendation for sterling worth and good wear resisting quality. 134. FRAMWELLGATE BRIDGE, branches at Sunderland, South Shields, Hartlepool, Darlington, Stockton, Thornaby.Middlesborough. This branch remained trading until 1938

Hartlepool Northern Daily Mail October 1929 RUNAWAY HORSE’S CAREER. Finish in Durham Shop Window. A horse owned by Mr George Stobbs a butcher, of Langley Moor, bolted on Saturday while being yoked to a trap and galloped three miles into Durham, where it failed to take a  turn and went headlong into the plate glass window of the premises of the Public Benefit Boot Company. Mr Stobbs’ son had left the horse for moment after yoking, and during that time it appeared to have been startled and dashed away, taking the trap with it. The terrified animal left the trap behind somewhere and ran down the hill of Crossgate in its harness with the shafts of the trap attached. Near the foot of the hill the horse struck a boy named John Rolling, of Gilesgate, Durham, but was fortunate to escape serious injury. The animal failed to take the turn on to Framwellgate Bridge and ran into the window causing a good deal of damage

R Johnson  Manager of the Durham branch 134 Framwellgate since 1925 to 1934 Sunderland echo Sept 1934 reports tragedy as runaway lorry kills 3, injures 3 and stops at the P.B. shop destroying four plate glass windows  Manager Mr. R. Johnson consult surnames I-O for MR Johnson

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

 John Albion Henry Bainbridge circa 1901-1911 Manager

Earlestown. Newton Le Willows 

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

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

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

Easington Colliery  

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

East Hartlepool, 1900


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

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

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

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


Main Street, 1924-1938

T. O. Cockett  Ferryhill Branch 1924-1927

Miss V. Toward Working in the Ferryhill branch found 2nd Qtr 1925

Firth Park

Sheffield 3rd QTR 1927

Gateshead consult Newcastle


Daily Gazette for Middlesboro Feb 1890 A SUICIDE’S EXTRAORDINARY DELUSION. An inquest was held yesterday at West Stockwith, Notts, before Dr. Horsley, as to the death of Elizabeth Coulson, aged 30 years, who was found drowned in the Trent on Wednesday, after mysteriously disappearing the previous Monday night. Deceased was the wife of a Gainsborough tradesman named Tom Coulson, who represents the Public Benefit Boot Company as the Gainsborough manager…..Consult Surnames A-D for full details of Elizabeth Coulson 

Hull Daily Mail October 1890 Hannah Cater was charged with stealing three pairs of boots, value 13s 9d, the property of the Public Benefit Boot Company, Gainsborough, on August 2nd. It appeared that the prisoner went to the shop and asked for some boots to take home and try on, and the manager let her have three pairs, he now identified them as his property when produced in court. She did not pay for them, and gave the name of Mrs Smith, 43, Marlborough street.—The Bench, considering there was a lack of evidence of larceny, dismissed the case

Lincolnshire Echo June 1897 DISAPPEARANCE OF A GAINSBOROUGH SHOPMAN. SUPPOSED ABDUCTION OF A GIRL. The town of Gainsborough has been afforded a topic for conversation by the sudden disappearance of Mr. Tom Coulson, manager of the Public Benefit Boot Company, Market-place….. Consult Surnames A-D for full details of Tom Coulson and his assistant

Staff associated with Gainsborough

Tom Coulson Born 1858 at Hull, married Elizabeth ELLIS who at the time worked as a Hull boot shop assistant (possibly for the Public Benefit Boot Co). Around 1881-82 they moved to Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, where their son Frank COULSON was born in 1882. His wife Elizabeth died in 1890 and he married secondly to Hetty SCHWARTZ  (assistant at Gainsborough)  For around 16 years Tom managed the Public Benefit Boot Co branch at Gainsborough from 1882 -1896. consult surnames A-D

Heaton Street, 1882-1893 Tom Coulson manager

Boston Guardian 19 Bridge Street Gainsbrough 26th March 1887

Gainsborough, 38 Market Place (Cnr Silver Street), 1892- 1896  and the shop traded until 1965

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 E-H surnames

Kate Ellis Born abt 1871 at Hull, Yorkshire, daughter of Johnson ELLIS, boot maker, and his wife Emma DEAN. In 1891 she worked as a boot dealer’s assistant at the Gainsborough branch of the Public Benefit Boot Co managed by her brother-in-law Tom Coulson.

