Southern Branches A-G

Southern Branches A-G 

1886-Bristol-Newspaper Magpie

A Lennards list of branches for 1909 and 1931 totalling 250  has been incorporated onto the Southern A-Z of branches. Where Lennards ceased trading a note beside the entry ‘Not Listed in 1909 and or 1931′ has been added if no note exists the branch has been continuously trading for the company.Lennards also began trading extensively in what was once considered Northern Territories, competing against their old partners the Leeds based Public Benefit Boot Company. Using five main sources to populate the website are:  

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

Up to circa 1910 and in some cases beyond to 1919 the cross over from Public Benefit Boot company to Lennards Ltd had not been completely achieved regarding the Southern territory branches; originally trading under the common title of Public Benefit Boot Company.

All Public Benefit Company and Lennards Ltd staff names have been transferred to the five sections of the surnames and shareholders lists from the many sources used.


Aberdare, Glamorgan 

Merthyr express Aug 1908 Thomas Dunn was charged with stealing a pair of boots, the property of the Public Benefit Boot Company (Aberdare branch).–John Beynon Gwynne said that on Monday last, at 1.30 p.m., he saw the defendant and another man coning down Canon street. Defendant’s friend went into the shop while defendant remained outside. He saw him take a pocket-knife from his pocket, and cut a string which was holding a pair of boots outside the shop. He placed the boots under his coat. and walked away. He (witness) ran into the shop and gave information to one of the assistants there.—Evan Ebeneser Jenkins, Cwmaman, said that he was employed by the Public Benefit shop. From information he received, he followed the defendant to the lodging-home in, the High-street, and afterwards gave information to the police. The value of the boots was 8s 11d.  P.C. Llewellyn  Evans spoke to arresting the defendant in the lodging-house and charging him with the theft of the boots, to which he replied, “1 know nothing about them.”—Defendant when charged , said he was; drunk, and did not, know whet he was doing,— He was sent to prison for six weeks

 1897 -1903 Bennetts  7 Commercial Street 

Aberdare, 16 Canon Street, 1906-1940 (The remaining branch according to Lennards List 1931)

Aberdare, Union Street, 1918

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

Evan Ebenezer Jenkins Assistant 1908 see newspaper report above

H Anthony Pritchard  Manager 1918 of 16 Cannon Street Aberdare

Acton, Middlesex, Not listed in 1931

168 High Street, 1914-1919

Aldershot, & Brockenhurst Hampshire

Hampshire Chronicle July 1904 Soldiers as Window Breakers. Arthur Smallwood, 20, William Woods, 20, John Whitehead, 18, and John Edward Bardsley 19, privates in the Cheshire Regiment, stationed at Aldershot, were indicted for doing damage to a plate-glass window, of the value of £7, the property the Public Benefit Boot Company, Aldershot on 18th June. All pleaded guilty, and Mr. Ricketts, who appeared to prosecute, said that prisoners had had a dispute with their Sergeant-Major, and they did this in revenge, hoping apparently to get out of the Army. The Chairman observed that the Bench had hoped that the salutary punishments imposed upon window smashers had had some effect. They had not had cases before them for sometime, and they were therefore inclined to deal with the prisoners lightly. They would each go to prison for three calendar months with hard labour.

7 Grosvenor Road, 1901-1931 removed to number 11 (Winchester Library)

11 Grosvenor Road, 1931-1935

Samuel Charles Lusty Born 1878 at Bristol.  At the age of 12 he worked as an errand boy for a Bristol boot shop (likely one of Lennards Ltd branches).  In 1911 he managed the company’s premises at 7 Grosvenor Road, Aldershot. consult surnames I-O

Altrincham listed in 1931

21 Stamford New Road listed in 1931

35 Stamford New Road 1933 Kellys

Ashford, Kent

52 High Street, a listed building 1911-1938 Ashford Library

William Henry Crispe Born 1875 at Ashford, Kent. 1911 he managed the company’s premises at 52 High Street, Ashford, the business having been run by his family since the 1870s. consult surnames A-D

Ashington North eastern colliery town Added from 1931 list

52 Station Road 1931 & 1938 Kellys Northumberland

Ashton under Lyne, Lancashire 

203 Stamford Street, 1900-1928

Ashton under Lyne, 157 Stamford Street, 1929 this branch only in 1931

Avonmouth, Gloucestershire See Bristol


Advertisement October 1939 Bucks Herald  staff for new shop opening 29th November  1939 at 29, High Street.


Banbury advertiser 1902 SATURDAY. Before the Mayor and Mr. Windsor, Give the  Police a Job— Alfred Saunders, a tramp, who said he came from London, was brought up charged with stealing a pair of boots, value 4s. lid., from the shop of the Public Benefit Boot Company, Parsons’ Street, on the previous day.—P.C. Hirons stated that five minutes to five on Friday afternoon be was near the Public Boot Company’s shop and saw the prisoner take the pair of boots off a stack just inside the door. Witness asked him what he was going to do with them, and he replied give you a job. Witness sent for the manager of the shop, who identified the boots. Witness took the prisoner to the Town Hall and charged him. In reply he said Yes. I have no boots on my feet, and l am starving.”—Prisoner was remanded till Monday. MONDAY….                                                                                                                      Before the ex-Mayor (Mr. J. Mawle) Mr. C. Windsor, Mr. W. Dench field, Mr. W. Lake, and Mr. H. Bartlett. The Theft of a pair of Boots. Alfred Saunders, of fixed abode, was charged on remand with stealing a pair of boots, value 4s. lid. from the shop of the Public Benefit Boot Co., Parsons’ Street, on January 31st. P.C. Hirons repeated his statement as given on Saturday.—Charles Polly deposed that he was assistant to the Boot Company, and the boots produced were the property of his employers.— Prisoner, in answer to the charge and usual question, said he wished the case settled then. He pleaded guilty, and said he was hard up” when he took the boots. The Head Constable, replying to the ex-Mayor, said the prisoner was a stranger there, and knew nothing at all about him—Prisoner was committed for one month.

Banbury Beacon 10th October 1891 ad for staff at 3, Broad street Banbury

Banbury 7 Parsons Street, 1895-1920 Banbury Beacon 18th May 1895

Banbury Guardian 7th Jan 1897 ad for staff at 7 Parson’s Street

Banbury,  Lennards Cnr, Market Place, 1929 this branch listed only in 1931 & 1947 & 1955

Charles Polly Assistant at Parson Street Branch Banbury 1902.consult surnames P-S 


Barnstaple looking down Cross Street to the High Street branch


North Devon Journal April 1896 Charity Farrell  a married woman stole a cap from a shop in Barnstaple then a pair of boots from the entrance to the shop of the Public Benefit Boot Company. They were discovered missing on Saturday evening and Walter Matthews the manager of the shop sent his shop lad John Lock to report the offence. Meanwhile Mrs Farrell had been seen by a policeman and arrested subsequently she was charged with stealing the cape and the boots. Her age and the fact that she had children made it difficult to understand how a woman of her standing would get into such a mess. She was sentenced to seven days imprisonment and arrangements were made to look after her children until she came out.The judge declined to fine her as it would also punish the husband.

North devon Journal Aug 1898 BURGLARY AT BARNSTAPLE. A daring burglary was committed Barnstaple on Sunday night. Early on Monday morning, Mr. W. T. Hodnett, local manager of the Public Benefit Boot Company, reported to the police that the shop in High-street (situated not far from the Police Station) had been entered and a sum of £22 odd stolen. Mr. Hodnett balanced his accounts on Saturday night, and there was then cash in the till to the amount of £22 7s. 10£ d., £15 £16 being in gold. He wrote a letter in the shop on Sunday afternoon, and everything was then all right. When, on Monday morning, he proceeded to open the shop as usual, he found that the bar which hold the door had been thrown on the floor. On further examination discovered that the till had been forced open and the whole of the cash removed. A desk had also been prised open.  Immediately over the entrance door a fanlight, and as this-had evidently been tampered with it was conjectured that the burglar obtained access to the premises by these means. The fanlight was (as.is usual) kept partially open for purposes of ventilation, and the iron rests -supporting it had clearly been forced out of position. The theory is that the thief (or thieves) entered the shop from the street by means of the fanlight, leaving the premises by way of the door, which was bolted, but not locked, having first put -the fanlight in its proper position. Supt. Eddy and Sergt. Edwards promptly made a careful examination .of the premises. They found marks made in forcing the till in ten places, the desk having been forced in two places.  The instruments used were evidently a hammer and chisel, usually kept under the desk for shop purposes. There is no clue as to  the offender. 

North devon journal December 1901 Vehicular traffic in High street, Barnstaple, on Friday morning was in a congested state in the vicinity of the Vegetable Market, (Pannier Market)  it being market day. In attempting to get out of the way of a vehicle coming from Cross-street a cart belonging to an Ashford farmer was backed against the plate glass window of the Public Benefit Boot Company, the large pane being smashed.

Western Times March 1902 BROKEN WINDOW AT BARNSTAPLE. At Barnstaple County Court, yesterday, before Judge Beresford, Mr. A. F. Seldon, on behalf of Leonards Ltd. (The Public Benefit Boot Company) sued Richard Williams, farmer, of Ashford, for £6 9s 3d, damages suffered by the negligent driving of a horse resulting in the breaking of a plate glass window in the plaintiff’s shop in High-street, Barnstaple, on December 20th. Mr. A. Bencraft defended. The defence was that Williams wanted to drive into Cross-street, but because of a waggon being in the way, he had to pull up the horse. The reins in some way became entangled with the harness, and the horse backed upon the pavement, the cart smashing the glass. There was no negligence. —Judgment was entered for the plaintiff with costs. 

Exeter and Plymouth Gazette Nov 1909 Reginald Radclift, the manager the Public Benefit Boot Company’s branch at Barnstaple, was. yesterday summoned at the Police-court for keeping his shop open after 7 p.m. on Thursday, October 21st, in contravention of the Closing Order. A fine 10/-and costs was imposed

North Devon Journal December 1910 The DWELLING HOUSE & SHOP and PREMISES. 25. High Street. Barnstaple, let on lease to the Public Benefit Boot Company at £80 a year

North Devon Journal Feb 1912 The funeral of Mr Reginald Radclift manager of the Barnstaple branch took place at bideford. Consult surnames P-S for full story under Radclif

Barnstaple 23-25 High Street, 1897-1941 (24 & 23 occupy each corner of Paternoster Row all are listed buildings)

Barnstaple advertised in North Devon Journal 15th December 1898 at no;25 opposite Cross Street a listed building.

