Northern Branches P-Z

Northern Branches P-Z 

Consult Biographical Northern.

Northern Newspaper Accounts A- Z

A- Z Northern register of Surnames


Market Place: Peterborough Advertiser 18th May 1912 ad

Peterborough,  41 Narrow Bridge Street, 1913-1928

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

Peterborough,  Long Causeway, 1926-1927

Mr F R Davidson New manager sent to manage Peterboro Branch 3rd Qtr 1926

Mr Milne Became manager of Peterborough Branch 2nd Qtr 1925


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

E Farmery  Manager of Pickering Branch 1924


Yorkshire Evening Post April 1913  STOLE TO PAY A FINE. STRANGE STORY OF A PONTEFRACT THEFT CHARGE. Pontefract, this morning, Elisabeth Hall, widow, who declined to stand up until called by the name of Annie Smith, was charged in custody with having stolen two pairs of boots, value 7s 11d. each, the property of the Public Benefit Boot Company, Ltd., Corn Market, Pontefract. Superintendent Aykroyd explained that the prisoner was living with a man who was convicted Monday for drunkenness. She came afterwards to ask how much there was to pay, and on finding she had not enough money, went straight to a shop close by and stole two pairs of boots. The woman pleaded that she was in drink and remembered nothing. She was committed for one month’s hard labour. 

Yorkshire Evening Post Jan 1918 MOTHER OF 17 CHILDREN. At Pontefract, this morning, Martha Ann who claimed to be the mother of 17 children. was fined 21s for stealing a pair of boots from the shop front of the Public Benefit Boot Company, Corn Market, last Tuesday

Leeds Mercury jan 1929 SHOPLIFTING AT PONTEFRACT. Out-of-Work Miner’s Wife Goes to Gaol for 14 Days. Over 40 charges of shoplifting are pending against five Pontefract residents who stand remanded on bail Until Monday next, when the cases will be gone into. Quite Independently of these, Lily Virgo, a married woman living with her husband and three children the youngest aged five—at Airedale was brought before the Borough Magistrates yesterday on similar charges. It was stated that on Saturday night she was given into custody on an allegation that she had stolen two eggs from a box standing outside the shop-front of Messrs. Gallons, grocers, Market Place, and that when taken to the police station she was found to be in possession of a pair of girl’s boots, alleged to have been taken from the shop front of the Public Benefit Boot Company, in Corn Market. She said that her husband, a miner, had been out of work since March last. Ten years ago she was bound over at Blackpool for theft from a boarding-house. The Bench committed her for 14 days hard labour on each charge, the terms to run currently

Cornmarket, 1905-1936  Number 5 Cornmarket close to Beast fair

Pontefract, Beast Fair, 1930s

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

Walter Worsnop Born 1882 at Armley, son of John Pickard Worsnop, boot and shoemaker, and his wife Mary Elizabeth LEE. He married Mary Hannah Higgins in 1906 at Pontefract, Yorkshire. He managed a boot and shoe business at 5 Cornmarket Pontefract.


9 Eccleston Street, 1905

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

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

David Crow   manager t Ecclestone Street, Prescot, for some three decades.  consult Biographical A-D


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

1900 & Lancashire Daily Post (confirms)   July 1903 Opening of Preston Branch 102 Fishergate

Preston, 102 Fishergate, 1903-1924

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

Lancashire Evening Post May 1938 @ 38 Market Place in 1938 (previously a Wallace shop taken over by Benefit)

 1944 at 38 Market place


Sir Walter Forrest  He was chairman of Lennards Limited and was knighted for political and public service in 1935. 

Redcar & Coatham,

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

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

33 Newcomen Street 1925 Kelly’s directory

Olive Gospell  commenced work in 1934  at  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.

A E Imeson Manager Redcar branch 1924 & 1925  previously served as an assistant at Doncaster then became manager at Wombwell branch 1st QTR 1926


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

Cannon Square is very likely to be the same branch as the one in Church gate as Cannon Square is effectively an extension of Church Gate.

Stamford Mercury Jan 1897— Mary B. Strange, married, of Wright Wilson-street, was charged with stealing a pair of boots the property of the Public Benefit Boot Company. At a previous hearing some doubt arose to the woman’s mental condition, and a note was now received from Dr. Westbrook stating she was not responsible for her actions, but the court were of the opinion the medical evidence should be personally tendered, and the case was again adjourned

Stamford Mercury  February 1897 reported a theft of boots and in 1905 the branch  closed for removal to 63 Carol-gate

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.A. Charles (Charles and Terry) prosecuted, and prisoner was undefended.—Mr. Charles, said they were dealing.with three sums, which were alleged to have been paid to the accused on June 8, 13, and 21. They came to 9s. in each ease. At the end of each week it was the duty of the manager to fill in certain forms showing what money had been paid, consult Schofield and Ada Stevens in P-S Biographical and Edward wall in T-V

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

Retford new branch Carolgate opened 3rd QTR 1925

C L Halderthay Manager of Retford Branch 1924 & 1925

Mr Jackson  Manager of Retford found 1st QTR 1926

Ada Stevens Assistant in the Retford branch was on sick but still receiving wages. Her manager Edward Wall was embezzling the company by pocketing her sick pay. He was found out by the district manager Frederick Schofield consult newspaper account & T- V Biographical  Edward Wall for the full story

Edward Wall  Manager of Retford Branch prosecuted for embezzling his employers.                                              consult Retford in P- Z Northern branches & T-V Biographical


 Branch opened 3rd QTR 1925 



Market Place, 1881-1941 Kelly’s

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

Ripley, Church Street, 1912

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

William Allen manager Market Place Ripley


John William Bilton in 1891 at 9 Fishergate, Ripon, and a decade later he had moved to 18 Fishergate where he continued to trade until his death in 1912 aged 51. In 1917 the premises at 18 Fishergate continued to operate as a branch of the Public Benefit Boot Co.

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

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


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

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

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

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


New Village, 1917-1922

Rossington, 1 King Ave, 1922-1936

Mr Beaumont New manager sent to Rossington 2nd QTR 1927

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


Sheffield independent March 1883 theft from Rotherham premises 28 High Street.George Smith, shoemaker. Well-gate, and Benjamin Margisson, shoemaker, Nottingham street, were charged with stealing a pair of boots from the shop of the Public Benefit Boot Company, 28, High street, Rotherham, on the 10th inst. The manager, Thomas Brocklebank, missed the pair of ladies’ boots produced, which were worth 7s. 6d., from the shop door ; the boots were afterwards pawned by Margisson at the shop of Mr. Eaton, Church street, Rotherham, and the prisoners were apprehended on Tuesday afternoon by Sergeant Egley. Margisson said he pawned the boots for Smith, who said he had bought them at Sheffield. Prisoners were each committed to the House of Correction for a month. consult A-D Brocklebank in Biographical

Sheffield Independent Oct 1888 sale shop 28 High Street still occupied as then by the PBBCo is advertised to let.

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

Rotherham, Goldthorpe Street, 1912-1917

Rotherham,  26 College Street, 1933-1963

Thomas Brocklebank Manager of 28, High street, Rotherham 1883 

Mr E Barnes Won a gold medal in a display window judging competition 1928 at Rotherham Branch


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


Crewe Guardian Sep 1910 Lot I.—All that Freehold SHOP. situate and being number 4, High-street, Runcorn in the occupation of Mr Samuel Coventry. tailor. Lot2 All that FREEHOLD SHOP. situate and being number 6. High Street. Runcorn. in the occupation of the Public Benefit Boot Company and Mr. Samuel Coventry

Northwich guardian June 1903 branch possibly Simms Cross?

Elsie Ward  Working at Runcorn Branch found 4th Qtr 1924


21 Ryhope Street, 1925 Demolished

Mr Randall Sent to Ryhope Branch 1st Qtr 1926 still there in 1928


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


1 Bar House, Westborough, 1908-1937

Scarborough, 9 Westborough, 1908-1927

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

112a Westborough Kellys 1937


Hull daily Mail January 1928 FOUR CHARGES AGAINST SCUNTHORPE DOMESTIC.  Scunthorpe justices Monday dealt leniently with Margaret Jade Crow (23), a domestic servant, against whom there were four charges of false pretences at Brigg and Scunthorpe. She was alleged to have obtained two pairs of shoes from Jack Wilkinson, manager the Scunthorpe branch of the Public Benefit Boot Company. On December 23rd; with obtaining and lodging to the value of 20s by means of false pretences from Florence Singleton, and with obtaining food and lodging the value 5s from Maud Hill. She pleaded guilty to all three charges. Supt. Hutchinson said that at Brigg on December 22nd accused also obtained from Thos. Varlow and Sons a black dress, valued at 25s 11d, a black coat, £3 3s, and black stockings, value 4s, by means of false pretences. He asked for this charge to be taken into consideration. Accused was bound over for two years the sum of and was placed under the supervision of the probation officer. consult T-V Wilkinson Biographical for further details

J.Lock Scunthorpe branch 1925 

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

Scunthorpe 1892 Kelly’s directories

65 High Street, 1905–1919 also 1930 confirmed Kellys 

Seaham Harbour 

Hartlepool Northern daily Mail July 1922 Alleged wholesale THEFTS. Charges Against Seaham Girl. Wholesale thefts were alleged at Seaham Harbour to-day against Elizabeth A. Harris (21), living with her parents 6 Station-road. New Seaham. charged with stealing a pair of ladies shoes, value 15s. 11d., the property of the Public Benefit Boot Company, Church street, Seaham Harbour. The charges placed against her are many and varied as she visited different shops in Seaham Harbour. Most of the articles were recovered form her home. In the boot shop she asked to try some of the shoes on and left with a pair without paying. She also had another charge to face at Sunderland assize. She was placed on probation for two years at Seaham Harbour