H.Franklin Manager of the Gainsbrough Branch 1924


F Stoton Manager Goldthorpe Branch 1924 & 1925

4 Doncaster Road, 1912-1936


Easter Morning News June 1899 Serious CHARGE AGAINST A SERVANT. Jessie Townes, a domestic servant Goole, was charged at the Police Court on Saturday with unlawfully obtaining possess:on of three pairs of shoes valued at 17s 11d, the property cf the Public Benefit Boot Company, Goole; Consult Surnames A-D William Bilton for full details

Hull daily Mail October 1910 WHAT THE MANAGERESS SAW AT GOOLE.  Saturday, Goole, John Kelly, labourer, was charged with stealing a pair of gent’s boots, belonging to the Public Benefit Boot Company, Bridge-street. Consult surnames A-D for full details of the crime under Nora Brady(manageress)

William Bilton By 1891 was managing the Public Benefit Boot Company premises at 33 Boothferry Road, Goole, 

Nora Brady Manageress of a Goole Branch 1910 she gave evidence of a crime committed at the shop Hull daily Mail October 1910

Mr F. C. Braithwaite  managed premises at Goole,  in the 1930’s and 1940’s.

John William Bramman Born 7 May 1903 at Goole,  As a young lad, he worked as an errand boy for four shillings a week at the Public Benefit Boot Co shop at 33 Boothferry Road, Goole 1913 consult surnames A-D

Mr Butler Manager of the ladies’ saloon at the premises  at 33 Boothferry Road, Goole,  around 1913-1914.

Eva Button Born 1914 at Goole,  At the age of 15 she worked as a junior sales for Benefit Footwear in Goole, earning eight shillings per week. She was very happy working there and on some weekends assisted at the company’s premises at King Edward Street, Hull and in Whitefriargate, Hull. Over the eight years she worked for Benefit Footwear, her wages rose to 19 shillings per week. She left the job to get married in 1938

Ethel May Dews  Born 27 Dec 1897 at Goole. For more than 35 years she worked as first sales lady at several of the Public Benefit Boot Co premises at Goole. She did not marry and died at Goole in 1984 aged 86.

Miss Johnson Manager Bridge Street Goole 1925

Miss Stones  Manageress of the Public Benefit Boot Co branch at 19 Bridge Street, Goole, Yorkshire, 1913-1914.

33 Boothferry Road, 1896-1927

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

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

Gosforth, (Newcastle) See Newcastle


Consult surnames E-H for full details of William John Goodman manager

Grantham Journal July 1890 Not Responsible for His Actions.—Walter Parker Pick, horse-breaker and clipper, of Billinghay, was charged, on remand, with obtaining from the Public Benefit Boot Company, Grantham, a pair of boots, value 14s 6d, on the 25th ult., with intent to defraud. The Chief Constable said he had made inquiries respecting the prisoner, and found that he was not really responsible for his notions. He had come up for the Militia training, but had been discharged; and had been in custody at Boston, for attempting to commit suicide. He had received a letter from prisoner’s mother, saying that was not of sound mind. —The magistrates further remanded him, for period not exceeding eight days. 

Grantham Journal Nov 1891 Theft of Boots.—Mary Ann Richardson, 12, Albert’ terrace, married woman, was charged on remand with with stealing, on the 9th inst from the outside of the shop of the Public Benefit Boot Company, 7, London-road,, one pair of women’s buttoned boots, value 4/11.—The evidence given at the last hearing was read over, and prisoner, who elected to be dealt with summarily, pleaded not guilty. She stated that on the Monday? previous she was going home, and when opposite the nursery-path, on the London-road, she saw a woman, who beckoned her to-come across the road. She went to her, and the woman asked if she would buy a pair of boots, which she produced. She wanted 3/6 for them. Prisoner at first declined to take them, but eventually she purchased them for 3/-. The woman was a stranger to her. The Mayor said the prisoner would be fined 10/-or seven days’ imprisonment in default of payment. He might say that the magistrates thought it very un-. wise on the part of tradesmen to expose their goods at’ the shop-doors, in the way in which the boots in question were exposed.It offered a very great temptation for people to steal them