Barnstaple: Exeter & Plymouth Gazette Barnstaple 23-08-1898 Break in

Barnstaple North Devon Journal October 1916 Contravention of Lights order at Barnstaple shop. Laura Patterson acknowledged a charge in respect of being in charge whilst the manager was on holiday on the evening of 7th October. A brilliant light was being shone on the pavement. Consult surnames P-S 

Only number 25 is trading in 1931 & 1948

Wallace James Cooke Born 1860 at Barnstaple. In 1911 he, assisted by his wife Melinda, managed the company’s premises at 25a High Street, Barnstaple consult surnames A-D

W.T.Hodnett Assistant  North devon Journal Aug 1898 BURGLARY AT BARNSTAPLE. A daring burglary was committed Barnstaple on Sunday night. for the full story consult Barnstaple Southern Branches A-g 

Walter Matthews Manager from at least 1896 and also at the time of August 1898 burglary above. consult surnames I-O 

Laura Patterson Barnstaple North Devon Journal October 1916 Contravention of Lights order at Barnstaple shop. Laura Patterson acknowledged a charge in respect of being in charge whilst the manager was on holiday on the evening of 7th October. A brilliant light was being shone on the pavement. Consult Barnstaple Southern Branches A-G

Basingstoke, Hampshire 

9 Wote Street, 1920-1938

Bath, Somerset

Wiltshire Times and Trowbridge Adv  March 1928 WILLIAM ASH & SONS (Original Public Benefit Boot Company). 22, Southgate St., BATH. ?? 

Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette Jan 1893    Before Col. Ford (in the chair), and Mr. A. G. D. Moger. John Smith, 19, described as a labourer, of 5, High street, Cheltenham, was charged with stealing on the 9th inst., from the doorway of No. 22, Southgate-street, a pair of men’s elastic calf boots, valued at 7s. lid., the property of Alfred Hall.—P.C. Simpkin’s proved seeing the prisoner while on duty in Southgate-street. He had something bulky under his coat, and being rather suspicious the witness asked what he had there. Prisoner replied, ” A pair of boots.” Witness said, “Where did you get them” Prisoner answered, Anyone would do anything for want.” Witness then took him to the Central Police Station, and again asked him where he got them. Prisoner said “At the Public Benefit Boot Company.” He was searched and 1s. 1d. was found upon him.—Alfred Hall, bootmaker, carrying on business under the title the Public Benefit Boot Company, identified the prisoner, neither did he miss the boots until the constable called his attention to them.—Prisoner elected to be tried by the Magistrates and pleaded guilty. He said he wanted some money to to Wales to get some work. he was sent to gaol for 14 days with hard labour. In reply to the sentence he said, I wish to give myself up for deserting from the 1st Gloucestershire Regiment.”

Bath Chronicle October 1903 A WARNING TRADESMEN. Albert Andrews (29), a shoemaker, of no fixed abode, was charged with stealing from the doorway of 19, Stall Street, a pair of boys boots, value 2s. 6id., the property of the Public Benefit Boot Co., on the 3rd inst.—P.C. Bryan said he saw prisoner being held by two shopmen in Weymouth Street, who gave him charge for stealing the boots, which he had on his arm. When charged he made no reply.—Wm. Chapman, in the employ of the Company, said the boots (produced) were on the top of a stack of others just outside the door. Prisoner elected to be dealt with summarily and pleaded guilty. He had nothing to say in his defence.—Prisoner was sent down for three weeks with hard labour. —The Chairman, speaking to Chapman, said the magistrates very much regretted that tradesmen would expose their goods outside their shop. It was illegal and tempted men who had no money to appropriate the goods. If the goods were kept inside the shop there would no temptation. They were going to put a stop to it, for some years ago tradesmen were not allowed expose their goods, and by that means many thefts had been prevented.

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

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

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

19 Stall Street  traded under Original Public Benefit Boot co. 1892-1914 & by 1915 under Lennards Ltd Bath reference library . Was also advertised in 1909 Prospectus as a Lennards Branch

19 Stall Street application for a new lease and rebuilding permission to a corner plot Bath Chronicle 6th July 1912

19 Stall Street 1894 & 1897 Kellys Somerset

19 Stall Street 1920-1973 Bath Library

Stall Street, 1971-1977 & 18 Stall Street, 1980

Ernest Henry Brown Born 1879 at Bridgwater. In 1901 he worked as a shop assistant in Bath and by 1911 he managed the company’s premises at 175 Commercial Street, Newport, Monmouthshire. Consult surnames A-D

J. A. Chapman District manager based at 90 Queen Street Cardiff Gloucester journal May 1901 Alfred James Spittle manager for the Public Benefit Boot Supply company Newport remanded charged with embezzlement consult surnames A-D

Walter William Collins Born 1862 at Kelston, Somerset. At the age of 20 he was undertaking a boot making apprenticeship. He married Mary Jane PROWSE in 1882 and they had one daughter Mary Edith Collins. At the time of his marriage he was a boot salesman in Bristol. 1894 was managing the 69 East Street Bedminster branch then from 1897 to his death in 1943, managed the branch at 19 Stall Street, Bath, where his wife and daughter assisted in the business. Consult surnames A-D

Mary Edith Collins Born 1883 at Bristol, daughter of Walter William COLLINS, boot dealer, and his wife Mary Jane PROWSE. In 1901 she worked as a cashier at the Public Benefit Boot Co branch managed by her father at 19 Stall Street, Bath.

George Greenslade He managed the company’s retail outlet at Bedminster, Bristol, in 1891 and a few years later he managed the company’s premises at 19 Stall Street, Bath, Somerset 1895-1896.

Alfred Hall   Franchisee ……Alfred Hall, bootmaker, carrying on business under the title the Public Benefit Boot Company, identified the prisoner, neither did he miss the boots until the constable called his attention to them.. Consult 1893 court case above

William George Saunders, He managed company branch shops at Bristol and Bath and during WWI served as a lorry driver with the British Army. He was a Lennards Ltd manager

Joseph Sherriff Scudamore Born 1866 at Llangarren, Herefordshire, son of George Scudamore. He  managed boot and shoe retail businesses in Bath and later in Taunton where he was a Borough Councillor in the 1920’s.. consult surnames P-S 


Bedfordshire Mercury Aug 1907. George Waite, no fixed abode, was charged with stealing a steel comb and piece of sacking, value 6d., the property of Albert Burridge, on the 12th. Albert Burridge, 8, Alexander-road, manager to the Public Benefit Boot Company, 6, Harpur-street, said at 11.30 am. on Aug. 12, prisoner was in the back premises of the shop in Harpur-street, and he asked him where he got the sacking (produced) from. Prisoner said he brought it from away, and wanted to buy some old boots. Witness told him to put the sacking back or he should send for the police : he said he should not put back what belonged to him. The sacking and comb (produced) had been kept in a cupboard, and saw it three days previous to this. The case went to court but was dismissed despite several appearances of being charged with larceny

62 High Street, 1909-1976 Only this branch listed in 1931 & 1949

March 26th 1909 Bedford Mercury alterations to 62 High Street for the Public Benefit Boot company 

Bedford 25 Midland Road found 1941 &  1947 & 1954 confirmed Bedfordshire Times

Albert Burridge 8, Alexander-road, manager, 6, Harpur-street consult Bedford Southern Branches A-G for the full story

ROBERT C. CLEMENTFrom 1942 to 1946 Mr. Clement was manager of the Public Benefit Boot Co., Ltd., branch Midland Road, Bedford. He had been in the service of that firm since 1905. starting at Kilburn as a youth and transferring to Luton in 1910 as branch manager. During the war years, he carried on the firm’s Bedford shop while his wife managed that at Luton. Consult surnames A-D

Walter Arthur Hobbs Born 1885 at Stroud. At the age of 16 he worked as a boot salesman in Rodborough, Gloucestershire and by 1911 he managed the company premises at 62 High Street, Bedford.

Bedminster  See Bristol

Belper added from 1931 list

70 King street 1932  & 1941 Kellys


Bideford North Devon Gazette  Feb. 1895 obstruction to the pavement with four crates of boots for 36 hours George Burnell of the High-Street Bideford branch pleaded guilty paid costs of 4s 6d

Exeter and Plymouth gazette Dec 1908 SEVERE GALE. CHIMNEY COLLAPSE AT BIDEFORD. REMARKABLE ESCAPES. During the early .hours of yesterday morning the district was visited by a severe gale. At, intervals rain fell in torrents, while lightning was frequent, and the wind blew a hurricane. AT Launceston, in addition to- heavy rain, thunder and lightning were experienced. Unusually rough weather prevailed over Barnstaple and the neighbourhood during the early hours of yesterday morning. excessive damage has, however, been reported. During a heavy squall at Weymouth a sailing pinnace, going to shore, capsized, and two naval seamen were drowned, seven being rescued. A wiple ” chimney the rear of the premises of the Public Benefit Boot Company High-street. Bideford, was blown down The manager and his wife, Mr. and Mrs Smith, with their little girl, were sleeping in the top storey. The debris fell through the roof and ceiling onto the bed, pinning them underneath. Neighbours awakened by screams, succeeded after considerable difficulty, in getting to the premises. It is estimated 3-4cwt of debris fell onto the occupants. No bones were broken but the family were suffering from internal injuries of a serious nature

North Devon Journal April 1909 The funeral of Mr A.Burnell of Cold Harbour, took pace at the cemetery he was one time manager of the Bideford branch of Public Benefit Boot Company

Bideford, Devon 79 High Street, 1897-1929 on the corner of New Street

Bideford Weekly Gazette 5th March 1907 reports this branch was sold for £1,450

Bideford Weekly Gazette February 2nd 1909 reports on the New Street Corner Branch which is 79 High Street 

Bideford  Lennards Corner 79 High Street, 1938

Mr A Burnell One time manager of the Bideford Branch of the P.B.B.co 1900’s and certainly in 1908

George Burnell Manager Bideford 1895

Ernest Galsworthy Born 1893 at Bideford, Devon, son of Alfred GALSWORTHY, house painter, and his wife Elizabeth Ann ROOKE. In 1911 he worked as a boot shop assistant in Bideford.  With his wife as assistant they managed Chapel Street Exmouth from 1931-1950 followed by a removal into new premises 36 The Parade up to 1957 He died in 1975.