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

Seaham Harbour, 53 Church Street, 1925-1938

Miss M Martin Assistant Seaham Harbour found 1st QTR 1927

G H Moss  Manager of Seaham Branch 1925-27

Selby, Important Freehold premises

William Guest  His widowed mother Margaret Guest managed the company’s boot shop at 10-11 Finkle Street, Selby, in 1891 and he assisted with the business. By 1911 he had married and was managing the shop previously run by his mother still at 10-11 Finkle Street

R Howden Selby Branch 1924 & 1925

2 Market Street

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

Selby, 64 Ousegate, 1927-1936

Sheffield   Important Freehold Premises

see also Darnall

Sheffield, Daily Telegraph  Dec 1882  at 175 South Street, Moor, 1882 (William Henry Franklin, proprietor ) A BAD CASE Mary Lambert 43 widow, charwoman and John William Clapstone 23 furnace-man were charged with having feloniously received from Thomas Frederick Pursehouse seven pairs of Boots the property of  William Henry Franklin boot and shoe dealer South Street, Park, Sheffield on the 30th Nov each prisoner were sentenced to hard labour for 18 calendar months consult Henry Pursehouse P-S Biographical

Sheffield Daily Telegraph  March 1883 Auction of Boots shoes and slippers at a branch 59 Fargate as premises are coming down

Moorhead Branch Freehold branch seen opposite in 1885

Sheffield Independent Moorhead annual outing 22 June 1900 Public Benefit Boot Company’s annual excursion —The employees of the Sheffield Public Benefit Boot Company, Moorhead, had their annual outing yesterday, and were conveyed by coach via Fox House. Grindleford, and Derwent Valley to Castleton. ‘They were entertained at dinner at the Peak Hotel, Castleton. which was thoroughly enjoyed. The chair was taken Mr. A. W. Cooper (Northampton), who proposed the usual loyal toast. Mr. H. J. Lane proposed ‘Our Defensive Forces”, Mr. W. Legge of the Public Benefit Boot Company. limited, and J. Harding “The Chairman and Supporters,” all of which were heartily accepted. The places interest were afterwards visited. Mr. H. J. Lane acting as guide to the Blue John Mines, Mr. P. Durbridge looking after those who preferred the rambles in the vicinity. Despite the fact that the weather was not as bright as might have been, the outing was thoroughly enjoyed. Consult Biographical A-D for MR Cooper & Mr Durbridge, E-H for Mr Harding, I-O for mr Land and also for William Legge

Sheffield daily Telegraph July 1886 Theft or Pair of Slippers.—Mary Cheadle, residing in Tilt yard. Pond street was charged with having stolen pair of slippers, valued at 2s., from the shop of the Public Benefit Boot Company, Moorhead, on Tuesday last—Elisabeth Haslam, wife of George Haslam Tilt yard, gave evidence to the effect that on Tuesday the prisoner accompanied her and her sister to the shop of the Public Benefit Boot Company. Witness and the prisoner returned together, and the former noticed that prisoner was carrying a bundle which contained pair of slippers, and which had been missed, prisoner was sentenced to 18 days imprisonment

Sheffield D.Telegraph May 1888 Damaging Plate Glass Windows.—The mischievous person or persons who; for some time past have scratched plate glass windows in different parts of the town have again been at work. John Smith, boot salesman, Roland road, reported to the police that yesterday morning four plate glass windows belonging to the Public Benefit Boot Company, the corner of Blonk street and the Wicker had been damaged and spoiled, being scratched by a diamond or some sharp instrument. ( Suffragettes)

Sheffield Evening Telegraph 1896 DONE OUR DUTY. FULFILLED THE TRUST REPOSED IN US. Far exceeded Public Expectation*. Surpassed all Requirements. Prepared for Great Trade Extension. PUBLIC BENEFIT BOOT COMPANY, Having bought the Entire Building UNION STREET CORNER, MOORHEAD, near MONUMENT, have made internal alterations, and provided supplies to do an Autumn and Winter Business on a scale of immensity unreached by the making retailers in England. Reducing Revision of many Prices, improved Makes, Shapes, Styles, Value, Increased Varieties and Specialities. Eight Separate Window Displays Unparalleled Exhibition. Ladies’ Saloons. Gent.’s Sections. General Division*

Sheffield Daily Telegraph March 1896 A gang of thieves in a daring raid broke into several shops in the moorhead district. Consult Northern newspaper Accounts  A-Z

Sheffield Independent Nov 1908  FIRST COURT. TUESDAY.. SHOP BREAKING CHARGE. Harry Simpson (31), scale stamper, and his wife Mary Ann (30), of Henry street, were in the dock on a charge of shop breaking- Mr. Arthur Neal appeared for the prosecutors, the Public Benefit Boot Company, and Mr. Walpole Hiller defended. Consult Biographical Sheffield   

Sheffield Telegraph April 1910 Sheffield Boy’s sad Suicide. The popular magazine “The Penny Dreadful’ has been cited as having a good deal to do with the downfall and suicide of George William Harrison age 16 whose body was recovered from the canal at Attercliffe. George was an errand boy for the Public Benefit Boot Company at their Wicker establishment. Consult surnames Geo.Wm Harrison E-H & Jones I-O Biographical

Sheffield Independent Feb 1927 Horace Burgess, 138, Wood bourn road, Sheffield, was charged at the City Police Court, yesterday, with breaking a plate glass window in the shop of the Public Benefit Boot Company, Ltd., in the Wicker, and with damaging four pairs boots. . . , , , P-C. Roach said he saw defendant kick his heel through the window. Witness asked him why he had done it. and defendant replied, I was on my Jacks., Burgess was sentenced to three months hard labour. 

Sheffield Independent May 1935 Man’s Strange Note Before Suicide “CAPITALISM IS ROTTEN” SAID TO HAVE HAD NO WORRIES . I THINK that somewhat extra ordinary letter written by this young man is some proof that he had not entirely recovered from the illness of neurasthenia.” said the Coroner Sheffield inquest yesterday after he had read letter written by young shop manager before he gassed himself in the cellar of the shop. The inquest was on John Stone, aged 23 of Harborough avenue. Manor Estate, Sheffield, manager of the branch shop the Public Benefit Boot Co., Ltd., 715, Attercliffe road. Letters written by Stone were produced in court and the one read by the Coroner ran as follows: “I commit suicide of my own free will. I have been happy at home and with my fiancé. Just can’t stand life. It is rotten. I pray to God that no one will have the same tormented mind I have had. I attach blame to no one but myself. Only one thing —Capitalism is rotten—lt degrades a man.” A verdict of ‘•suicide by gas poisoning while suffering from the effects of neurasthenia” was NERVOUS TROUBLE “I have not the least idea why my son should have committed suicide he had no troubles at home” said Mr. John Stone, the father. Mr Stone said that three months ago his son had nervous trouble but seemed to have recovered and he resumed work six weeks ago. Wednesday he seemed worried, and did not return at night. Next morning he was found gassed in the cellar. George Albert Crossland age 15, assistant at the shop, said that since his illness Stone had seemed strange- and used to talk himself. Crossland said that he left Stone alone in the shop Wednesday night. Evidence was given by Mr Percy Powell, of 110. Springfield road. Millhouses, Sheffield, a. shops’ inspector employed by the boot firm, that all Stone’s books and accounts were in perfect order. Since Stone had been employed as manager, added Mr. Powell, he had done quite well and his conduct had been very satisfactory. 

Sheffield Independent 24th December 1885 advertising new emporium Moorhead

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

Sheffield D. Tele. 9th October 1895 ADVERTISEMENT

Sheffield Daily Telegram  24th June 1899 Paris exhibition winners

1, Moorhead Union Street confirmed 1933 Kellys


Horace Arthur Jones Death in 1950 of Former Branch Manager Mr, Horace Arthur Jones, who retired seven years ago as Sheffield manager of the Public Benefit Boot Co.. Ltd, . Read the story in  Biographical I-O 

George William Harrison suicide victim consult coroners inquest above in 1910 Consult Biographical E-H

Sheffield Evening Telegraph Sept 1888 Blonk Street premises

17-01-1899 Map of Blonk Street improvement scheme

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

4,6,8,10 Wicker listed in 1920

4-6 Wicker 1933 kellys

Today a massively modern building stands tall on the corner of Wicker & blonk Street.


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

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

UNION STREET BRANCH Proprietor John Dickinson Public Benefit Boot shareholder

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

An old building  exists on the corner of Union St/Furnival Gate. The address is for F.gate. However this is where, looking at Soya Express which is number 44 it must be feasible the next building along is or at least incorporates number 46-48? The building looks to be 20th century to be frank though! Looking at number 44 perhaps this is what 46-48 also looked like?

Sheffield Telegraph 5-06-07-1904 objection by John Dickinson to drinks license being issued. Interesting story of a local music hall creating lots of noise

Various addresses

Sheffield Attercliffe, 30 Chipping Rain Street, 1897

Sheffield, 15 Havelock Street, 1897-1901 

Sheffield, 26 Montgomery Road, 1897

Sheffield, 51 Sheaf Gardens, 1897 

453 Firth Park Road 1933 Kellys


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

Sheffield, 96 Devonshire Street, (repairing department), established 1908 confirmed 1911-1920 and gone by 1926 (Benefit Magazine) This building plot currently is occupied by YSM fashions bit is a completely newly rebuilt block so the old premises have gone forever

Repairs. Sheffield 23 Wellington Street newly opened in 1926 (benefit Magazine) This street “backs onto” Cambridge Street and possibly still there but hard to discover the actual building?