Lincolnshire Chronicle April 1894 Wm. Rose, dyer, of Nottingham, was charged on remand with stealing two pairs of boots valued at 15s. 10d., the property of the Public Benefit Boot Company, London-road, on the 31st ult. The evidence snowed that on the night in question a man named Ferryman saw the prisoner loitering about the prosecutor’s shop. He watched him, and saw him take two pairs of boots from outside the shop window. Prisoner dropped one pair and went off with the other. P.c. Summers followed Rose and caught him in Harrow-street, and found a new pair of boots in his possession. Prisoner pleaded guilty to stealing one pair of boots. He expressed his sorrow, and said he was very drunk or he would not have committed the crime. fined 20s or 14 days in default

GRANTHAM COUNTY COURT. Tuesday. (Before His Honour Judge Hooper.) Claim for Rent.—An action was brought by Mr. T. Sumner, chemist, London-road, Grantham, to recover tha sum of £6 lis. 9d., from Mr. 6. B. Hall, of Grimsby, executor Richard Franklin, boot and shoe dealer, late of London-road, Grantham.—Mr. F. W. Robinson appeared for the defendant.—Plaintiff stated that Mr. Franklin was his tenant, and owed the amount stated for rent of a shop and house on London road.—Mr. Robinson said his defence was that there were no assets at the present time to meet the debt.-— Plaintiff said that about a week after Mr. Franklin’s death, defendant saw him, and said Mr. Franklin’s son was going to take the business, and that the rent would all right. Would he accept the son as tenant, he (Mr. Hall) had been appointed executor. Plaintiff said he would.—Mr. Robinson contended that the defendant had never acted as executor under the will, and therefore could not be held responsible for the debt, and that there was money to distribute now.—Plaintiff said he wrote to the son, and disclaimed any liability.—Defendant was called, and swore he never told the plaintiff he was the executor. —Mr. Robinson said there was no desire on the part of the defendant to ” do ” plaintiff out of his rent, but he certainly was not liable.— The Judge said there was no evidence that defendant was the executor or that there were any assets. Judgment for defendant, but his Honour remarked that plaintiff could seize the goods in the shop under a distress warrant.

Grantham Journal April 1900 7 London Road Grantham the Public Benefit Freehold shop was sold at Auction for £710. 

Grantham Journal Aug 1901 Systematic Robberies.—John William Burton drayman, of Nottingham, and late of 16, Agnes-terrace, Grantham, was brought up on remand, charged with stealing £1 13s. 1d. and 3s. 7d . the monies of the Great Northern Railway Company, on 20th and 17th April respectively. There was a further charge of stealing Is. 5d. on the 15th April.—Supt. Parish, of King’s Cross, again represented the Company.—The evidence given at the previous hearing respecting the first charges was read over. It was to the effect that on the 20th April, prisoner, who was temporarily employed at the station in place of another carman, delivered a quantity of plants consigned Messrs. Escritt and Barrell, and Mr. Barrell paid him the carriage—£l 13s. Id. This prisoner should have given to the clerk at the station in the evening, but when he handed in his delivery-sheet he made the excuse that the money had not been paid, and that he would call for it on the following Monday. This he failed to do, and, moreover, did not return to work, his reason being that he had obtained a better job at Messrs. Hornsbys.—With regard to the 3s. 7d it appeared that the prisoner was instructed to collect the amount from the local manager of the Public Benefit Boot Company, London-road, being the carriage on two cases of boots. When asked why he had not collected the money, he replied that the senders would pay. Prisoner was received from the custody of the Nottingham police on Tuesday, July 23rd, and in reply to the charge said ” That’s all right, I expected it.”—Respecting the third charge, evidence was given by a man named Wilcox, of 39, Grantley-street. clerk in the goods department at Grantham, to the effect that on the 18th April prisoner was entrusted to deliver a case of goods to Messrs. Smith and Son, boot and shoe dealers, Watergate, on which there was Is. 5d. to pay. Upon returning to the station in the evening, he produced the (sheet, signed S. Murr. He did not hand witness the money, remarking that he had not got it. He was to call again for it the next day, and witness accordingly entered the amount on another delivery-sheet for collection on the following day. Prisoner did not on that, or any subsequent day, hand him the money. He said he had been unable to get it, as he had been leading sugar all day. Burton was found guilty and sentenced to 2 months hard labour 