George Edward N Smith
Born c1876 at Bath, Somerset, he married Ada Blanche L Howell. In 1908 he managed the company’s premises at 79 High Street, Bideford, Devon.  An unfortunate accident struck the Bideford branch in 1908. Mr & Mrs Smith and daughter  Exeter and Plymouth gazette Dec 1908 SEVERE GALE. CHIMNEY COLLAPSE AT BIDEFORD. REMARKABLE ESCAPES consult surnames P-S


60 Corporation Street 1940 & 1942

Bishopton, See Bristol


Blaydon On Tyne Added from 1931 list

37 Church Street Lennards list in 1931 and Kellys 1934 & 1938

Ad for manager of Lennards Shoe Store Blaydon 26th May 1978

Blyth Added from 1931 list

32a turner street

Bodmin, Not listed in 1931

34 Fore Street, 1902                             

Bodmin, Honey Street, 1906-1916 Kellys

Wesley Nancarrow Born 1865 at Summercourt, St Enoder, Cornwall. 1906 he managed the Public Benefit Boot Co branch in Honey Street, Bodmin. By 1914 he managed businesses in Wadebridge and Redruth.

Bolton Added from 1909 & 1931 list

Bolton Evening news December 1906 BRADSHAWGATE WIDENING 2 & 4. BRADSHAWGATE CORNER OF DEANSGATE TO BOOT DEALERS  AND HEADS OF FAMILY THOS. CROMPTON AND SON have received instructions from BENEFIT BOOT CO. to SELL BY AUCTION, • Premises being required for street improvement!. Every FRIDAY AT 7, AND SATURDAY AND MONDAY 2 and 7. until stock is sold The stock is in good condition and consists of 8000 pairs of Boots and shoes

Advertised as a new Lennards branch in the Bolton Evening news June 1908 & confirmed in the 1909 Prospectus. 12-14 Bradshawgate known as  Whewell Buildings was occupied by the Public Benefit Boot company but owned by lennards. Probably one of the twenty branches purchased by T. J. Lennard in order to gain control of the 1904 amalgamation of the two P.B. Companies A wonderful red terracotta, construction, Whewell buildings it was here in premises at the beginning of the buildings distinguished by a half circular window on the 2nd Floor,  The company opened in Bradshawgate at 47 in 1896 as Public Benefit Boot further down the same thoroughfare. All operations were transferred to the new branch in 1908,  by T.J.Lennard self appointed chairman and M.D. overseeing a smooth transition to one giant company. It remained A Lennards branch when eventually the merger failed

Bolton Evening News 4th june 1908 IT IS A FACT! YOU SPEND HALF YOUR LIFE IN BOOTS SHOES It is therefore to your advantage that you should make this half comfortable. The only way to ensure this on economical lines is to wear …… Lennards Boots & Shoes. They wear well, look well, and are noted for style; have stood the test for over a quarter of century. SATISFACTION GUARANTEED. Look in NEW PREMISES for the Selection HOLIDAY FOOTWEAR in the Town. Public Benefit Boot Company 12 & 14, BRADSHAWGATE. BOLTON. 

Bournemouth, includes Winton

Christchurch Times Sept 1897 At the police court on Friday, Alfred William Critchell, an employe’ of the Public Benefit Boot Company, was sentenced to three months’ hard labour for converting to his use of the moneys of his employees.

Hampshire Advertiser Jan 1899 Alleged False Pretences Case: Eliza Mabel May Rose, a respectably-dressed, rather prepossessing girl, was charged with having on the 17th inst. obtained by false pretences, four pairs of shoes, value 18s. 10d., the property of the Public Benefit Boot Company.— P.C. Gill said that from information received he went in search of defendant on Saturday last, and found her about 10 o’clock at night. He told her a complaint had been received from Mr. Collins, the manager of the Public Benefit Boot Company, whose shop was 83 Old Christchurch-road, Bournemouth, that she had obtained from the shop four pairs of shoes. She denied the charges and was accompanying the Policeman to the shop when she ran off, he gave chase and overtook her. On arriving at the shop, Miss Caroline Collins, an assistant, at once identified the defendant, and told her she went there last Tuesday and asked for a pair of boots for Mrs. Rose, of Florence Villa, Wellington-road. The girl again denied the charge and she was arrested, then began to offer an explanation. “I am sorry that I told such lies, but my boots were got so bad, and I had not got any money, or I should not have done it.” She pleaded guilty, and elected to be tried summarily. — Superintendent Foster, in reply to the magistrates, said the girl had been away some months in a home, whither she had been sent through the assistance of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. She returned from the home in London last Saturday week, and had no home to go to. He was sorry to say that since she had been in Bournemouth she had gone to a loan office, and had referred to the Inspector of the S.P.C.C. as a surety to a promissory note. He believed she was six months in the Home. — The Chairman said the magistrates wished to make inquiries, with a view to the defendant going into a Home, -as he understood a lady was prepared to take ‘care of her. — The girl said she would rather go to a Home than go to prison; and she began crying. — The Chairman said she would be remanded until to-morrow, and in the meantime the. necessary inquiries as to the Home would be made

Western Gazette November 1902 THEFTS FROM SHOPKEEPERS.— Mary Jane Nash, a married woman, of Parkstone, was charged, on remand, with stealing two pairs of boots, value 7s 11d, the property of the Public Benefit Boot Company.—Charles Frederick Hunt, manager of the Company’s shop in Old Christchurch-road. said he saw the boots hanging outside the shop at six o’clock Saturday evening, and missed them half an hour later. He communicated with the police, and next saw the boots in their possession.—Sergt. Tarrant said he went in search of the prisoner, and found her at the top of Commercial-road at half past seven on the same evening. She denied having anything which did not belong to her, but on  searching her found the stolen boots in her bag. Prisoner pleaded guilty.—She was then further charged with stealing a lady’s jacket, value. £1 1s, the property of Mr. Henry George Knight, draper, Old Christchurch-Road—Sergeant Tarrant said the prisoner was wearing the stolen jacket when her apprehended her on the other charge. When asked where she got the jacket from she said she bought it.—Prisoner also pleaded guilty to this charge.—She was next charged with stealing a pair of boots, value 10s 6d. the property of Mr Joseph Frisby- boot dealer, Holdenhurst-road. Percy Burridge, assistant to Mr. Frisby, said the boots were missed from outside the shop 18th October, the loss being reported to tho police on the same evening.—Ernest Gainsbury, manager to Tuson & Son, pawnbrokers, Poole, said the boots were brought to their establishment op the 28th October by the prisoner, who obtained, a loan upon them. She said, in reply to “his question, they were her own property.—Sergeant Tarrant said the pawn ticket was found on the prisoner by the matron who searched her.  Prisoner now pleaded guilty. Superintendent Foster, in reply to the Bench, said he could not say a word in the prisoner’s favour. She had been previously convicted in Bournemouth, where she formerly lived, and she had since removed to Branksome. Her husband was a labourer, and they had four children. She was sentenced to fourteen days’ imprisonment for each offence, the sentences to run consecutively, making six weeks altogether. 

83 Old Christchurch Road, 1898-1918

Bournemouth Old Christchurch Road a report in Western Gazette 7th November 1902 theft of boots manager mentioned  

Bournemouth, Old Christchurch Road, 1929 Listed in 1931


89 Wimborne Road, 1894-1899 88  1901-1913

Winton, 141 Wimborne Road, 1913-1929 & listed in 1931

Mr Collins Manager of Bournemouth branch 83 Old Christchurch Road 1899 consult surnames A-D

Caroline Collins assistant and daughter of Mr Collins at the same branch 1899 consult surnames A-D

Alfred William Critchell Embezzlement 1897 Christchurch Alfred William Critchell, an employee’ of the Public Benefit Boot Company, 83 old Christchurch road consult surnames A-D

Henry George William Fisher Born 1879 at Mangotsfield,  son of Henry George FISHER. In 1903 at Christchurch,  he married Edith Maud Nicklen.  In 1911 he was managing the boot dealership at 88 Wimborne Road, Winton, Bournemouth. He died at Bournemouth 14 December 1930 aged 51 and his widow Edith died there 15 August 1932 

Charles Frederick Hunt  Manager of the Old Christchurch road branch:                              Western Gazette November 1902 THEFTS FROM SHOPKEEPERS for the full story consult Bournemouth Southern branches A-G

William Richard Pagett Born 1868 at Kidderminster, Worcestershire, son of Eli Pagett, boot-maker, and his wife Betsy. He worked initially in local carpet works but by the 1890’s he had followed his father into the boot trade. In the mid-1890’s he managed the Public Benefit Boot Co branch at 6 Church Gate, Loughborough. By 1901 he was managing a boot shop in Worthing, Sussex and in 1911 he managed a boot shop at Westbourne, Bournemouth. consult surnames P-S

William John Runyard
Born 1878 at Crichel, Dorset, son of Michael Runyard. He married Anne Eliza Rose Philpott in 1900 and they had a son Graham Henry Runyard 1903 at Bournemouth, Hampshire. From 1901 to at least 1911 William worked as a boot repairer at the company’s premises on Wimborne Road, Winton, Hampshire. consult surnames P-S

John Paice Westmuckett Born 1877 at Portsmouth, Hampshire, son of John Paice Westmuckett naval officer, and his wife Mary. He worked firstly as a boot shop assistant in Bournemouth and in 1911 he managed the company’s premises at 106 High Street, Maidenhead, Berkshire. consult surnames TZ