175 West Street 1933 Repairs Dept. confirmed Kellys Rebuilt and now part of “Varsity” numbered 173-179. 

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

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

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

462 Chipping House Road 1933 Kellys

Sheffield,  1/3 Holme Lane, Hillsborough 1959

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

715-717 Attercliffe road only in 1933 Kellys

staff associated with Sheffield

Ernest Butler Derbyshire Courier 3rd august 1918 Ernest Butler a rifleman in the West Yorks. Is in the 12th General hospital Rouen suffering from wounds in the groin and buttock. Prior to this he had been gassed in April He first went to France in December 1917 and was an employee of a Branch in Sheffield.

J. A. Chatburn manager of 23 Wellington Street Sheffield repairs factory in 1926. Commenced working at Moorhead Sheffield 1893, a separate factory was opened in Devonshire Street 1908

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

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

George Albert Crossland aged 15 assistant at the 715 Attercliffe Road branch and witness in a suicide at the branch of the manager John Stone. Also at the inquiry was Percy Powell shops inspector.Consult full story  Sheffield Independent 1935

 Mr P. Durbridge  Moorhead annual outing 22 June 1900 Public Benefit Boot Company’s annual excursion —The employees had their annual outing yesterday, and were conveyed by coach via Fox House. Grindleford, and Derwent Valley to Castleton. ‘They were entertained at dinner at the Peak Hotel, Castleton. which was thoroughly enjoyed. Mr. P. Durbridge looking after those who preferred the rambles in the vicinity

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

Mr Ellis  New manager late assistant at Moorhead Branch sent to Ferryhill Branch 1st QTR 1927. Sent to Heeley Branch 3rd QTR 1928

Mr Frost A new manager sent to new Branch Hillsboro 1st QTR 1926. Sent to Wrexham Branch 3rd QTR 1928

Mr H. Gee  Manager found 2nd Qtr 1925 suffers ‘break in’ at the Wicker Branch. Given management of the new London Road premises (Sheffield 3rd QTR 1925.) In 1927 still at London Road Sheffield he entered a window dressing competition at Manchester winning a silver medal 2nd Prize shown in 1st QTR 1927

Henry James Lane 1885 he may have been working at the Swindon branches as one of his children was born there in 1881. In 1895 became manager of Penryn Lower Market Street Branch &1897-1901 he managed the 15 Havelock Street branch in Sheffield. 1911 was living at Sunnyside, Hathersage, Derby’s working as a District manager & inspector for a limited company trading in boots and shoes. Henry retired Xmas 1927 having accomplished  42 years as assistant branch manager and inspector. In 1900 he was one of the recipients of a firms’ outing- see above for description

William Legge  1897 manager of Moorhead branch and 1900 William managed Public Benefit Boot Co premises in Sheffield. He was also involved in the staff outing of 1900 and with prosecuting felons at the branch in Sheffield see the court cases above. He was still in Sheffield in 1908

Thomas Adonijah Mondey  1891, Thomas managed the company’s boot shops one at 51 Sheaf Gardens Sheffield in 1897. He died seven years later at the age of 46.

Mr Mott Manager of Firth Park Sheffield since opening 1926 moved on to Morley 1928

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

Mr.Percy Powell  district inspector, present at the enquiry of suicide of John Stone manager of  715 Attercliffe Road branch  Also at the inquiry was Albert Crossland an assistant Consult full story above Sheffield Independent 1935

Thomas Frederick Pursehouse  In 1882 he worked as an errand boy for William Henry Franklin at his Public Benefit Boot Co premises at 175 South Street, Moor. Consult P-S Biographical for more information

Miss Rogers sent to manage Firth Park Sheffield from Hyde Park 1928

John Stone aged 23. Store manager of  715 Attercliffe Road branch committed suicide at the branch.  Also at the inquiry was Percy Powell shops inspector and Albert Crossland assistant. Consult full story  Sheffield Independent 1935

Samuel Charles Ward  worked in the Leicester shoe warehousing business of Lennard Bros and in 1911 he operated as a boot factor in Sheffield. Three of his sons, Alfred, Samuel and Frank, followed him into the boot trade, operating as boot repairers and dealers.consult Biographical T-Z

Frank Ernest Ward . In 1911 he worked as a boot repairer at Sheffield consult Biographical T-Z

Harry C Wright . He j managed the premises at 83 Newland Avenue, Hull and then the branch at The Moorhead, Sheffield. consult T-Z Biographical

Shipley ( Bradford)

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

19th Oct. 1949 Shipley Times & Express Mr S. Waterworth manager in 1952. Branch adjoins the ‘Palace’ this branch was put up for sale and on 6th April 1955 the council withdrew their offer due to the poor state of the building..  Consult T-V of Biographical for waterworth the manager

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


Joe the shoemaker


Staff associated with Skegness

Miss Bridie With Miss Eldred promoting cardboard Joe at Skegness 1926

Thomas Frederick Crew refer to Biographies section (A-D)

Parker family of 72 Lumley Road father and son consult Biographies section P-S

Bert East  Former employee of Skegness Branch  Skegness Standard Aug 1942 Some interesting impressions of life out East are embodied in a letter written by Lance-Sergt….  Consult Surnames E-H for further details

Miss Dorothy Christabel Boddice 10th November 1948 employee at Skegness Branch

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

Skegness Standard Jan 1937 It’s  a deplorable  state of affairs,” said the magistrate Mr. W. Scott Rainey, during  hearing the cases at Court at Spilsby on Friday. Several cases of hardship and Struggles for existence at Skegness were revealed with the first claim from Public Benefit Boot Company, of Leeds, against William Grunnill, an unemployed labourer of Nightingale Estate Skegness. for £1.7s 6d owing in  in respect boots supplied defendant did not appear, but wrote stating that be could net be present as he had to “sign on” at the Skegness Labour exchange. The letter added that he had been unable, to pay the debt as, although he received £2 from the “dole.” 13s of that amount, he had to pay a week in rent and provide food. clothing etc for seven people. Commenting that it was a  deplorable slate of affairs, the Registrar said he would only make an order for 2s a month.

Tbs same firm sued A. Davison, of Skegness, for 11s for boots The debtor explained that he had bad weeks  of unemployment to contend with, in addition to which, members of his family had been ill. He had to keep a family of three out of 29s. unemployment pay. and out of that he had to pay 15s a week rent and  1s to the Council for a water supply which they threatened to cut off, leaving 13s to provide for three people. He offered to repay the debt at a rate of 2 s. a month. Registrar commented under the circumstances it seemed a fair offer, and made order for that amount. 

Skegness Standard Nov 1939 PECULIAR MISHAP, A plate glass window of the Public Benefit Boot Co.’s shop In Lumley Broad was pierced on Saturday It is believed that a tyre of a passing car caught the side of a stone lying on the roadway and catapulted it with such force across the pavement to make a small hole in the window

Skegness Standard Oct 1942 FUEL AND LIGHT ECONOMY, AS from MONDAY, NOVEMBER 2nd, to FEBRUARY 27th, 1943, the following establishments have decided to CLOSE on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at 5 o’clock. Thursday,. 1 o’clock. Friday, and Saturday 6 o’clock. G. j, Crofts 8C Son, Ltd. International Stores, Ltd. Liptons, Ltd. Public Benefit Boot Co. Marks & Spencer, Ltd. Button’s Stows. Notts. Co-operative Society Chas. Lane & Son. W. Brown & Son (Lumley Rd.) Currys, Ltd. Keighley’s,  Kays Ltd. Truefit Shoe Co. Ltd. Freeman, Hardy & Willis. Mimmack ft Co. Shores of  Nottingham. It is hoped that other traders will co-operate.

Bert East  Former employee of Skegness Branch  Skegness Standard Aug 1942 Some interesting impressions of life out East are embodied in a letter written by Lance-Sergt….  Consult Biographical E-H for further details

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

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

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


Harry Samuel Lenton  From at least 1891 until 1911 Harry managed the company’s premises at 18 High Street, Stamford and his wife Charlotte assisted in the business. He retired in January 1928 having been manager of the Skipton Branch for 12 years.