Grantham Journal dec 1904 Theft of Boots.—Wm. Stokes, labourer, Birmingham, was brought up on remand, charged with stealing from the shop-doorway of the Public Benefit Boot Company, 27a, Market-place, on the 30th Nov., one pair of men’s boots, value 10s. 9d.—The evidence was to the effect that about six o’clock on the evening of Nov. 30th, a man, supposed to be the prisoner, was seen to take the boots, which were placed with others inside the doorway of the Company’s premises. He was arrested at the Workhouse on the following evening, with the boots in his possession.—Prisoner elected to be dealt with summarily, and pleaded not guilty.— In defence, he stated that he walked from Newark on the day in question, and was not in the town at the time the boots were stated to have been stolen. Prisoner also adhered to his former statement, that he bought them in Nottingham.—Mr. Goodwin (manager for the Public Benefit Boot Company) stated that there was no such shop in Nottingham as that named by the prisoner.—Fined 10s., or fourteen days’.

Grantham Journal Dec 1905 GRANTHAM BOROUGH POLICE-COURT. (Before the Mayor, Norton,) Alleged theft of boots George Henry Glover (29) Poplar London and Albert Coleman (23), Nottingham, were brought up in custody, charged with stealing a pair of boots, value 8s the property of the Public Benefit Book Company Limited, Market-place, Grantham, on the 1st inst.—Wm. John Goodman, manager in the employ of the prosecutors, stated that the boots (produced) were the property of the Public Benefit Boot Company, and of the value of 8s. He identified them by the mark on the sole—”The Yeoman”and no other tradesman dealt in this class of boot. He saw the boots inside the shop door on , Friday, about four o’clock* and at twenty minutes to five found they were gone. No boots were sold during that time from the door. He gave information to the police at five o’clock……..They were all charged and remanded to reappear 

Grantham Journal Sept 1906 Another Boot Thief —Tired ofTramping.—John White, labourer, of Poplar, and evidently, from his military bearing, old soldier, was charged with stealing, January 10th, a pair of boots, value 10s. 9d, from the shop of the Public Benefit Boot Company, Market-place.—Prisoner was seen to take the boots from a stack in the recessed doorway. He did not attempt to escape when detected, and requested that a policeman might be sent for, or he would somewhere else, and do the same thing Sergt. Summers said when he arrested the prisoner he said, ” My boots are bad, and I have walked from Melton Mowbray. lam tired of tramping about, and l am pining. That is What made me take them.”—Remanded to the Petty Sessions Monday next.

Grantham Journal May 1907 Caught Begging.—Geo. Jones, a tramp, was charged with vagrancy.—P.c. Almand stated that at 9.45 Saturday night he was on duty in the Marketplace, and saw the defendant go into Mr. Haines’ shop. He came out of that establishment, and entered the premises of the Public Benefit Boot Company. Witness followed him in, and asked him what he was up to Defendant replied “lam asking for a copper towards my night’s dose. Witness had cautioned him about an hour before for stopping people in the street. He was under the influence of drink, so witness locked him up. Complaints were made about defendant swearing at people who refused to give him anything. —Defendant: I wish to deny I was swearing.—TheChief Constable: I believe he belongs to the Militia. We have had lot of complaints about him.—Defendant produced a bundle of boot-laces from his pocket, and said be was trying sell them.—Mr. Hawkins: You would not go to a boot-shop to sell laces.— Defendant: I am a shoemaker myself, and thought I would get a little job.—The Mayor You will go to gaol for seven days to give you an opportunity of squaring yourself up to join the Militia.—Defendant: I beg your pardon ; I don’t belong to the Militia.