Bridgend, Glamorgan 1904 Not listed in 1931

 Western times adv for staff  listed in 1942  @7 Caroline Street 


Bridgnorth Journal & Advertiser Feb 1893 PUBLIC BENEFIT BOOT STORES, 40, Whitburn Street. The marvellously splendid value which is now offered at the lowest .possible prices at the above address, is the wonder of the town and district. For comfort, wear and style they are unsurpassed at the prices. ” Small profits and quick returns ” being our motto, enable us to sell so cheaply. Before making your purchases elsewhere come and see for yourselves. Seeing is believing. Our repairs are the talk o’ the town. “No matter where your boots were bought, We soon will them repair; And though they may be fit for nought We’ll make them fit for wear.” Men’s soled and heeled, 2s. lcid. Ladies’ soled and heeled, ls. lOd. For neatness, durability and cheapness we defy competition. Special attention paid to bespoke orders


West Somerset Free Press November 1901 Charlotte Allen (15), of Taunton-road. Bridgwater, was indicted for breaking and entering the dwelling-house cf Robert Allen, her father, and stealing two rings, his property; and Albert Edward Swift (20).cycle maker, of Taunton, was similarly Indicted. There was a further charge against the girl of obtaining boots and shoes from the shop of the Public Benefit Boot Company, under false pretences, and Swift was indicted for receiving the same, knowing them to have been stolen. Mr. P. O. H. Reed prosecuted. It appeared from the evidence that Swift aid the girl had been about together for some little time at the commencement the month The girl was away from home, with him for several days, and she re-entered the house by breaking a window, and took the rings, which she handed to Swift. The latter ineffectually tried to sell them, but gave the girl the rings, with a note stating that her mother had authorised her to sell them. The note was produced at a pawnbrokers’ establishment, and the manager, believing it to be genuine, purchased the rings. A conviction with f our months imprisonment against Swift, at Derby, in January last, for housebreaking, was proved. The jury found Swift guilty. The Recorder  said Swift was a most dangerous man, and had tried to lead the girl on a career of crime. He sentenced him to 12 months hard labour. With regard to the girl he sent her to a home, the Court missionary (Mr. Collis) taking charge of her. The second charge against the parties was thereupon withdrawn

13a Fore Street, 1901- 1910,  

13 Fore Street in 1909, 1914,  1938 Kellys & 1973/4 Commercial directories Bridgwater Library  1931 Lennards Ltd list

Bridgwater, 37 Eastover, 1902


47 West Street, 1911-1918 Chichester  Library

Brighton, 19 Western Road, 1929 only this branch listed in 1931

Stephen Oatley Born 1853 at London, son of James Oatley, boot-maker’s clicker, and his wife Sarah. He married Marrian Jelley in 1888 at Brighton, Sussex. They had no children and he spent much of his working life managing the company’s premises at Brighton. He died at Hove, Sussex in 1929 .

Brislington, See Bristol


BRISTOL Lennards continue to trade in Bristol until at least 1973

 Leeds PBBC Headquarters

Bristol Queens Road HQ.







South Bristol Free Press 1912 Article relates to the Lennards  National benefit Union for those associated with the company. The terms were generous and when the national Insurance Bill was formed the terms of that scheme were deemed to be far lower than the Lennards provisions. Shareholders and members began to realise they could not pay into the government initiative which was compulsory and the company scheme. In a vote 93% voted to end the Company Benefit union and instead rely on the National scheme                     LENNARDS BENEFIT Union.  Premiums cease at 6o                                                                     National insurance scheme continue until age 70.                                                                Pensions commence at age 50 (Lennards)                                                                                            National scheme Commence at 70.                                                                                        Sickness Benefit.(Lennards)  —Two weeks’ full wages, six weeks’ half wages.              National insurance four days no benefit, men 26 weeks @ 10s. women 26 weeks 7s 6d     Old-age Pensions. 5s per week @ 60 for life or cash option of £148.18s– –                             The State (apart from N.I.B.) now give 5s. per week after 70.                                      Premiums repaid in full when leaving the service of the company.                                Premiums repaid at . death to relatives, in full.                                                                            The state scheme in both cases did not entertain those benefits provided by Lennards

Western daily Press Aug 1880 Public Benefit Boot Co.are in want of good clickers, rough stuff cutters and Rounders. Apply to the manager at the factory St.James Square (in large red gates next to Mission and school rooms

Western daily Press Sept 1882 First Class machinist. Top wages to good hand none others need apply. Public Benefit Boot Company St James Square 

Gloucester Citizen Aug 1885 An application from the Public Benefit Boot company boot and shoe manufacturers to affix a sign to the front of the shop in the High street projecting nine feet from the front of the house was read. The sign was to be one of revolving letters. The board gave sanction to the putting up of the sign but stipulated it should not project beyond the pavement, and repudiated any responsibility for any accident which might arise from the frightening of horses or otherwise.

South Bristol free Press Aug 1913 Leonards Limited, the well-known “Public Benefit” boot firm, have some 1080 different footwear models, and carry at the Bristol headquarters (apart from the 200 branches) a stock of upwards of 25o,ooo pairs.

South Bristol Free Press Feb 1917 Annual report…In the course of his speech, the chairman said, ” We have 200 men serving with the colours, of whom 197 were volunteers; the wages made good, and war bonus as wages paid by the company for the year amount to over £4,000. Each Christmas we have sent a parcel to each soldier, and received most appreciative letters in acknowledgment

South Bristol Free Press   Messrs. Lennards, Ltd., the well-known Bristol firm of multiple boot shop owners, have acquired the controlling interest of Messrs. Alfred Tyler and Sons, Ltd., which have many similar boot shops in the North and North-East of England. Messrs. Lennards will now have a chain of establishments over 250 in number. 

Lennards Ltd Headquarters Bristol  Queens Road/Park Place (The Triangle) opened 1899 and destroyed by incendiaries in May 1940/41.

New single storey premises erected on the site circa 1948 and first listed in 1948 Bristol Daily Press 9th July 1948

Bristol, see also Avonmouth, Bedminster, Bishopton, Brislington, Clifton, Kingswood, Keynsham and Totterdown


37-38 high Street Bristol 1916                                   

A disastrous fire in 1890 at the old shop of 37 -38 High Street brought about a complete rebuild in 1891. Notice the man in the Boot

Bristol Magpie 16th May 1891 If the cobblers of the last century could revisit us, we imagine the steam and electricity would not surprise them more than the establishments now erected for the sale of boots and shoes.  The fire in High-street a year ago did the city a service, as the old-fashioned business premises have given place to the handsome five-story structure erected by the Public Benefit Boot Company, and which was opened last Saturday. To say that it is an entirely new departure, is not giving adequate expression to the go-aheadism of the city. The basement is used entirely for the reception and unpacking of goods, and by the amount of plate glass in front, and the number of lamps provided, the directors evidently mean to be the champions of ” light ” in more ways than one. A cosy corner is provided for gentlemens’ fitting accommodation, and the spacious shop seems sufficiently stocked to boot all Bristol. We understand the Public Benefit Boot Company do not hang goods outside at any of their establishments, and our readers who have seen their vast establishments at Birmingham, Derby, Nottingham, Sheffield, Manchester, Hull, etc., will understand they can well afford to dispense with such outside show, it is a questionable advantage at best, as many goods must be spoiled by exposure to the weather ; and how often the needy poor have been tempted beyond their strength is not classified in the police courts. The architect is to be congratulated on the handsome staircase which leads to the Ladies’ Parisian Saloon above ; rarely are beauty and strength combined in such a manner ; at the top, ladies are received into a saloon, comparative description is impossible, as no such thing has been attempted before. A delicately tinted Lincrusta ceiling, Lincrusta walls, ornamented with a few choice paintings, plate glass arched windows, with lace curtains and ornamented with fancy brass &trigs, Anaglypta and Lincrusta pilasters, richly relieved with gold, carved mahogany fixtures, and a richly carpeted floor, are items usually foreign to a boot depot, but here they are combined in the Harmonious whole, & we congratulate the Public Benefit Boot Company on the taste displayed.A sensible innovation is noticeable in the ladies lavatory which adjoins the saloon. The company’s registered trade mark is the well known “Horse and Boot” Time does not seem to lessen the childrens’ interest in this novel feature of advertising, in the suburbs, especially, crowds of children generally hail its advent with a cheer, and it departs leaving a widespread regret amongst the juveniles that they cannot have a ride in the Big Boot,We cannot review the stock of the company, suffice it to Say they seem to have provided for every known or likely want, and the variety seems bewildering to an untechnical eye. Before closing this short notice we would congratulate Public Benefit Boot Company on the magnificent appearance of their premises on Saturday last, and would advise all who have not already done so to pay a visit to the shop at once. 

Bristol Mercury August 1899 PublicBenefit Boot Company’s New Branch. —A prominent position is held amongst commercial undertakings by the Public Benefit Boot Company, and on Thursday it opens its ninth branch in Bristol. This betokens enterprise, thoroughly up to date, in meeting the requirements of citizens in all districts, and certainly the various business houses of the company are located with good judgment. The premises that are being prepared for the latest extension of the firm’s operations are admirably situated in Queen’s road, in the busy centre of the main avenue between the City and Clifton. The shop is not so far away from the new central depot which is being got ready on a commanding site at the Park place corner Queen’s road ; but the work there of constructing a warehouse and block of shops of handsome frontages is on such an elaborate scale that something like a couple of years will elapse before it is finished. Meanwhile, the shop in Queen’s road, opposite the Drill Hall, has been acquired ; and the premises have been rebuilt to completely adapt them to the purposes to which they will be put. A somewhat novel plan has been hit upon. In the construction the building of the ladies’ and gentlemen’s departments have been provided with separate entrances, and are practically distinct shops, though of course there is internal communication between the two parts of the building. The decorative work, both external and within doors, is in excellent taste. The shop walls are daintily papered, two shades of pink furnishing very effective pattern, set off by a deep design of embossed frieze, and this harmonises charmingly with the white and gold of the wood work, and the tinted electroliers. the fitting up of the premises skill has been exercised in rendering everything pleasing to the eye, whilst matters of practical utility and business needs have not been overlooked. Provision is made for the abundant stocking of all those goods which the company have made a speciality; and a special feature for their business is English makes as well as French goods. They have stock rooms behind as well as inside the shop, which, by the way, has an attractive frontage on Queen’s road, white and gold being in the decoration,  Bristol Times and Mirror June 1902 PUBLIC BENEFIT BOOT COMPANY BEG TO ANNOUNCE, THAT THEIR NEW PALATIAL BOOT & SHOE SALOONS, QUEEN’S ROAD, CLIFTON, ARE NOW OPEN. STOCK IS REPLETE WITH THE MOST UNIQUE DESIGNS .AND LATEST STYLES IN LADIES’ AND GENTLEMEN’S FOOTWEAR. THE. SALOONS- ARE LUXURIOUSLY’ FITTED UP AND FURNISHED IN UP-TO-DATE STYLE. LADIES PRIVATE FITTING ROOMS

Clifton & Redland Free Press Sept 1893 Mr. J. A. Clapham, manager of the Public Benefit Boot Company’s branch at Gloucester Road, Bishopton, writes to correct a mis statement in last week’s issue. In the By the-Bye” column, this paragraph appeared : ” Twenty-one days’ imprisonment is the punishment awarded to a lad who was sent by the Public Benefit Boot Company, High Street, with something over £2 to pay an account in Broadmead, and proceeded with the money to London, and thence to Cardiff, where he was arrested. • The facts are these. A man—not a lad—employed in carrying sandwich-boards was sent from the company’s shop at Bedminster —not from the High Street depot—to pay an account in Broadmead. As he did not return, the matter was put into the hands of the police, who arrested him as reported in Cardiff.