Swadford Street, 1916-1936

Mr Crowe established manager sent to Skipton branch January 1928


Grantham Journal Feb 1912 Stealing Boots John Westgarth (31) painter for stealing pair of boots the property of the Public Benefit Boot Company Ltd at New Sleaford on Jan 20th was sentenced to six months imprisonment with hard labour

Grantham Journal April 1920 William west, an old man, was charged with stealing a pair of boots the property of Public Benefit B.Co at Sleaford value 35s. An errand boy saw the prisoner take the boots from the doorway of the shop, place them under his overcoat and walk off down the street. Inspector Quibell arrested the man with the boots in his possession. Prisoner requested to go before a jury in the quarter sessions.He was later sentenced to 15 months hard labour  

Grantham Journal April 1921 Henry Wilson a tramp was charged with stealing pair of boots from P.B.B.C. at Sleaford. Prisoner was seen to take the boots value 35s from the front of the shop and walked off with them. Once they were taken off him he said, if you take them I shall get another pair somewhere else. He got three months hard labour 

Grantham Journal March 1922 George JNO. Webb pleaded guilty to stealing a pair of boots from the shop of Pub.Benefit Boot at Sleaford. sentenced to one months’ hard labour

Lincolnshire Echo Jan 1940 Sleaford Explosion the cylinder of the hot water apparatus at Sleaford Liberal Club, Southgate, exploded, in the room In which It was Installed and was completely wrecked. The window was blown out and the top of the cylinder, flying upwards, made  a hole through the celling and the floor of the room above, and then crashed to the ground, making a hole into the room below—a storeroom of the public Benefit Boot Company, The ceiling of the room was pitted with holes caused by flying red-hot coke from the stove, fortunately no one was on the premises when the explosion occurred

16 Southgate, 1912-1937 (1930 & 1937 confirmed by Kelly’s Directory)

E G Rastrick  manager of Sleaford Branch found 1st QTR 1927

Small Heath, See Birmingham

Solihull see Coventry

South Bank: Normanby

W Howson South Bank Branch 1924 & 1925

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

South Bank, 41 Middlesbrough Road, 1937 confirmed Kellys

South Elmsall,


Mr H. Price South Elmsall branch manager 1924 & 1925

South Normanton (Derbyshire) Alfreton

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

R Hartley manager South Normanton Branch 1924 & 1925

South Shields

Newcastle Journal Jan 1928 QUESTION OF ANCIENT LIGHTS. Local Action Settled. Consult Northern Newspaper accounts T-Z

Newcastle journal Jan 1928  A good deal of damage was done in South Shields by the sharp northerly gale which occurred yesterday afternoon. Consult Northern Newspaper Accounts T-Z

79 King Street, April 1899-1911

South Shields, 77 King Street, 1911-1924

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

South Shields, 45 King Street, 1938-1940.

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

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

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

Mr Rothwell  New manager sent to the South Shields Branch 3rd QTR 1928



Lancashire Evening Post Nov 1930 Thomas Howard (18), apprentice joiner, and George Stevenson (20), kitchen porter, both of Liverpool, who were charged with breaking and entering the premises of the Public Benefit Boot Company, Chapel-street, Southport, with intent to steal, and for breaking and entering the same premises and stealing a number of boots, socks and other articles to the value of £12 10s. Mr. Blackledge said that P.C. Russell noticed something wrong with the premises on the evening of October 26th, and he found the prisoners inside. When searched Howard had a chisel and screwdriver. The same shop had been broken into in August when a number of articles were stolen, and the thieves were not found until a wallet found in Howard’s possession was identified as part of the property stolen on that occasion. When charged, both prisoners said what they took did not amount to £12 10s. Police evidence showed that the prisoners went to Southport from Liverpool with a half-day railway ticket. Howard had been placed on probation at Liverpool five times for stealing and Stevenson had been in an industrial school. Sir James Openshaw said that both prisoners had been given chances and they would become members of the boneless army of criminals unless brought under discipline. Each was sent to Borstal for three years

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

opened 20a Chapel Street 4th QTR 1927 & 1930 confirmed

Lancashire eve Post May 1938

opened Lord Street 1950

Arthur Hume  Ex-employee from 20 years previous returned in 1st Qtr. of 1924 to manage the Southport Branch. Still there in 1927

Mr J. M. Kearney A manager at Southport and moved to the Lancaster Branch in first quarter of 1924

Thomas Edward Wood
Born c1882 at St Helens. In 1911 he managed the company’s premises at 97 Eastbank Street, Southport. consult Biographicals T-Z 


Spalding 1 & 2 Hall Place, Market Place, opened 2nd May 1925 still there in 1930 Kellys

George Abraham Dougan  In 1911 he worked in the company’s Spalding premises as a boot shop assistant. In 1915 he enlisted and served in WWI. consult Biographicals A-D 

Frank Ford  Circa 1899-1903 manager of 7, Commercial Street Aberdare. In 1911 he managed the 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. consult Biographicals E-H

Mr Waterson Manager at Walsall sent to manage Spalding 1st QTR 1926


Stratford Road, 1905-1914

Giant gets the boot


34 High Street, 1925-1938.

The company ran a competition by manufacturing a giant pair of boots. The man who can step into them can claim the boots. This is that man and the company never expected this to happen

William 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

Mr G T Leggett  Began in 1924 and 1925 as manager of Spennymoor Branch then sent to manage Bishop Auckland  Branch 2nd QTR 1926

Miss M. Mason Spennymoor branch found 2nd Qtr 1925


Staff associated with Stafford

Mr Godden  Manager of 4 Gaolgate Street Stafford in February 1917

Mr Overtone  Manager at Stafford found 4th Qtr 1927

George Henry Standeven  At the age of 22(1891) he was a boot and shoe salesman and eleven years later(1902) managed 4 Gaolgate Consult Biographicals P-S 

Lichfield Mercury Jan 1888   STAFFORD. Shoplifting.— At the Borough Police Court, on Monday. Emily Horton, widow, who stated that she came from Wolverhampton, was charged with stealing two pairs boots, the property of the Public Benefit Boot Company, Gaolgate Street.—On the 4th instant prisoner went into the shop, saying that she wished to wait for a boy who was coming to buy some boots. She took a seat by the counter, and then removed to a seat near where the boots were hanging. While sitting there she asked the assistant to write her the direction down for Burnley Fields. She then left, she explained, to meet the boy, but did not return. A pair of boots were missed from where she had been sitting, and prisoner was arrested the same afternoon, when she was wearing one of the stolen boots and another pair were found on her, which were identified belonging to the prosecutors. She had only come out of prison that morning.—She was sent to gaol for a month’s hard labour.

Staffordshire Chronicle Dec 1896 The usual Xmas appraisal by the press of traders in the town.The Public Benefit Boot Company have good show gear for the feet, while Messrs. Freeman Hardy, and Willis are again to the fore with their stock. (It seems the reporter has almost run out of words)

Staffordshire Sentinel Jan 1907 MOTHER & DAUGHTER CHARGED. A SEVERE SENTENCE. the Mayor (Councillor Andrews) and magistrates, at the Borough Police this (Thursday) morning, Edith Wilkinson (13) 5, Shrewsbury road, was charged on remand with stealing two pair of boots, value 9s., the property of the Public Benefit Boot Company, Crabbery-street. Her mother, Emily Wilkinson, was charged with receiving the boots. The evidence given at the previous hearing was repeated. from which it appeared that the boots were missed from outside the shop of the Public Benefit Boot Company, and one pair was presented by the girl at Messrs. Mottram’s pawnshop to be pledged. The manager Mr. G. H. Pepper, became auspicious, and sent the boots to the shop of the Public Benefit Boot Company to see if they could identify them. Whilst the assistant was away the girl ran out of the shop. Sergeant Owen arrested the prisoners, and the girl, when charged, at first said that she had been asked by a strange woman to pawn the boots, and next that a girl had given them to her on the Grange Bridge. She subsequently admitted stealing the boots, and said that her mother took one pair from her, rubbed them in the dirt, and then sent her to pawn them. The mother, replying to the sergeant. confessed having done this, but said she would never do it again. The magistrates sent the mother to gaol for three months with hard labour, but the case against the girl was adjourned to see if the Police Court Missionary (Mr. Hann) could find a suitable home for her

Lichfield Mercury March 1910 One day’s imprisonment. John Foley (31), labourer, pleaded guilty to stealing pair of boots at Stafford, the property of the Public Benefit Boot Company. He said he took the boots because he had none of his own. Foley was sentenced to one day’s imprisonment, meaning his discharge, this course being taken because the boots were in the doorway, and because the prisoner had been in custody since the offence had been committed. 

4 Gaolgate Street, 1880-1915 (May have been on the corner of Crabbery street?)

8 Gaolgate Street from 1915 confirmed by Staffordshire Advertiser Dec 1915  exactly opposite Vine Street

Staffordshire Adv. 28th March 1914 announcing the company was established 38 years ago.

Staffordshire Advertiser Dec 1920 The Public Benefit Boot Company, Limited, who have branch at 8. Gaolgate-street, have a well-established reputation for their boots and shoes, in the production of which only the best materials and sound workmanship are employed

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

10 Gaolgate Opened 19th March 1937 still there in 1951


Sheffield evening Telegraph Aug 1939 Shop Raider Gaoled “ YOU don’t seem to be of any use to your wife or children or your country. The best thing we can do is to find a place where work will be found for you,” said Mr. M. L. Nokes, at Doncaster, when James Howard (24), unemployed miner, of Stainforth, was sent to prison for nine months. Howard was charged with breaking and entering the shop of the Public Benefit Boot Company, Stainforth, and stealing a door key, breaking and entering the shop of Burras Peak, Ltd., Stainforth, stealing quantity of clothing, and breaking and entering a shop of Dexters, Ltd., Stainforth, with intent to steal. All charges were reduced to larceny. Howard, who pleaded guilty, was sentenced to three months on each charge. Police-sergeant Crissell was commended by the Bench for his work which led to the arrest of the man. Inspector Wolfe said that Howard had pawned most of the things he had stolen. He had been in the Army for three years and had since worked as a miner.