Grantham Journal May 1908  Small Girls’ Raid on Boot-shops.—Mother and Daughters Charged.—Minnie Mitchell (13) and Florence Mitchell (11), Pond-street. Great Gonerby, were charged with stealing, in May, a pair of boots value 3s. 11d. from Messrs. John Chambers and Son ; a pair shoes, value 2s. 11d., and a similar pair, value 2s. 9d., both the property of the Holgate Leicester Boot Company ; and on the 20th January last a pair of boots, value 2s. 9Ad., the property Messrs. Dunn and Co. The prisoners’ mother, Eliza Ann Mitchell, was charged with receiving the goods in two of the cases, well knowing them to have been stolen.—ln Court, there was a display of some two dozen pairs boots and shoes which had been recovered.—Mr. Goodman, manager to the Public Benefit Boot Company, stated that Monday evening last, from information received from P.c. Cox, he stood in their workshop passage and saw the two prisoners in front of Messrs. Chambers’ shop, pulling boots from the hooks hanging outside. he followed them as far Mr. Cammack’s and On speaking to the little girl, she made no reply, but took a pair of boots from under her cloak. Mr Goodman gave the prisoners in charge of P.c. Cox. Witnesses appeared  Mr H.S.Holgate, Mr A Basker pawnbroker, Thos. Oliver Messrs Smith and Warren pawnbrokers 14 castlegate, a representative Frank Beecham of Freeman Hardy and Willis and one from Dunn’s bootmakers. Addressing the girls the chairmen expressed his concern at the young ages of the girls and they would each be fined £1, including costs, or fourteen days’.—The Chief Constable remarked: The mother has been convicted here twice for stealing. It looks to me as if she was paying the girls.—The Chairman however said the case against Mrs. Mitchell would be dismissed, because it was not clearly proved Continuing, the Chairman said it was not altogether their business, but the Bench could not help expressing the opinion that it was a wrong thing to exhibit these goods outside shops. It seemed to be quite the custom in the trade and it placed temptation in people’s way. Sometimes, they were inclined to think tempter was as bad as the tempted. Goods never ought to be exposed outside shops at all, only perhaps on market-days and special occasions. 

Grantham Journal Dec 1909 Boot Thief Captured.—Wm. Humphreys, alias Stokes (37), labourer, no fixed abode, was brought up in custody charged with stealing a pair of boots, value 3s. 11d the property of the Public Benefit Boot Company, 29th Nov.—Wm. John Goodman, manager of the Public Benefit Boot Company’s shop, 28 Market-place, stated that at 6.10 p.m. on Monday he was in the shop and saw the prisoner stoop down and take a pair of boots from the stack which was two feet inside the doorway. Witness identified the boots produced. He immediately rushed to the shop door, but the prisoner was not to be seen. Ha gave information to the police.—P.c. Tomblin deposed that he went in search of the prisoner, and saw him coming down the passage near Mr. Haines’ shop with the boots under his arm. Witness asked him where he had got them from, and he replied, “Find out.”—Mr. Hawkins: And you found out?— Witness Yes, sir.—On charging the prisoner at the police-station, continued the witness, he replied, ” Yes.” —Prisoner elected summarily , to be dealt with, and pleaded guilty. He had no defence offer.—The Chief Constable said the man was convicted at that Court on the 4th Dec 1904, in the name of Wm. Stokes, for stealing a pair of boots from the same shop and on that that occasion he got away, but was found in the Workhouse two days afterwards. Monday night they took his finger prints and had sent them, on to Scotland Yard.—Sentenced to six weeks hard labour

Grantham Journal March 1912 George Smith (29) labourer of Swindon, was indicted for stealing one show boot value of 6s the property of the public Benefit Boot Company on March 9th the Grand jury returned a true boot and the prisoner pleaded guilty. He was before the magistrates on Monday, when at his own request, he was committed for trial.