Bristol Mercury June 1894 THEFT OF BOOTS, -William Henry Wilson, a young man, was charged with stealing a pair of boots and a pair of tan ‘shoes, the property of the Public Benefit Boot Company. on Saturday evening. Charles White, porter to the Public Benefit Boot Company Leonard and Co.), said that on Saturday evening he saw the defendant outside the shop looking at some tan Shoes. After a time he suddenly ran off. Mr Brown. the manager of the shop, identified the pairs of boots. Detective Williams stated that on the evening in question ho arrested the man in St. Philip’s. He acknowledged stealing the shoes, but said he did not take the boots. The boots wore found at his sisters’ house. Prisoner pleaded guilty, and said that his sister did not know where he obtained the boots. He was the worse for drink at the time. Fined 10s and costs, or 14 days

Bristol Times and Mirror July 1894 Elizabeth Rea was charged with stealing a pair of boots, the property of the Public Benefit Boot Company. P.C. B 9 said that he met the defendant in East Street, Bedminster, at 4.30 p.m. on the previous afternoon, and saw that she had something bulky under her apron. He asked her what she had, and she showed him the boots produced. Walter Collins, manager of the Public Benefit Boot Company’s shop, at 69, East street, Bedminster, said that the boots were the property of the company, and were taken from the shop at Bedminster. The bench sent the accused to prison for three months

Bristol Mercury April 1895 ALLEGED THEFT OF A PAlR OF BOOTS. William Joseph was charged with stealing a pair of boots, the property of the Public Benefit Boot Co. The manager of the Totterdown branch of the company stated that he often employed the accused at different times to do odd jobs for him, On March 9th the accused took, according to witness’s orders, a pair of girls’ boots to the High street depot to exchange for another pair of the same sort In a different size. He brought back the pair required. Later on witness received an account from the High street depot charging him with the pair of girls’ boots which had been sent to Totterdown. He made inquiries, and afterwards took proceedings against the accused, Albert Brown, manager of the High street depot, stated that on the 9th March when the accused came to the shop to exchange a pair of boots he placed the pair required In a bag and also the pair sent for exchange, as he had boots in that size and thought that the pair would be useful to the Totterdown branch. The accused then took the bag away, The case was remanded until Tuesday. and bail was allowed providing a surety could be found.

Western daily Press Nov 1897—Fanny Ford. 37. was charged with stealing a pair of boots, value 4s 11d. the property of the Public Benefit Boot Company William Wills, in the employ of the company, said that on the previous , day he saw the woman handling some boots outside the company’s shop, at 124. Lawrence HiII. Shortly afterwards he noticed a pair of boots was missing, he went into the street, and saw the woman some distance down the street. He called another salesman, and they hurried after the woman, who first refused to come hack to the shop, afterwards she agreed to return, and, as she was turning round, he saw her drop a pair of bools. After further evidence had been taken, the bench imposed a fine 11s, or 14 days. 

Bristol Mercury Dec 1896 PUBLIC BENEFIT BOOT COMPANY. Perhaps there are few firms -which keep more abreast of the times than the Public Benefit Boot Company. As regards the Bristol branches, after 21 years of business, thriving establishments are to be found all over the city, which attract hundreds of customers daily. These branches. are at 37 and, 38, High street; 69, East street, Bedminster; 124, Lawrence hill; 39,’Gloucester road, Bishopston; 110 Wells road, Totterdown; .48, Stapleton road; and 8, Seymour terrace, Kingswood. The head branch, at 37 and 38, High street, is so conspicuous for its up to date appearance that it positively commands the attention of all who pass up and down the busy thoroughfare. It has been the annual custom of the company to make a presentation to every customer during Christmas week. This year the presentation takes the form of a nickel silver salver, nicely chased and exceedingly useful, of which about 250,000 are to be given away.

Bristol Mercury March 1898  RATHER GO TO PRISON, Louisa Caddick 36, was charged with stealing a pair of boots on Friday evening. P.C. 57 B stated that about 10 o’clock in the evening he was in East street, Bedminster, where he saw the prisoner with something bulky under her shawl. She was walking in a very suspicious manner. In reply to witness, she said she bad nothing under it. Witness, however, on removing it, found a pair of boots. The prisoner admitted that witness saw her take the boots. She had got no home, and she might as well go to prison as walk about the streets. Francis Walter Dycer, manager of the boot shop belonging to Leonard’s, Limited, trading under Public Benefit Boot Company, also . gave evidence, adding that it required a little patience and perseverance to take the boots from outside the Windows. The prisoner was sent to prison for six weeks, the magistrates complimenting constable upon his conduct, which was highly satisfactory, and deserved all credit.

Bristol Times & Mirror Aug 1898 The coroner (Mr. J. Waghorne held an  Inquiry on Thursday touching the death of Frederick George Lodge, aged 23, manager of the local shop of the Public Benefit Boot Company, who committed suicide In a very determined fashion on the Midland Railway, at Cheltenham, on Wednesday morning. The evidence went to show that on Tuesday the district manager of the boot company came to see if preparations had been made for stock-taking, but found nothing ready, and the accounts in a confused state. He postponed stock-taking until Friday, and told the deceased that unless things were better he would have to take one months notice. He saw deceased again on Wednesday morning and soon after the deceased borrowed his brothers’ bike to take some bills. Deceased was next seen near the Swindon crossing of the Midland Railway, and was sitting on the bank when the 8.45 a.m. express from Birmingham approached. When within 50 yards, he walked out to the line, and, lying down, placed himself in front of the engine, with the result that his head was severed from his body. On the back of an envelope found on deceased was written in pencil, My darling Aggie,—l am out at Swindon, and l don’t know how l shall get back, and Mr. Brown—.. Deceased, when, the district manager thought had been quite honest but not capable as a manager, was engaged to be married at Xmas  and Mx leywood who appeared for relatives, suggested that deceased committed   suicide because he knew that if he lost his situation he would not be able to get married. Amongst deceased’s’ papers was found  receipt dated August 4th, for the payment in  respect to a life assurance for £100. The coroner was of opinion that the unsatisfactory amount et deceased’s accounts had preyed on his mind, and the Jury returned a verdict of “Suicide during temporary Insanity 

Bristol Mercury April 1899 THEFTS FROM SHOPS, Martha Wilshire. 28, and Eliza Bennett of Dursley. 33, both living in Twinnell road, were charged with stealing articles from shops in Stapleton road—a pair of shoes, the property of Henry Collins; 5 shirts, the property of Samuel Barrett Cole; yards of flannel or print belonging to Philip Harris; a pair of shoes, belonging to ‘Charles Tovey a pair of boots, belonging to the Public Benefit Boot Company; and 19 yards of velveteen, belonging to William Joseph Lane. Bennett was further charged with stealing two pairs of shoes, the property of Emma Haskins. Sidney Hepburn, assistant at the boot shop of Henry Collins, of Stapleton road, said that on Friday last he saw Wilshire pull at pair of shoes hanging outside…….. The story goes on with names of those involved…witnesses …shopkeepers and so on.

Bristol Mercury Jan 1899 Charles Bogh 50, was charged with stealing a pair of boots. Francis Walter Dyer, manager of the East street branch of the Public Benefit Boot Company, stated that on Tuesday last he missed pair of boots from outside the shop. They were worth 7s 11d. a labourer gave evidence to seeing the prisoner take the boots from outside the shop and put them under his coat and walk away. The following day he saw the man again and the police took him into custody. Andrew Skinner, bricklayer, corroborated as taking the boots. The prisoner said he had been drinking and knew nothing at all about it. He did not know what became of the boots. The police said the boots had not been found. Fourteen days with hard labour

Western daily Press July 1899 A Fondness for Prison.—Louisa Caddick, 36, against whom there was a long list of  previous convictions for stealing, was charged with the theft a pair of shoes, the property of the Public Benefit Boot Co. P.C. 22B observed the defendant with something rolled under her shawl, and when he spoke to her she dropped the shoes onto the pavement. The constable observed, “You have had some more shoes, Louisa” and defendant replied, “Well; what about it?” The manager of the Bedminster branch of the Public Benefit Boot Company said the shoes were stolen from nail near the shop door. In proving previous convictions, a police officer said the defendant stole boots or brushes directly she came out of prison, with the special object of getting back to gaol again. The accused was committed for trial at the quarter session

Clifton and Redland Free Press Oct 1908 A woman was sent to prison for three months for stealing a pair of boots from the Public Benefit Boot Company.