17, Station Road, 1927-1936Manager

L. Butler of Stainforth branch 1925


Stamford Mercury Nov 1910 John Holden, labourer, Bolton, was charged with stealing a pair of boots, value 5s. 11d., the property of the Public Benefit Boot Company, St. John’s street, the previous day….Consult Reuben Ling Biographicals I-O for full story

Grantham Journal Dec 1910 Warning to Careless Tradesmen.At Stamford on Saturday, James Woodhead, stonemason, Coventry, was committed for trial charged on remand with stealing a pair of boots, the property of the Public Benefit Boot Company, on the 10th inst…Consult Reuben Ling Biographicals I-O for full story 

Grantham Journal January 1911 STAMFORD. Mon. Shop Front Thefts.—At Stamford, Saturday, Joseph Jackson Wain, labourer, Warrington, charged with stealing a pair of boots, the property of the Public Benefit Boot Company, on the 13th inst. The boots were displayed in front of the shop, at a distance from the entrance, and P.c. Wilkinson, after watching prisoner loitering saw about saw him take the boots and run away.He was committed for six weeks’ hard labour.

Lincolnshire Free Press Aug 1911 Prosecutor was Refused Costs at Stamford, on Saturday, Arthur Mason blacksmith of Birmingham, was fined 10s. with the option of seven days’ hard labour for stealing a pair of boots, the property of the Public Benefit Boot Company. The boots were hanging outside the shop. The Chairman said the Bench were not satisfied with the way the boots were exposed, and would not allow the prosecutors costs

Stamford Mercury Nov 1911 John Ward. labourer. Barnsley and Robert Hunt, labourer, Salford. charged on remand with stealing two pairs of boots, value 11s. 10d.. the property of the Public Benefit Boot Company, were committed to the Quarter Sessions. Consult Reuben Ling in Biographicals I-O for full story

Grantham Journal Oct 1912 James Davis (35) bricklayer, stealing a pair of boots the property of The public Benefit Boot Company Ltd on August 19th, four months hard labour

Harry Samuel Lenton  From at least 1891 until 1911 Harry managed the company’s premises at 18 High Street, Stamford and his wife Charlotte assisted in the business. He retired in January 1928 having been manager of the Skipton Branch for 12 years.

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

Stanley, See Horden

STOCKTON ON TEES HIGH STREET Important freehold Premises

Northern Echo Nov 1896 CHARGE AGAINST A STOCKTON BAR- MAID. At Stockton on Tees Wednesday, a good-looking young woman named Lily Ranby, a barmaid, was discharged with a caution, the Bench expressing the opinion that it was a suspicious case on a charge of stealing a pair of shoes from the Public Benefit Boot Company’s shop in High- street. -Evidence was given showing that on the 16th the defendant called at the shop and bought a pair of walking out shoes. She came back shortly after leaving the shop for her umbrella which she had left, and after she had gone to buy a pair of dress shoes, value 8s 11d, were found to be missing.  Mrs Biddlecombe of the Black Lion Hotel gave her a first class character and had enough trust in her innocence she would continue to employ her

Daily gazette for Middlesboro Jan 1897 Kleptomania or theft? Henrietta Hills 27 of Yarm went on a shoplifting spree. Pinching two rolls of ribbon she was seen and arrested. Her home was searched and other items were found including a pair of slippers from the Public Benefit Boot shop on the High Street which she secreted into her basket when the assistant Miss Pybus had her back turned. A young married woman her friends spoke up for her and the bench on receiving two sureties of £25 each under the first offenders act to be bound over to be of good behaviour for six months. No motive was given for the pilfering. The article is long so i have shortened it.

Northern Echo Dec 1897 Frederick Harbisher (13) and Wil. Kale (19) were Charged with stealing a pair of boots from George’Swales, Hardwick-terrace, and the Public Benefit Boot Company. Harbisher was ordered to receive nine strokes of the birch rod, and Kale was discharged. 

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 Pearson Manager for Stockton on Tees

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

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

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

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

Stockton-on-Tees, 135 High Street (west side) 1921, 1940, 1954-1963 confirmed by Stockton Library using Directories and telephone directories & Daily Gazette Middlesborough

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

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

Stockton Staff found various sources

Thomas Anderson Crossgrove Manager of 144-145 High Street Stockton in 1902 He was an insurance agent throughout his life he became the man at the Pru! His sons worked for the Public Benefit Boot company.

Mr Atkinson Assistant at Stockton sent to manage Horden Branch 1st QTR 1926

Mr Jack Bentley New manager sent to South Bank 2nd QTR 1927 and managed 135 High Street West Stockton Branch in the 1940’s

J. Bingham Manager of Norton Road Stockton repair factory in 1926

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

Nelson Ellis  1897 he managed the Public Benefit Boot Co premises at 144 High Street, Stockton and died the following year aged 36 years. consultBiographicals E-H

A. Mills Manager of Stockton 1924 & 1925

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 Pearson  Manager for Stockton High Street branch attended the wedding of Brow Dickinson and his bride in 1907

Billingham. Stockton

Mill Lane, 1934-1938

Stoke on Trent 

Staffordshire Sentinel May 1947 assistant required 9, Liverpool Road, Stoke


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

Sunderland Daily Echo May 1899  TWO SHOPS. Nos. 260 and  261  HIGH STREET WEST, (at the corner of King Street), and a warehouse inMiddle Street  In the respective occupations of Thomas Willan, Mercer; The Public Benefit Boot Company, Limited; and Mr Joseph Cobb, Seed Merchant. In connection with the shops there are 4 very large stock Rooms and three spacious  Rooms above. There are also excellent and lofty Cellars and 3 Arched Vaults extending  under the High Street. There is an excellent yard and all conveniences. This important-block of property has a frontage in High Street of 11.5  yards, and from corner of High Street to the corner of Middle Street 35 yards and occupies one of the most central and valuable corner sites in the main street of the town. Ground Rent £4 os 6d per annum. The gross Rentals amount to £370, and the tenants hold under leases, which expire on the 13th August 1904. Suffice to say the premises remained in the hands of Public Benefit Boot as one of the most valuable Freehold premises, no longer on rental.

Sunderland Echo  July 1901 LONDONDERRY HOTEL JOB. Who’s right ” Who’s Wrong “Who s to Blame? Will the Corporation be poorer it they lose the £10,000′ Will they be richer if they retained the Londonderry ? Will the House of Lords decide for the Town’s Benefit.  Will the case end to the Ratepayers’ advantage.  The loss of some Public concerns  would be heavy to all communities. Supposing Public Benefit Boot Company, Limited, were to close their Marches :-261, High Street West’ 40, Hendon Road, near Bridge, Prices would go up qualities would come down, varieties would be poorer, the general public would lose value and cost 4.s  to 6s in 20s. One view of their windows will show that everybody should appreciate and support Public Benefit Boot Company’s Shops. Main Supply Marches.—(Advt.)  Sounds very much like a hotel chain or single large concern known as the Londonderry Hotel is being considered above ‘settled’ businesses?

Sunderland Echo Feb 1903 FIRE IN A BOOT SHOP. Last night, at about 20 minutes past eight o’clock, smoke was seen issuing from over the door of the Public Benefit Boot Company, High Street West. A young man who was passing informed P.C. Goodall, and the brigade were telephoned for from Mr Charlton’s butcher’s shop. When Supt. Yelland and his men arrived they forced an entrance and found that a store-room which is partitioned off at the back of the fitting-shop was in flames. Owing to the fumes from the burning leather, &c, the work of extinction was unpleasant, but it was accomplished in about half an hour. The steamer was not required, water being obtained from a hydrant. Damage was done to the stock and the fitting room by smoke, water, and breakage, but the amount involved is not large. The shop had not been long closed when the outbreak occurred. 

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 Stangroom Manager for Sunderland

Sunderland Echo May 1913  A GIANT AND SIZE 25 BOOTS. The Public Benefit Boot Company, 261, High Street, are exhibiting a monster pair of boots, size 25, which they have offered to present to anyone able to wear them. This claim is now being made by the English giant “Frederick the Great,’’ who is on exhibition at 118, High Street West, opposite the New Arcade, and who will call at the company’s shop on Monday between 12 and 1 o’clock to try on the boots. Seeing that the giant, who is only 19 years old, stands nearly 8ft. high, it is likely that the huge pair of boots will fit his feet 

Sunderland Echo May 1932 BOOT SHOPS OPEN TOO LONG SUNDERLAND MANAGERS FINED Two cases of keeping boot shops open after closing hours came before Sunderland magistrates to-day, and in each case fine of 10s was imposed. The first defendant was Cecil Swinhoe. manager for Messrs Timpson. Ltd.. High Street West. PC. Lines stated that the shop was open at 7.33 p.m. on May 13. the closing hour being 7 pan. Swinhoe stated that the circumstances were exceptional. It being the Friday before Whitsuntide. In the case of William John Whiting, manager of the Public Benefit Boot Company. High Street West, P.C. Lines said the shop was open the same evening at 7 25. Whiting said he had closed the shop at o’clock, but re-opened again at 7.10 on seeing that others in the same trade were still open

Sunderland Echo July 1933  An appeal for chairs for the Sea View allotment Association was swiftly met by a Quick Response  on Thursday regarding the need for chairs for the new clubhouse . Mr W. Whiting, manager of the Public Benefit Boot Company, of High Street West, tells me that he has six chairs at the premises which have been rendered redundant owing to alterations

Sunderland Echo August 1933 WORKED IN DINNER-HOUR In another case brought under the Act, the Public Benefit Boot Company. Ltd. of High Street West, Sunderland, were summoned for employing a boy for more than seven days without obtaining a certificate of fitness, and also for employing him during the time that should have been his meal time, on July 6. A fine 10s was imposed in each of the two cases, and the firm was also ordered to pay 2s 6d costs. It was stated that the boy’s dinner hour was from 12 to one o’clock, but on the date he was found by an Inspector to be working in his dinner-hour. The boy told the Bench that he got his meal after that time on that date, and that it was the first occasion when he did not get his meal at 12 o’clock. A representative of the company stated that the certificate of fitness had been overlooked because the boy had been transferred from an errand boy into the workshop. If the boy had gone straight into the workshop he would have got a certificate at once. Regard to the other offence a relief manager did not know an offence was being committed by allowing the boy to work during that time. 