Grantham Journal May 1916 THEFT or BOOTS. —JOSEPH CLARKE , labourer, Inner street Lodging-house, was charged with stealing a pair of boots, valued 8s. 11d., the property of the Public Benefit Boot Company, Market-place.—Wm. John Goodman, manager, identified the boots (produced), a stock of which were inside the shop. Richd. A. Basker, pawnbroker, said that on Monday night prisoner tried to pledge the boots, but not being satisfied witness communicated with the police. P.C . Almand said prisoner told him he bought the boots for 10s. 6d. from Messrs. Freeman, Hardy, and Willis, Lincoln, a fortnight ago. but he had not allowed his boy, aged 15, to wear them; he had gone to join the Army. The firm named, added the witness, did not stock that class of boot.—Prisoner was remanded

Grantham Journal Feb 1927 Walter Hiley (19) a second air-craftsman in the R.A.F. stationed at Cranwell wilfully smashed a window of the Market street shop of P.B.B.C. but was seen and arrested. boots and shoes littered the pavement and the manager W.J.Goodman was called out at 11-30pm. The air force gave a good account of his three year service record and could only imagine he wanted to get discharged. The air rejected the any notion of discharging him because of the cost of his training and he was fined £5 and handed over the RAF authorities.

Grantham Journal March 1929 Frederick Wilson (28) labourer Sheffield and Jack Wright rotherham broke a window of the Market place shop but were caught by a patrolling policeman P.C. Manderfield.  Cost of the damaged window was £20 along with the boots and slippers they stole after they had been discharged from the workhouse. They admitted they had been ‘tramping’ for two weeks and were tired! they each received three months hard labour

Grantham Journal Sept 1886  The company held a presence in Grantham in 1886 the earliest mention of them in

Richard Franklin Born 1823 at Elton, Huntingdonshire. He managed the early branches in Hull from 1876 until he went to manage the Grantham premises Richard died in 1889. There are several felony cases in Hull Prospect Street where he was a witness from 1876 to 1878 and some in Grantham at 7 London Road in the 1880’s. consult surnames E-H 

7 London Road, 1886-1901 (Richard Franklin, manager, 1889; William John Curtis, manager, 1889-1901) consult surnames A-D for details of Mr Curtis

Joseph Frank Beecham In 1911 he managed the boot store in Market Place, Grantham

John  William Goodman From 1903 he managed the company’s premises in Grantham, until retirement in 1935 he established the branch. He died at Grantham 6 August 1935 aged 62 at which time his son William was a boot shop manager.

Mrs Gregory Market Place Grantham 1940-1960 approx.

Pte Samuel Wm Herringshaw West Yorkshire regiment P.O.W. in Germany Lincolnshire Echo 1st may 1918. Prior to his joining up 12 months previously he was employed by the company at Grantham

Mrs Worthington Market Place Grantham Branch assistant 1940-1960 approx.

Grantham, 27a Market Place, 1902-1956 and in 1903 the premises were given a new shop front(Grantham Journal) Feb 1903)

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

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

Greenock (Glasgow) 

Greenock was a thriving community with a large population around this time as the James Watt dock was begun in 1879. The large warehouse on the corner of Hamilton Street housed several Boot factors, a boot repair facility and millinery.

One factor in 1885 stated there were 75,000 boot wearing patrons in the region


C.M.Percy 38 Hamilton Street Greenock and Clyde Gazette December  1879 & 1880-1882 Annual Xmas sale

GreenockTelegraph & Clyde Shipping Gazette 25th January 1883. & 14th August 1884 Regular advertisements by Percy throughout 1882, 1883 & 1884



Greenock Telegraph and Clyde Shipping Gazette  Kennedy’s 26 Hamilton Street   1886-1889 Sale KENNED Y’S 26 HAMILTON STREET. SALE ! GREAT PUBLIC BENEFIT BOOT AND SHOE SALE,