Central Somerset Gazette Aug 1926 UNIQUE PLEA IN BRISTOL SHOP HOURS ACT CASE A summons case under the Shop Hours’ Act was heard before Sir E. H. Cook and Mr. F Leonard at Bristol Police Court. Messrs. Lennards, Ltd., the well-known boot manufacturers and retailers, were the defendants, and the case against them was that they failed to comply with the provisions of the Act in the case of Mr. James Henry Mitchelmore, the manager of their branch at 124. Lawrence Hill. Mr. Cann, an Inspector under the Act, gave evidence that on the afternoon of Wednesday, July 16th, he saw Mr. Mitchelmore dressing the window of the branch in question. Mr. Mitchelmore said that he lived over the shop, and that he was working that afternoon without his employers having knowledge of the fact. Mr. G. 1). Wansbrough (Messrs. Wansbrough, Robinson & Co.), who represented Messrs. Lennards. suggested that the presence of the manager in the shop, even if he were handling boots, was no proof that work was in progress. It might be the manager’s hobby to sit in the shop sniffing new leather and smoking. (Laughter.) The case was dismissed

Gloucester journal Feb 1928  Warehouse Breaking at Kingswood. OLD MAN SENT TO PRISON. John Jones (84), described as a bricklayer,’ pleaded guilty to a charge of breaking and entering the warehouses of Lennards Ltd., at Kingswood, with intent to commit a felony on January 9th. A further count of stealing an extension ladder was thrown out by the Grand Jury. Mr. A. F. Clements appeared for the prosecution. ‘l’he prisoner admitted having been convicted of shop-breaking at the London Sessions at Clerkenwell July 27th, 1920. FIRST CONVICTION was IN 1903. P.C. Hogg, of Kingswood. said the prisoner ‘ was born in 1884. and nothing was known of him prior to 1903 when he was sentenced to 9 months for house breaking in Doncaster. Since then he bad been in and out prison practically the whole of the time. The Judge: Mostly for housebreaking, burglary, and matters that sort. Described as a habitual criminal the judge decided to put him away for 12 months in order to protect the public. The judge described the sentence as a kindness to him and the public!

Clifton & Redland Free Press Sept 1929  Two panes of glass at Messrs. Lennards’ Ltd., boot shop in Queens Road, Clifton, were slashed during the night of Tuesday. Not earth shattering news but highlights the problems traders had.

Gloucester Citizen Nov 1945 John Denby (18) and Michael Elliott (17) were each sent to Borstal for a period not exceeding three years after having pleaded guilty to breaking and entering the factory of Lennards Ltd., at Bristol. Previous convictions were mentioned

Gloucester Citizen June 1947 GLO’SHIRE WAREHOUSE THEFT Raymond Clifford Stiff (22), labourer, and Stanley Victor Mills (22), labourer, were each put on probation for three- years at Gloucestershire Quarter Sessions on Wednesday for breaking into the warehouse of Messrs. Lennards Ltd., at Staple Hill, and stealing 22 pairs of boots and shoes. They both pleaded guilty and each was ordered to pay £10 towards the costs of the prosecution. 


Western D. Press Pub Benefit Bristol 7 High Street October 1880 ; the Public Benefit Boot Company, 7, High Street; in reference to prizes given for the Shoot at Avonmouth

There is also reference in December in 1880’s early of a Mr Franklin’s shop in the High Street.

Western daily Press  August 1880 Bristol. Pub Ben. Company ad applying for staff to work in the factory in ST. James’s Square BOOT AND SHOE BOOT TRADE.—The Public Benefit Boot Company are want of rood CLICKERS. ROUGH STUFF CUTTERS. and ROUNDERS. —Apply to Manager, the Factory, James’s Square (in large red gates next to Mission and School, rooms

Bristol, 38 High Street & Market, 1880 Bristol local studies

Bristol 1883 Henry Lennard managing 38 High Street registers the Public Benefit Boot trademark.31545

Western Daily Press -08-1883 38 High Street Bristol, personal announcement by Henry Lennard.Gentlemen, Allow me to suggest to the committee of the management of the infirmary, hospital and childrens hospital, the advisability of having boxes fixed outside to those institutions; where passers by might drop in newspapers, periodicals etc. The beneficence of this plan in lessening the tedium of the dreary hours to our suffering brethren, is so palpable that i need say no more than thank you for the insertion of this  yours sincerely Henry Lennard

Western Daily Press November 1884 announcement Bristol Lennard Bros. Action taken to disassociate themselves from The Bristol Benefit Boot company.THE WESTERN DAILY PRESS Sir, —Will you kindly allow me to state through your columns that William Beer, whose name lately appeared in your police report, has not and never had any connection with us, the Public Benefit Boot Company, 38, High Street. Owing to similarity in our registered titles a misconception has arisen in the minds of some of our friends, so we are reluctantly compelled to take a coarse it had been our intention to avoid. We are, Sir, Yours truly, LENNARD BROS., The Proprietors of the Public Benefit Boot Company 38, High Street (next the Market gate), our only local establishment. 

Bristol Mercury 5th February 1890 huge fire threatens buildings including Pub Ben result in a complete rebuilding of the High-Street Branch much improved

Clifton & Redland Free press  June 1890 Trading at 1 Broad Street 

Western daily Press April 1891 advertising for staff for the newly rebuilt High Street Branches  BOOT AND SHOE TRADE. WANTED, the Public Benefit Boot Company for their new premises, 37 and 38, High Street, smart, experienced Man SALESMAN, young Lady Assistant, and Girl suitable for Cash Desk, Must have good references.—Apply, by letter only, stating experience, age, and wages required, to 1, Broad Street

BRISTOL Mercury 20th December 1895 ‘write up’ on the foundation of the company in Bristol and mentions the many branches currently existing. 37-38 High Street next to the Market gate on the High Street; rebuilt and enlarged after the great fire!

37-38 High street 1919 kellys Somerset & 1935 (newspapers)



George Greenslade

He managed the company’s retail outlet at Bedminster, Bristol, in 1891 and a few years later he managed the company’s premises at 19 Stall Street, Bath, Somerset 1895-1896.

69 East Street Western Daily Press 25th November 1891 ad for staff

Bedminster 69 East Street, 1890-1929 still listed in 1931 & 1940 (Clifton & Redland Free Press)


Bristol 30 Stokes Croft express repairs 1916

Express Repairs: 30 Stokes Croft, Bishopton opened 16th September 1911. listed in 1931 & 1938

61 Sandy Park Road, 1914-1929 Bristol district still listed in 1931& 1940

24 Bath Street, (repairing branch, Cnr Tucker Street), 1891-1902 not listed in 1931

39 Gloucester Road, 1893-1929

BRISTOL Bishopton 39 Gloucester Road 1916

Bristol district above still listed in 1931 & 1946 (possibly in Brislington)


21 Queen’s Road, Clifton, Opened August 1899

Bristol, Clifton, 96 Queen’s Road, 1901, 1914 only branch listed in 1931 & 1935

Bristol, 55A Queens Road, 1954-1958

102-3 Temple Street Warehouse 1900

Keynsham listed in 1931

 37-38 High Street 1894-1929 Bristol District listed in 1931 & 1935

Keynsham, 46A High Street, 1977-1980

Kingswood, Bristol,  

46-48 Regent Street, 1896, 1901-1938 Kellys & listed in 1931 & 1940

Kingswood, Bristol, GLS, High Street, 1896

Kingswood, Bristol, GLS, 8, Seymour Terrace, 1900-1911


Bristol, 118 Whiteladies Road, 1901 & 1909. An excellent example of removing to premises not too distant from the older shop is Whiteladies road branch. This branch was the first one,  occupied in 2018 as (Tradewind)  just a few yards farther down. Lennards took up occupancy in 1901 quickly capitalising on their ‘World Famed’ brand. This area of Clifton was undeveloped until around the 1860’s onwards.

Bristol, 108 Whiteladies Road, 1914-1929 Listed in 1931, 1935 as Lennards Corner & trading in 1940 

Shops off the High Street


Bristol, 26 Clare Street, 1914 & 1917 Western Daily Press

Bristol, 14 Wine Street, 1929 listed in 1931

All other addresses

Avonmouth Shirehampton Road, 1909, 1914

267, Avonmouth Road, 1929 listed in 1931 & 1940

790 Fishponds found in 1940

Shirehampton 31 High Street 1909 listed in 1931 & 1940

Bristol, 124 Lawrence Hill, 1890-1929 Listed in 1931 & 1940 (Clifton & Redland Free Press)

Bristol, 48 Stapleton Road, 189o-1929 listed in 1931 1935 & 1948 (Mail order warehouse)

Harry Gill In 1901 he managed the company’s boot shop at 48 Stapleton Road, Bristol, and in 1911 he managed the premises at 102 High Road, Chiswick, Middlesex.

Bristol, 212b Hotwell Road, 1909-1929 listed in 1931

Bristol, Soundwell Road, 1954-1977

Bristol, Penn Street, Broadmead, 1974-1980

Totterdown, Bristol, GLS,

High Street, 1895

Totterdown, Bristol, GLS, 110 Wells Road, 1896-1911 

Totterdown, Bristol, GLS, 79 Wells Road, 1914-1929 listed in 1931

261 Church Road Redfield listed in 1931 & 1940

Westbury on Trim office 63 Victoria Street

Staff associated with Bristol

Edwin Alderwick manager 110 Wells Road Bristol

Donald Bell Manager of company branch in 48 Stapleton Road Bristol 1898

William Thomas Bone. In 1911 he worked as a Lennards Ltd boot repairer in Bristol. More info Surnames A-D

George Arthur Bosworth Born 1892 at Guilsborough, Northamptonshire. he worked as a salesman for Lennards Ltd in Bristol before enlisting to serve in WWI. as a driver with the Royal Field Artillery in France for 3 years, 8 months. more info surnames A-D

Albert Brown Born around 1867 at Chatham, Kent, he managed the Public Benefit Boot Co branch at High Street, Totterdown, Bristol from 1891 to 1895.1898 as a district manager he was present at the inquest of the death of shop manager. F. Lodge at 379 High Street Cheltenham consult surnames A-D

Dorothy Clapham daughter of John Arthur Clapham  manager she became a shop assistant at one of the branches in Bristol. Consult surnames A-D

John Arthur Clapham Born 1874 at Pluckley, Kent. By the age of 16 John was a Junior boot and shoe salesman in Peasecod Street, Windsor, and by 1891 a full salesman at the branch. in 1893 he managed the branch at 39 Gloucester Road, Bishopton and afterward the branch at 90 Queens Street in Cardiff.1896 Manager of Old Swindon Branch 5, Regents Circus. In 1911 was based in Redland, Gloucestershire becoming a district inspector of Lennards Ltd branches. His daughter Dorothy became a shop assistant at one of the Lennards branches in Bristol. Consult surnames A-D

Henry Collins Manager of Stapleton Road branch Bristol 1899 consult surnames A-D

Walter William Collins Born 1862 at Kelston, Somerset. At the age of 20 he was undertaking a boot making apprenticeship. He married Mary Jane PROWSE in 1882 and they had one daughter Mary Edith Collins. At the time of his marriage he was a boot salesman in Bristol. 1894 was managing the 69 East Street Bedminster branch then from 1897 to his death in 1943, managed the branch at 19 Stall Street, Bath, where his wife and daughter assisted in the business. Consult surnames A-D

George Cowdry
 Born 1891 at Cardiff, Wales, son of George Cowdry and his wife Louisa Young. He worked as a boot and shoe repairer for the Public Benefit Boot Co (Lennards Ltd), Queens Road, Bristol and at the age of 24 enlisted in the Army Ordnance Corps. He served in Egypt and married Eliza Eddleston in 1923 at Cardiff where they had a daughter Jeane Cowdry 1926. He died at Bristol in 1940 aged 48.