Sunderland Echo Aug 1939 Trench Shelters Two more business firms in the centre of the town have given permission for their basements to be used as public shelters. They are Carter’s at No. 5 Bridge Street, where accommodation for 175 people will be provided at a cost of £457, and the Public Benefit Boot Company, No. 261 High Street West, where £433 will be spent on providing accommodation for 160 persons.

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

Daily Echo & Shipping gazette 10th October 1898 advertisement. 

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

Repairs & Shop

Sunderland, 180 High Street West, 1924-1935 

Staff associated with Sunderland

A. Bell In 1924-6 he was managing the repairs factory at 180 high Street West Sunderland and beyond

Mr M W Corner 2nd QTR 1927 sent to manage Hendon Road Sunderland still there in 1928

Albert William Dobinson 1911 he managed the Public Benefit Boot Co branch at 260-261 High Street, Sunderland. 1915 he was managing in Hull consult Biographicals A-D

Walter Dobinson,  At the age of 23 he was a messenger for a Stockton-on-Tees boot shop. He managed the  premises in, Hull, 1911-13 managed a  shop in Sunderland in 1917 when he enlisted in the Royal Garrison Artillery. consult Biographicals A-D

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

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

G E Hepworth Manager Sunderland Branch 1924

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.

A Pelmear York Branch 1924  Manager and also Manager at 53 Hendon Road Sunderland 1932. He is living at 2, Bentinck terrace, Bentinck Road, Newcastle in 1932

J B Richardson Hylton Road Sunderland 1925 to 1928

Robert Rowland Rodwell He worked for some time at Sunderland, Co Durham and 1905-11 managed t 152-154 Hessle Road, Hull,  he became a branch inspector 

Ernest William Tomline . In 1901 he managed t 193 Linthorpe Road, Middlesborough,  1904-05 he managed the company’s premises at 78 Lynn Street, West Hartlepool and in 1911 he managed the premises in Sunderland.

William  John Whiting
Mr Whiting joined the Public Benefit Boot Co in 1926 and managed the High Street west shop in  Sunderland in the 1930’s. After this he was appointed inspector of the midlands and southern district in 1935. He fought in the Middle East in 1941 until the end of the war and returned to the company in 1946. 1947 he is advertising for staff in the Northampton region. There are also two newspaper articles on his involvement in being fined for keeping his shop open when it should be closed in 1932 and another for giving away 6 free chairs. See T-V Biographicals  


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

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

1908 Confirmed Sunderland D.Echo dec 1908 


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


F D Tippetts 

Manager of Tenby Branch 10 High Street 1891





85 Market Place found in 1925 Kelly’s directory

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

Thornaby on Tees,

Northern Echo July 1896 A woman named Ruth Hendry was on Tuesday, committed for trial at the Thornaby Police Court  for obtaining two pairs of boots, value 11s 6d,  from the Public Benefit Boot Company under false pretences. One month imprisonment

Daily Gazette for Middlesboro Jan 1897 Michael Swift, an old offender, was charged in custody with stealing a pair of new boots from the. shop of the Public Benefit Boot Company on the 23rd inst. Andrew Dyer, manager of the Public Benefit Boot Company, said that on the night in question he heard some boots fall, and rushing out of the shop he saw a pair of boots lying on the ground and the prisoner going down the street. He followed him and got another pair of boots from a little boy whom the prisoner had handed them to. The boots were worth 2s 11d.— Prisoner was committed to Northallerton Gaol for three mouths with hard labour

Northern Echo Aug 1897 Thomas  Lynch was committed to prison for one month  for stealing a pair of boots from the  shop of the Public Benefit Boot Company,  Mandale-road, on Saturday

Robert Crossgrove Manager of the Public Benefit Boot Co branch at Thornaby-On-Tees, Yorkshire, in 1900.

YORK HERALD JULY 1900.   TRANSLATOR OF BOOTS Thomas Moran (67), labourer, was indicted for stealing a pair of boots, the property of the Public Benefit Boot Company, at Thornaby-on- Tees, on the 19th of May last. Mr. Mortimer prosecuted, and said at about 10.40 o’clock on the night in question prisoner was seen by P.C. Calvert to offer the boots for sale outside the Erimus Hotel, Thornaby. When questioned, he said he had bought them at Darlington, but after- wards said he purchased them from a drunken man at Redcar. — Robt. Cosgrove, manager to the Boot Co., identified the boots by a private mark. Prisoner said he was a ” translator ” and buyer of boots. He was drunk when he bought them from another drunken man. He denied having been convicted of felony at Darlington in February, 1889. — The Chairman said prisoner had 50 previous convictions against him, including one of five years’ penal servitude and two years’ police supervision. He called himself a ” translator “of boots, which meant that he translated boots belonging to other people to his own use. He was a well-known and reputed thief. The Court sentenced him to three years’ penal servitude

50 Mandale Rd, 1894-1939 opposite the post office


Goole Road 1927 kellys 


February 1931 Todmorden News advertises new branch


19 Market Street, 1909 & 1924 Kelly’s Lancashire

Ulverston, 20 Market Street, 1911 -1938

William John Jackson In 1911 he managed the company’s premises at 20 Market Street, Ulverston, Lancashire.

Mr Kendrick Manager for Ulverston found 3rd Qtr 1924


Illustrated Police news October 1896 A SILVER WATCH AND CHAIN FOR SOLVING A PUZZLE. AT the Swindon (Wilts) Police Court, Ernest Goode, a  Watch and Clock Makers’ at 184, Oxford Street, is charged with having  fraudulently obtained 16s from George Harris Leonard, of 7, Swindon Road, New Swindon, by means of a rebus puzzle advertisement, he was committed for trial at Salisbury Assizes, bail is being accepted. There were several other charges of the same nature against the accused. The puzzles were inserted in London weekly newspapers, and each person who sent a correct solution expected to receive a silver watch on paying 16s for a chain. Witnesses gave evidence that they solved the puzzle, applied for the watch, and forwarded the stipulated sum, but never received either watch or chain. According to expert evidence the trade value of  the watches was 9s or 9s 6d and of one of the chains 2s 6d to 3s. Among the witnesses examined who alleged , they had been defrauded were Joseph Phillips,  manager of the Public Benefit Boot Company, Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, a lad whose: parents live at Hindon, near Salisbury; an agricultural labourer, of Brettenham, Norfolk; and a painter living in Swindon

Staffordshire Advertiser Nov 1909 Florence Croft, a young woman, of Burton-on-Trent. who had lately been in the service of  Mr. Tudor, of Doveridge, was charged with having  stolen a fur from the shop of Mr. Brisbourne, draper. Uttoxeter, and with having obtained food and lodging by false pretences from Miss Cotton, Bridge-street. Uttoxeter, and also stealing a fur. a brooch, and money, she was sentenced to three months hard labour. She was then charged with fraudulently obtaining from the public Benefit Boot Company at Uttoxeter a pair of boots and a pair of galoshes, from the branch of Messrs- Salter a pair of tan boots, and from the shop of Mr G.Harris a lady’s hat. For each of these offences she was sentenced to  one month hard labour, making in all six months. 

Staffordshire Advertiser Nov 1907 Mr. E. Idris Lewis, solicitor for Mr Smith. manager of the Public Benefit Boot Company, the Market place, Uttoxeter, wrote stating that damage amounting to about £50 had been done to the premises & stock etc owing to the flooding of the basement with “sewage by a recent storm on account of the new sewers not being large enough to take the storm water which had been connected to them

Burton Chronicle April 1914 Accident Whilst Playing with other boys in the vicinity of the station on Tuesday morning, Edward Smith son of Mr T.S.Smith manager of the Uttoxeter branch of the Public Benefit Boot Company met with a nasty accident……. consult P-S Biographicals  

9 Market Place, 1892-1950

Joseph Phillips manager of the Public Benefit Boot Company, Uttoxeter 1896, 1899-1909 went on to be manager of 6 Church Gate Loughborough all information gleaned from court cases where Joseph Philips was either a witness or prosecutor.       Illustrated Police news October 1896 consult as above and for full biographical details P-S Biographicals

Thomas S. Smith In the early 1900’s he managed the Public Benefit Boot Co premises at 1 Stafford Street, Walsall, Staffordshire and from 1904 to 1912 he managed the company’s premises at Market Place, Uttoxeter, Staffordshire….. A couple of incidents occurred consult the cases above  for complete stories & P-S  biographical details