Great Grimsby, 

Hull Daily Mail May 1887 Mary Ann Warren, deaf mute, was charged with stealing a pair of boots, the property of Arthur D. Tavinder, manager of the Public Benefit Boot Company in 55 Victoria-street.—Prisoner went to the shop with a begging letter, and a penny was given her. She took the boots unobserved, and they were recovered  Sergeant Fell, was sent for by Mrs Gibson’s assistant, to whom the prisoner had offered them in pawn. —The prisoner had been up 18 times altogether, six times for this offence,—Committed to the sessions. Consult surnames T-Z for details of Mr Tavinder

147 Cleethorpes Road, 1882  Henry Franklin, manager, 

152 Cleethorpes Road (Frederick Franklin, manager, 1899-1902) up to circa 1913. This branch was described as the Metropole according to Grimsby Daily Telegraph 21st december 1900

244 Cleethorpes Road 1930 Kellys  now demolished

Grimsby, 26 Corporation Road, 1901 now demolished

Grimsby, 55 Victoria Street West, 1890 Confirmed Grimsby Library  J.Fisher Banks manager of the branch and continued up to an unknown date.  55 Victoria Street West is now a modern bank  with different style of architecture worth recording for posterity. Consult surnames A-D for details of Mr Banks

Grimsby 29 Victoria Street Window display seen above right confirmed 1913 & 1923 Grimsby Street Directory Manager H. J.Watts & from  1924 &  1925 Notts & Lincs 1925 tour outing.Consult surnames T-Z for details of Mr watts

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

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

J.Fisher Banks Manager of Grimsby branch 55 Victoria Street Grimsby 1890 onwards

Frederick Franklin Born 1866 at Elton. 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 E-H surnames

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. 

John Bulmer Born 1885 at South Shields,  In 1911 he managed the premises at 29 Victoria Street, Grimsby, He died at Hull 2 January 1924 aged 38. consult surnames A-D 

A. Ashley Victoria St. Grimsby 1924

C. Cartwright New manager sent to Victoria Street Grimsby 4th QTR 1927

James Smith Jackson In 1911 he was based at 151 Cleethorpes Road, Grimsby, and worked as a shop inspector and manager for the Public Benefit Boot Co.

Mr. Anthony Edward Parker  Skegness Standard April 1955 MARRIED at St James’ Church, Grimsby, on Easter Monday, were Mr. Anthony Edward Parker, of 72, Lumley Road, and Miss Anne Needham, of “Field House.” Goxhill, Grimsby. The ’groom is the only son Mr. and the late Mrs. D. C. Parker, 72, Lumley Road. Skegness, and is manager of the Grimsby branch of Benefit Footwear he and the best man are members of the ST. James’ church choir. Consult P-S surnames for further details

Walter Henry Smith 1900 assistant at the company premises managed by his father at 4, North Street &  138 Norfolk Street, Kings Lynn.In 1911 he operated as a boot factor from the premises at 359 Cleethorpes Road, Grimsby   Consult Surnames P-S for full biographical details

Arthur David Tavinder  Born 1852 at Burton Pidsea. Tavinder was manager of 55 Victoria Street, Grimsby in 1887. By 1891 Arthur managed the Public Benefit Boot Co premises at The Metropole, Clifford Street, York, continuing in that role into the 1900’s.  In 1911 he managed the Public Benefit Boot Co premises at 15 Market Street, York, with his wife Mary anne and four children assisting in the business.

A. A. Terrett began working for Benefit in 1924 at Freeman Street Grimsby

T.Ward Manager of 33 Boothferry Road Goole branch 1913- 1927

Mr H. J.Watts  Manager of 29 Victoria Street Grimsby during the early 1920’s, followed by manager of new branch at Great Crosby nr Liverpool found 3rd Qtr 1924

Great Crosby:

Address? opened 1st September 1924

Mr T. B. Drake Manager of latest English Street Carlisle branch found 1st Qtr. 1924 he removes to Great Crosby in 1st Qtr 1925

Mr H. J.Watts  Manager of 29 Victoria Street Grimsby during the early 1920’s, followed by manager of new branch at Great Crosby nr Liverpool found 3rd Qtr 1924