William Walter Dickson Born 1869 at Leicester, from 1901 to at least 1914 he managed a boot warehouse for Lennards Ltd in Bristol. Consult surnames A-D

Francis Walter Dycer Born 1872 at Milborne Port, He married Florence Martin in 1895 at Yeovil, in 1898 & 1899 he is manager of Bedminster branch and from 1901 until at least 1911 he managed the company premises at 26 King Street, Hammersmith. He died at Hammersmith in 1941 his widow died there several years later. Consult surnames A-D

George Le’ Cheminant Born c1889, in 1911 he worked as an assistant in the company’s Bristol boot warehouse. He served in WWI and died in Bristol in 1956

Edwin Stanley Gange Born 1871 at Bristol, son of Rev Edwin Gorsuch GANGE, Baptist Minister and Pastor of the Broadmead Chapel, Bristol, for 24 years, and his first wife Ann Hackett. He married Alice Maud Denning in 1895 at Bristol and they had two sons, William Stanley 1896 and Gerald Henry 1900. He was a merchant, JP, Member of Parliament for Bristol North 1922–1923. He was a director of Lennards Real Property Co Ltd, Bristol and died 29 February 1944

Joseph Wallis Goddard Born 16 February 1852 at Leicester, son of Joseph Goddard, pharmaceutical chemist, and his wife Eliza. Consult Surnames E-H for more details

William H Goodland Born 1911 at Bristol, Gloucestershire, son of Charles John Goodland, commission agent, and his wife Adelaide Hamblett Underwood. He was appointed a director of Lennards Limited in 1969.

Sydney Hepburn Assistant at the Stapleton Road branch under Henry Collins

John Richard JACKSON 1901 manager of 17, High Street Croydon. In 1911 he managed Lennards retail premises at 37-38 High Street, Bristol.

Ernest William Lennard, consult I-O surnames for further information

Henry Lennard Born about 1857 at Leicester, son of Frederick Lennard and his wife Mary Gant. In 1881 he married Mary Anne Brennan, daughter of Martin Brennan, a cabinetmaker from Ireland. Henry devoted his life to the family’s boot and shoe making interests. His wife died after an accidental fall at Leicester in 1902 aged 47 and Henry died at Leicester in 1910 aged 54. In 1883 he managed the 37-38 High street branch in Bristol

John Lennard Born 1845 at Leicester, son of Frederick Lennard and his wife Mary Gant. In 1870 he married Ellen Mary Tovell of Ballingdon, Essex. Their children included Mary Tovell Lennard 1871, Robert Frederic Lennard 1873 and Clara Lennard 1874. Initially a schoolteacher, John subsequently joined his brothers in boot manufacturing in Leicestershire and Gloucestershire. In 1897 he was secretary of Lennards Ltd and he served on the board of the Public Benefit Boot Co until 1905.

Sir Thomas Joseph Lennard. Consult I-O of surnames for more details

Andrew Mabane Salisbury Times Jan 1901 Andrew Mabane, bailed on committal, was charged that, being clerk or servant to Thos. Joseph Leonard and others

Douglas William March 1911 worked as a boot shop assistant in the company’s Bristol premises and served in Europe during WWI.

James Henry Mitchelmore Born 1867 at East Allington, Devon. In 1901 he managed the company’s boot shop at 39 Gloucester Road, Bristol; in 1905 he managed the company’s large branch at The Foregate, Worcester and in 1911 he managed the company’s premises at 8 Wellington Street, Teignmouth, Devon. 1926 he was in Lawrence Hill Bristol Consult surnames I-O

John Victor Mizen Born 1895 at Wick, Gloucestershire.. In 1911 he worked as a boot maker for Lennards in Bristol. He served as Lance Corporal in the Machine Gun Corps, Gloucestershire Regiment during WWI and was killed in action in the Somme, France, 1 August 1916 aged 21

Arthur John Morrish Born 1871 at Bridford, Devon, son of John Morrish, boot maker, and his wife Sophia Joint. He married Ellen Parnell in 1894 and their children included Kenneth Arthur 1902, Betty Winifred 1905 and John Parnell 1909.  1896-1901 he managed the company’s boot shop in Penzance. Later he managed all three shops in Penzance from 1898. Ten years later he was an inspector of branches for the company. He died at Leicester 15 November 1926 aged 55.

George Richard Mount Born 25 June 1911 at Chelsea, London, son of Sir William Arthur Mount, MP, and his wife Lady Hilda Lucy Adelaide Low. On 3 December 1936, he married Elizabeth Patricia Baring and they had a daughter Serena Georgianna  in 1941. He was Chairman and Managing Director of Lennards Ltd 1960-63. His wife Elizabeth died in 1981 and he died in 1991 aged 79.

W.J. Newman District inspector:   Gloucester Journal Sept 1931 Col.Lennard held a dinner in Gloucester in order to present to Mr W. Pitchford the manager with a Shield and a certificate for the winner of the best dressed window in their Eastgate premises. W.J.Newman district inspector expressed his wish that the shield would remain in his district for a long time.

Charles Llewellyn Oliver Born 1871 at Swansea, Wales, son of Charles Oliver who at that time managed a boot and shoe establishment at 30 Castle Street, Swansea. Both the Charles Sr and Charles Jr were shoe factors and subsequently held executive positions with Lennards Ltd of Bristol. Charles Llewellyn Oliver married about January 1901 to Hagar Winifred Heap and he died 15 December 1902 aged 31.

Thomas Henry Palmer in 1900 he worked  as an assistant at 5 Eastgate Street Gloucester. 1906 at London  they had a daughter Violet Evelyn Mary Palmer born 1908 by 1911 he managed the company’s premises at 124 Lawrence Hill, Bristol. Consult P-S surnames for further details

Caroline Frances Paxton. In 1911 she worked as an assistant in the boot shop managed by her father at 212b Hotwell Road, Bristol

Lilian Emma Paxton. At the age of 20 she worked as an assistant in the boot shop managed by her father at 118 White Ladies Road, Bristol. consult P-S surnames further information

Thomas Henry Paxton In 1891 he managed the company’s shoe factory at Keynsham. By 1901 he was manager of the boot shop at 118 White Ladies Road, Bristol where Lillian and Frederick assisted. In 1911 he managed the company’s premises at 212b Hotwell Road, Bristol, where their daughter Caroline continued to work at that branch. All four of his children assisted with the business at some stage

Archie Henry Pullen. Prior to enlisting in WWI, he worked for Lennards as a boot shop assistant

Frederick James Rickard 1914 he  managed a company branch shop at 39 Gloucester Road, Bishopton, Bristol.

William John Rickard In 1929 he lived at 33 Albany Road, Redruth, Cornwall, when, in conjunction with Lennards Ltd of Bristol, he applied for a patent relating to improvements in boot and shoe makers’ foot gauges.

Albert John Rixson. Albert worked as a boot repairer with Lennards prior to enlisting in WWI. consult P-S surnames

William George Saunders, He managed company branch shops at Bristol and Bath and during WWI served as a lorry driver with the British Army. He was a Lennards Ltd manager

William Scott Born c1859 at Pensher, Co Durham, son of George Atkinson Scott. He worked in boot shops in Bishop Auckland, Bristol and in and around 1904 he was an assistant at Portsmouth becoming manager later. 1911 he managed the company’s premises at 155-157 Commercial Road, Landport, Portsmouth, Hampshire. consult surnames P-S

Herbert Brand Sharman Born 1887 at Northampton, son of Henry Sharman, boot manufacturer, and his wife Emma BRAND. In the 1920’s he served as a director of Lennards Limited.

Roland Withers Shelton He was Export Manager for Lennards Ltd 1906-49

Thomas Singlehurst Born 1860 at Northampton, son of Thomas Singlehurst. He followed his father, trading as Thomas Singlehurst and Son in Northampton. In 1923 his company was manufacturing 2,000 pairs per week for the wholesale and export market. He was a director of Lennards Limited. consult surnames P-S

Ernest Alfred Snow. Aged in his 20’s and 30’s he managed Bristol boot shops and by 1914 managed the company’s substantial retail premises at 90 Queens Street, Cardiff Consult Surnames P-S for full biographical details

J N Sorrenson for a time he lived at 8 Downs Cote Drive, Westbury-on-Trym and in the 1960s he was Ladies Buyer for Lennards Ltd, Bristol.

Emily Spurle Her husband died 18 April 1878 aged 36 and she worked in the boot trade to support her children. By 1891 she was operating as a Bristol boot and shoe dealer. In 1914 she died at Bishopton, Bristol Consult Surnames P-S for full biographical details

Percy Steadman Born 1870 at Bristol, son of Henry Jonathan Steadman, wholesale boot manufacturer, and his wife Harriette Sarah Buchanan. Along with his brother Clifford  he worked in the family business and by the early 1900’s they were trading as Clifford and Percy Steadman and Company. He was a director of Lennards Limited in the 1920’s and served as a governing director of the British American Leather

Sydney Walter Strange Born 1869 at Notting Hill, London, the son of Samuel Strange, who for many years managed a London boot and shoe shop. In the 1890s, Sydney, as well as two of his sisters, Florence Johnson Strange and Gertrude Maria Strange assisted their father in the boot shop. He managed Public Benefit Boot Co premises in1894, Bristol and Gloucester. In 1901 he managed the premises at 102 Notting Hill gate Kensington branch & 1911 he managed the company’s premises at 90 Parsons Green Lane, Fulham, London.