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

Wakefield, Freehold Premises

Wakefield & West Riding Herald May 1891. A VIOLENT SHOEMAKER   John Moiser, shoemaker, of Northgate, lately in the employ of the Public Benefit Boot Company, Wakefield, was charged with having assaulted William Hebden, a young man, of Bridge Street, on Monday night, the 14h inst.–Complainant said that on the night in question he went from the shop of the Company named above in Kirkgate into the workshop to ask if a pair of boots were ready. The prisoner, who left his employ there a week before, was in the place, and on getting to the top of the stairs, Moiser. saying – ” YOU are just the bastard I want,” seised him and threw him against the wall several times, and subjected him to a lot of bad and violent treatment, finally endeavouring to throw him bodily into an ashpit, but failed in the attempt.—Miller Hutchinson, an assistant in the shop, corroborated. –Defendant said he went to the workshop for some tools he had left behind, and the complainant came upstairs and became insolent to him, and finally kicked him on the leg. —Hutchinson add that defendant caught hold of the complainant by the throat and banged him against a wall.— Defendant said he only pushed Hebden away. The Beach convicted. and fined Moiser 2s 6d. and costs, or 14 days’ imprisonment 

Yorkshire Evening Post August 1892 at Wakefield City Court a girl of twelve Ada Malcolm daughter of a tailor living in Monks Yard was charged with stealing a pair of Boots from the Public Benefit Boot Company’s Kirkgate shop. It appears the girl went home with boots and she said they had been wrapped up in the same parcel as some repairs she had been to fetch. Instead of returning them to the shop her father kept them for three weeks and attempted to pawn them as he said he needed money for his dying wife. The bench dismissed the case on account of the girls’ tender age, but warned the father he had narrowly escaped a serious charge

Wakefield Express October 1898……A new front to be put into a shop in the Bull Ring for a grocery firm. It is in Kirkgate that we are to have surprises. A handsome new shop of the Public Benefit Boot Company. ornate with sculpture. which was opened on Saturday with a brilliant illumination by electric are lamps and music by the Rutland Mills Brass Band, seems to have stimulated a neighbouring firm to put in a new front and to add to the roof an ornamental stone gable.

Wakefield Express Dec 1902 A LAPSE FROM HONESTY. • James Arthur, from Liverpool was charged with the theft of four pairs of boots. value £1 19s. 6d., from the Public Benefit Boot Co on kirkgate, on the previous afternoon. Messrs Lister. Pickersgill. and Rowlands; appeared on prisoner’s behalf. The evidence of Miss Bell assistant at the shop. and P.C. Butterworth, who arrested the prisoner, was to the effect that while Miss Bell was engaged at the back the prisoner entered the shop, and must have put one pair of boots in his portmanteau and three in a paper parcel. He was leaving just as she, reentered the front of the shop. Her suspicions were aroused,  she asked him what he had been doing but he returned no answer. He want into the singing-room of the Crown and Anchor, and left the parcel there; then he went to  “six Chimneys” and  then entered Mr Bells shop. In the  meantime P.C. Butterworth had been  communicated with, and following the prisoner, he arrested him the bag being found to contain one of the pairs of boots. The three others were handed to the officer by the land lady of the Crown and Anchor.  Mr underwood said that his client was a very respectable Liverpool tradesman. who went about  buying and selling boots, and had  hitherto borne an irreproachable character. —The Magistrates imposed a fine of £8 or one month to prison

Bradford Daily Telegraph Jan1905 John Hall ‘(33). stoker was sent to prison for six months for breaking a plate glass window, value £10. belonging the Public Benefit Boot Company. Limited. Wakefield.

Wakefield & W.riding Herald July 1908 Geo. Wade, Piccadilly, labourer, was charged with stealing a pair of hoots, value 6s 11d., from the shop door of the Public Benefit Boot Company, on the night of the 29th of june.—Tom Crowther, assistant to the Boot Company, said he missed a pair of boots on the evening of the 29th June from a number which had been placed outside the shop -Mr. Gilderdale spoke to prisoner ‘pledging them for 3s. in the name of John Smith, Osset Road, D.O. Sheard said he charged prisoner on July 3rd, in Westmorland Street, when he denied all knowledge of them, afterwards saying that he pledged the boots, for a man who gave them to him, and whom he did not know. Prisoner pleaded not guilty, and adhered to the statement that the boots were given to him. The Bench ordered prisoner to pay 10s 6d. or 14 days.

105 Kirkgate, 1887

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

Wakefield, 126-132 Kirkgate, 1898-1936 New & updated Emporium

A grand depiction of the Wakefield branch newly erected on Kirkgate

Wakefield, 1 Kirkgate, 1936

Staff associated with Wakefield

George Frederick Blackburn, George worked in many locations  1st QTR 1926 sent to manage Wakefield Branch

Tom Crowther assistant see above newspaper report from 1908

William North Driver  William worked as a boot maker for some years but by the age of 27 he managed the branch in  Wakefield (1890) . 5. From the 1890’s until the 1920’s he managed Public Benefit Boot Co premises at 24 Carlton Street, Castleford.consult Biographicals A-D

Miller Hutchinson assistant and witness to an assault see 1891 newspaper report above

Jonathan Rose In the early 1880s Jonathan worked as a boot dealer’s assistant with the Public Benefit Boot Co. He went on to manage the large and prestigious Wakefield branch for many years

Christian Frederick Stubbs   He may have been franchising from 1885. The Stubbs family for some time lived at Brighouse and at the turn of the century Christian managed a boot shop in Wakefield. P-S Biographicals

Arthur Robert Stubbs  Arthur and his brother Christian Frederick Stubbs were both boot salesmen. By 1891 Arthur managed a boot shop in Leicestershire and circa 1901 managed the Public Benefit Boot Co premises in Normanton. He married at Wakefield in 1909 and may have worked for his brother as a salesman.

Wallsend on Tyne, See Newcastle 


Walsall Advertiser March 1906 WANTED SIX WEEKS, BUT ONLY GOT A MONTH. Thomas Bunch (60). labourer, of no fixed abode, was charged with stealing a pair of boots, value 5s 11d, the property of Public Benefit Boot Company, Limited, Park Street, on the 16th last.-A boy named Charles Holmes, deposed to seeing the prisoner take the bools from outside the shop and going into the entry of the New Inn, and put them under his coat. —Christopher Lane manager stated the previous witness informed him of the theft and going outside he saw the prisoner and gave him into custody.—Police-constable Aires (14) said that when arrested and charged, prisoner said Yes, I want six weeks.”— Prisoner now pleaded guilty, and asked what he had to say remarked. ‘ Poverty, poverty and starvation.”—The Chief Constable said he thought the prisoner was desirous that someone should keep him. The workhouse had refused him several times and he broke a window. He got one month hard labour

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



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

Walsall, 16 Park Street, 1905-1929

Mr Bridgens  A new manager sent to Walsall Branch 1st Qtr 1926

Mr Clarke Manager of Walsall Branch 4th QTR 1927

Charles Robert Jefferis  In 1911 he managed the company’s premises at 16 Park Street, Walsall, Staffordshire

Christopher Lane Manager of the Walsall shop when boots were purloined in 1906. See the case above for full details

Thomas S. Smith In the early 1900’s he managed the Public Benefit Boot Co premises at 1 Stafford Street, Walsall, Staffordshire and from 1904 to 1912 he managed the company’s premises at Market Place, Uttoxeter, Staffordshire consult P-S surnames for full biographical details

Mr Waterson Manager at Walsall sent to manage Spalding 1st QTR 1926

WARRINGTON Lancashire Freehold Premises

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

Warrington 116 Bridge Street 1905 & 1924 Kelly’s Lancashire

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

18-20 Bridge Street, 1895-1901

Warrington, 6 Bridge Street, 1909-1966

Jan 1941 number 6 Bridge Street confirmed Liverpool Eve Express 

Warrington 212 Wilderspool Road, 1897-1901

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

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

Thomas Smart Kent  Manager of 212 Wilderspool Road Warrington Branch 1900

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


26b Market Place, 1936-1940


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

Northampton Mercury Sept 1892   Employees Outing.—The employees of the Public Benefit Boot Company had an enjoyable outing on Saturday at Weston Underwood, to which place they proceeded in brakes. A band accompanied them on their journey, and considerably enlivened the day s proceedings

Stamford Mercury dec 1893 William Pollard, for embezzling two pairs of boots, the property of the Public Benefit Boot Company, was sent to prison for a month at Wellingborough Police court.

Northampton Mercury Oct 1895. The Public Benefit Boot Company of Wellingborough have just accepted a tender of £1,375 for a new factory in that town.

Stamford Mercury April 1898 The Public Benefit Boot Company. —Plaintif, a shoe finisher, claimed in lieu of week’s notice.—Plaintiff said he received a week’s notice on Saturday, whereas notices posted in the factory stated that the week commenced and closed on the Friday.— Defendants’ manager said that was so, but it had been the custom to give and receive notices on the Saturday.—His Honour said plaintiff had clearly not received a week’s notice, and there would be judgment for the amount claimed, but without costs.

Northampton Mercury March 1899 The Public Benefit Boot Company, Limited. Wellingborough, was summoned for breach the Factory Act by employing Walter Thompson, Nellie Perkins, and William Pendred during prohibited hours.—Fined 10s. and costs in each case.

Northampton Mercury Sept 1899 Public Benefit Boot Company journeyed to Lamport in Brakes for their annual outing.

Northants Evening Telegraph April 1900 advert: Wanted, youth for finishing upper in  Closing Room – Apply Public Benefit Boot Company, Ltd., Palk-road, Wellingboro

Northants Evening Telegraph April 1900 TACKERS ON. —Apply Public Benefit Boot Company, Ltd., Palk-road. Wellingborough.                                         WANTED. FITTING CUTTERS, also BOYS for Finishing, and Closing Room-: —Apply Public Benefit Boot Company, Ltd . Palk mad, Wellingborough.  

Northants Evening Telegraph November 1900  good PRESSMAN and LIFT cutters  —Apply, Benefit Boot Company, Ltd., Palk-Road, First class Heel builder on  Peberdy and Earp’s Power Builder.- Apply- Public Benefit Boot Company, Lid., Palk-‘road,

Northants Evening Telegraph November 1900 First Class EDGE-SETTER, also good FITTING CUTTERS.—AppIy. Public Benefit Boot Co., Limited, Palk-road, Wellingborough.                                                                                                              Good PRESSMAN  & LIFT CUTTERs.–Apply. Public Benefit Boot Company, Ltd., Palk Road Wellingborough

Northants Evening Telegraph April 1900  WANTED, LASTERS and TACKERS ON. —Apply Public Benefit Boot Company, Ltd , Palk-road. Wellingborough

Northants Evening Telegraph Aug 1900 WAN TED, Good BREASTER for Finishing Room; also good MACHINISTS for Derby and Bal work (power)—Apply, Public Benefit Boot Company, Ltd.,

Northants Evening Telegraph December 1900 Good MACHINISTS on men’s work (power), FITTING CUTTERS, and PULLERS-OVER for Lasting room. Constant employment. —Apply, Public Benefit Boot Company, Ltd., Palk-road. Wellingborough

Northants Evening Telegraph  July 1900 Good HEEL PARER.—Apply Public Benefit Boot Company, .Lad., Palk-Road, Wellingborough 

Northampton Mercury Nov 1909 WELLINGBOROUGH. Singular Accident.— Saturday afternoon, Midland dray went to the works of the Public Benefit Boot Company, in Palk-road, for the purpose of delivering leather, when by some means the back part of the dray toppled over into the area under the hoist. The horse was not hurt, but it took long time to raise the dray from the area.

Fred Watkin Page Consult I-O surnames for detailed account

William Pendred

Nellie Perkins

Walter Thompson   

William Pollard A worker in the Wellingborough factory. Stamford Mercury dec 1893 William Pollard, for embezzling two pairs of boots, the property of the Public Benefit Boot Company, was sent to prison for a month at Wellingborough Police court.

West Bromwich

176 High Street, 1892 (Stephen Hilton, proprietor 1892

Stephen Hilton He was a boot and shoe factor and in 1892 was listed as the proprietor of the Public Benefit Boot Co branch on High Street, West Bromwich, Staffordshire. His sons were also involved in the family footwear business that traded under the name of S Hilton & Sons. 


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

Mr Pilling New manager sent to new Branch Whitchurch 4th Qtr 1927

Whitehaven Cumbria

82 King Street /Duke Street 1938 Kellys directory & Lancashire Eve Post May 1938 (ex Wallace shop)

Whitley Bay,

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. She retired in 1974 Consult surnames E-H for further details. See also James Smeatham 

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

James Smeatham He worked for Public Benefit Boot Co branches in the North East, served in the air force during WWII and on his return took over management of the Whitley Bay branch. In 1952 he married another Benefit Footwear employee, Olive Gospell and they both continued to work for the company for more than 20 years, their last branch being Carlisle, Cumberland. James died at Carlisle in 1973 aged 58

H Smith Whitley Bay Branch 3rd qtr 1924

F C Tonkins Whitley Bay Branch 1925

Mr Tregoning  New manager to Whitley Bay 1st QTR 1927

C Ward Whitley Bay manager in 1924

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

40 Esplanade, 1922-1929

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

215 Whitley Road 1936 Kellys 

Widnes, also Sims Cross

Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Oct 1893 Action for Personal Damages at Widnes. —At the Widnes County-court, on Friday, before his Honour Judge Shand and a jury, action was brought by Richard and Mary Elizabeth Dodd his wife, of Hale-road, Hale-bank, to recover damages against the Public Benefit Boot Company, Widnes, for injuries sustained by female plaintiff falling down the trapdoor of the defendant’s shop. A verdict for the plaintiffs, damages £50 was recorded.

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

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

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

Mr Crawshaw New manager becomes manager of Widnes Branch found 4th Qtr 1924

Mr Denham  Manager of the Widnes Branch went to  Warrington Branch 4th Qtr 1925

Mary Elizabeth Dodd Assistant or sales lady At the Widnes branch Manchester consult court case from 1893 above claim for damages

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

Mr Pickering New manager sent to Simms Cross 1926


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

Wigan, 33 Wallgate, 1909 Wigan Library directories

Wigan, 19 Market Place, 1952-1959 Wigan Library directories ex Wallace Branch


11-12 Victoria Street, 1904-1930

1911 the company downsized to number 11 Victoria Street

Mr W. Badger  Manager of Bromsgrove Branch found 4th Qtr 1924 in 1928 he is managing Wolverhampton branch

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

Thomas Llewelyn Jones In 1911 he managed the company’s boot shop at 11 Victoria Street, Wolverhampton

J Lloyd Errand boy at Wolverhampton Branch found 1st QTR 1927

Mr Ernest Parker    Manager of 72 Lumley Road Skegness in 1933. Previous service saw him at Wolverhampton branch. This short statement in the:Skegness Standard Nov 1936 “The generosity of local butchers and other tradespeople enables a quantity of really delicious and nourishing soup to be made, and there is no question that it is very greatly appreciated, particularly, perhaps by parents of young children. Anything in the way of vegetable and other ingredients together with money for the purchase of the same will be gratefully received by Mr Ernest Parker (secretary) at the Public Benefit shop in Lumley road. Ernest was still manager of the Skegness Shop 1955 when he attended his son’s wedding. His son Anthony became manager of a Grimsby branch

Wombwell, Barnsley

39 High Street, 1922-1936

Staff associated with Wombwell

W. Blackburn Manager 1924 & 1925

George Frederick Blackburn   after working in many locations throughout his life he managed Wombwell Branch prior to 1926

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

A E Imeson Manager Redcar branch 1924 & 1925  previously served as an assistant at Doncaster then became manager at Wombwell branch 1st QTR 1926


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


Gt North Road, opened June 6th 1924-1936

Mr F. C. Braithwaite Manager of the  new branch at Woodlands near Doncaster 1st QTR 1926.

Mr G L Reed  Woodlands Branch 1925 

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

See photo opposite


1901-1914, 1921 mentioned in newspapers for these dates

Miss F E Gee Worksop Branch 1924 & 1925

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


opened 4th Qtr 1927 ex branch of Underwoods

Mr Frost A new manager sent to new Branch Hillsboro 1st QTR 1926. Sent to Wrexham Branch 3rd QTR 1928

Mr Hughes  New manager sent to new branch Wrexham 4th QTR 1927


York Herald May 1883 small ad wanting a riveter for the 77 Goodramgate shop repair facility

Otley News & West Riding Adv.1887 The Gigantic Public Benefit BOOT CO Sale of Boots and Shoes. is now going on at CASH’S BOOT  STORE, 19 PARLIAMENT STREET,  We Must clear out present Stock . We wLL sell 1,000 pairs at prices, that will astonish everybody. COME AND SEE FOR  YOURSELVES. COME AND LOOK.  NO OLD RUBBISH AT CASH’S SALE.. Mind you GET to the RIGHT PLACE. 

Otley News & W. Riding adv. 1890 THE PUBLIC BENEFIT BOOT COMPANY Are alive to the Booting Interests of the Public. They are fully aware of the requirements of all people  And have provided Novelties, Specialities, and General Goods that will create AMAZEMENT AND ADMIRATION. In every mind and upon every countenance of those who see them. The Company are resolute upon BENEFITTING FAMILIES to a much further extent, and SAVING the INDUSTRIAL CLASSES more and more. The Perception of Families. The Discernment of Workmen. The Knowledge of Ladies. Will clearly see the Extraordinary Excellence and Confirmed Cheapness of the New Goods. THE SPRING OF SPRINGS FOR HIGH QUALITIES. THE SEASON OF SEASONS FOR LOW PRICES. THE TIME OF TIMES FOR NOVELTIES. The Great and Growing Business of the PUBLIC BENEFIT BOOT CO. is the Talk of the City. – Greater Things than Ever Will be done this Spring and Summer for York and Districts. Public, appreciation of their endeavours has roused them to produce VALUE BEYOND ALL Precedent.  OLD CUSTOMERS ARE HEARTILY THANKED. NEW CUSTOMERS ARE WARMLY SOLICITED. “is” the bounden duty of one and all to get the BEST VALUE at the Least Cost, from the Public Benefit Boot Company, KING OF BOOT SHOPS, Clifford Street York 

York Herald Feb 1898 Bad Money, at the borough Court Alfred Broughton of Darrington, a gentlemans’ servant  was charged with passing bad money on Wednesday. He gave the money in exchange for a pair of brown shoes and a pair of gaiters in the public Benefit Boot shop. The coin he proffered looked like a sovereign but after he went the coin was found to be not gold. detective Clayton hurried to the station and arrested the man before he could set out for Kings Cross, four more pieces were discovered on him and he was remanded.

York, Clifford Street, (cnr Cumberland Street) 1889-1896 confirmed by Kelly’s National directory of Great Britain 1896. See the wordy extravaganza above

York, Coney Street, 1902

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


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

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

17-19 Market Street (Wyles Brothers proprietors) 

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

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

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

A Pelmear York Branch 1924  Manager and also Manager at 53 Hendon Road Sunderland 1932. He is living at 2, Bentinck terrace, Bentinck Road, Newcastle in 1932

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.