Harry Alfred Thornton Born 1868 at Leicester, son of John Moore Thornton hosiery manufacturer, and his wife Sarah Ann Butler. Harry worked in his father’s hosiery manufacturing business in Leicester and served on the board of Lennards Ltd of Bristol. consult surnames T-Z 

William Richard Webb Born 1862 at Bristol. From 1881 to 1891 he worked as a clerk and manager in a Kingswood shoe factory, and from 1901 to 1911 he managed the company’s retail premises at 46 Regent Street, Kingswood, Bristol. Consult Surnames T-V for full biographical detail

Charles White Porter at a branch of P.B. Boot company and Lennards in Bristol Consult Surnames T-V for full biographical details

William Wills Salesman at Bristol 124 Lawrence Hill consult Western Daily Press Nov 1897 also consult surnames T-Z

Briton Ferry Glamorgan 

41 Neath Road, 1891-1901

Mrs Mary H. Rowlands Manageress 1891 41 Neath Road Briton Ferry

Mary Smith Mrs Mary ROWLANDS was listed as manageress of the Public Benefit Boot Co branch at 41 Neath Road, Briton Ferry. Consult Surnames P-S for full biographical details


Totnes Weekly Dec 1898  The Chairman of the Hospital trust read a letter from Messrs. Bridgman and Bridgman, on behalf of Mr. T. J. Leonard, of the Public Benefit Boot Company, suggesting that the garden between their premises and the hospital should be rented by the hospital at £5 a year, or else he will be compelled to carry out some other and detrimental steps, as far as the hospital is concerned, but more lucrative to himself, preserve his rights and privileges. The rev. gentleman expressed the opinion that if something detrimental to the hospital was put up it would not commend the Public Benefit Boot Company to the people of Brixham—(applause). On the proposition of Mr. Sanders, seconded Mr. Hazelwood, the resolution was passed expressing the hope that nothing would be done by the owners of the property concerned to obstruct the light, or be in any way detrimental to the hospital.

Totnes weekly News Feb 1899 Misses Underhay  have made a munificent gift of the garden adjoining the Brixham Cottage Hospital to the trustees of that institution. The’ garden has been owned by Mr. T. H. Leonard, of Public Benefit Boot Company, who threatened some while ago to erect a large hoarding there, which would have interrupted the hospital outlook. It was purchased by the misses Underhay to prevent this.

9 Fore Street, 1902-1938   listed in 1931 as Lennards Corner       

 3 & 4 Fore Street, 1909, 1920-1925                                          

Edward Dart Perkins Born 1853 at Crediton, Devon, son of William Perkins  domestic gardener, and his wife Ann Dart.  In 1911 he managed the company’s premises at 9 Fore Street, Brixham, Devon consult surnames P-S

Broadstairs Kent

A branch is listed under Public benefit Boot co. in 1905 but no other entry appeared beyond that date. Probably a franchise that folded?


1909, Corner North Road Not listed in  1931 See Aldershot

George William S. Brown Born 1884 at Poplar, London, 1911 he worked as a boot salesman at the company’s premises at Brockenhurst, Hampshire. consult surnames A-D

Bromley, See London

Bromsgrove, Not listed in 1931

95 High Street, 1911-1912 & 1916


26 Belle Vue, 1935


10 Regent Street, 1914

Burnham-on-Sea, 31 High Street, 1919-1929 listed in 1931 & 1935

Leo Sylvester Bryan Born 1890 at Cardiff, He likely managed the company’s premises in Regent Street, Burnham on Sea, in 1911 consult surnames A-D

Bury St Edmunds,

30 Cornhill, 1908-1929 listed in 1931 & 1937 & 1950 

21 Cornhill 1955 (Newspapers)Leonard Thomas Riches Born 1862 at London, son of Francis Bloye Riches. In 1901 he managed the Public Benefit Boot Co premises in conjunction with his mother at 143-143 Peascod Street, Windsor, Berkshire. In 1911 he managed the company’s premises at 30 Cornhill, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. Consult surnames P-S

Buxton added from 1931 list

6, Terrace Road 1909

5 Spring Gardens 1929

34 Spring Gardens, 1932-1970

Calne, Not listed in 1931

4 Church Street, 1915 Trowbridge Museum

Caerphilly, Glamorgan 

Cardiff Road & Central Street, 1929 Listed in 1931 as Lennards Corner


Western Daily Press. August 1898 Camborne Cheapjack. Manager of the P.B.B.co shop complains of ‘Cheapjack’ auctioneer, attracting such a crowd as to block access to the  Camborne shop premises

William Burnell Rees Born 25 May 1873 at Swansea, son of David Burnell Rees. He married Irenia Oxenham 5 June 1904 at Truro 1908 and Rona REES 1912. For many years he and his wife managed the company’s boot retail premises in Market Square, Camborne, Cornwall. consult surnames P-S

Camborne Market Place 1902-1919 (Mkt Place became Mkt Square) 

Camborne Market Square 1920-1938 Listed in 1931 & 1949

Camberwell See London


Cambridge Independent Press 8-25-03-1882 Fred James prosecuted by manager Thomas Wright for stealing a half sovereign  from Public Benefit Boot Company (likely a Henry Lennard branch) STEALING MONEY. Frederick James (15) was charged by Thomas Wright, on behalf of the Public Benefit Boot and Shoe Company, with stealing half-sovereign from a till at the company’s shop in Market-street —lt appeared that the defendant, who worked for Messrs. Jones and Piggott, took the money from the till at Mr. Smith’s shop. He admitted the offence to Detective Carter. —Mr. Piggott, in reply to the bench, said the lad received 4s. 6d. a week; his payment had been raised to that amount, and he was to have received a further advance, so satisfied were they with the manner in which he had discharged his duties.—Defendant pleaded guilty.—His father, tinman and brazier, of Wisbech, said defendant had been in his own employment before going to Messrs. Jones and Piggott.—Mr. Balls said the bench were very loth to send defendant to prison; his case was a sad one ; he might have got well. They would order a payment of a fine of £l, 10s. the amount stolen, and 17s. 6d. costs. They recommended defendant’s father to take his son away from Cambridge altogether. week allowed for payment. 

Cambridge Independent Press April 1884 A Spill. —On Monday morning. Mr. Taylor, the manager of the Public Benefit Boot Company, Market-street, was driving down Sidney-street, and while passing over the new road-way laid down against Jesus-lane, the pony slipped and fell. Mr. Taylor and his son, a little boy about ten years old, were pitched out of the cart, but fortunately sustained no injuries. A box was also shot out of the cart, the contents (boots) being scattered over the road. Luckily, no damage was done to either pony, cart, or the contents, and Mr. Taylor, after a short delay, was able to proceed on his journey

Cambridge, 2 Rose Crescent, 1929 listed in 1931


43 High Street, 1923-1931



Cardiff St Mary’s Street

Belfast telegraph August 1908 Three ago Charles Green. 31. left his overcoat and a  farewell letter on the river bank at Cardiff. Shortly afterwards he was arrested at Glasgow, and yesterday was sentenced at Cardiff to ten -weeks hard labour for embezzlement. Green was local manager to the Public Benefit Boot Company, and the prostration alleged the loss of about £300 A solicitor for the defence said prisoner had contemplated suicide, but, at the last moment. his courage failed him.

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

Queen Street

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

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

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

St. Mary Street

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

Cardiff 79 St Mary Street, 1899-1920

Cardiff, 48 St Mary Street, 1926, 1929 listed in 1931 & 1935 & throughout the 1940’s  Western Times.

Other addresses

Roath, Glamorgan 

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

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

John Arthur Clapham Born 1874 at Pluckley, Kent. By the age of 16 John was a Junior boot and shoe salesman in Peasecod Street, Windsor, and by 1891 a full salesman at the branch. in 1893 he managed the branch at 39 Gloucester Road, Bishopton and afterward the branch at 90 Queens Street in Cardiff.1896 Manager of Old Swindon Branch 5, Regents Circus. In 1911 was based in Redland, Gloucestershire becoming a district inspector of Lennards Ltd branches. His daughter Dorothy became a shop assistant at one of the Lennards branches in Bristol. Consult surnames A-D

Frank Ford Born 7 April 1875 at 14 Lovell Street, Bristol, Gloucestershire, son of Henry Ford a cooper originally from Witheridge, Devon. . Circa 1899-1903 manager of 7, Commercial Street Aberdare. In 1911 he managed the Public Benefit Boot Co premises at 176 City Road, Roath, Cardiff and 58 High Street Hornsey by 1914 he was managing the company’s branch at 21 Bridge Street, Spalding, Lincolnshire. His wife Florence died at Spalding in 1940 he died there in 1964

John Morris Born c1877 at Ruabon near Wrexham, Wales, he married Gladys Marion Fogwell in 1910  In 1901 he worked as a Cardiff boot shop assistant and in 1911 he managed the Lennards premises at 212 High Street, Exeter with his wife assisting in the business.In 1914 he was a Lennards Ltd shareholder and managed a company branch shop at 35 Pandy Square, Tonypandy, Glamorgan, Wales. Consult surnames I-O

Gladys Marion Morris  Nee Fogwell wife to John Morris assistant at 211 High Street Exeter

John Henry Oliver  Born 1880 at Loughborough, son of Samuel Bernard Oliver, boot-maker, and his wife Clare Williams. His grandparents John Carter Oliver and Elizabeth Henshaw ran a boot shop in Barrow-upon-Soar, Leicestershire. In 1901 he worked as a boot shop assistant in Cardiff and later lived in Chippenham, Wiltshire. He married Ethel Alice Broadhead in 1906 and they had a daughter Marjorie Oliver 1923.

Frederick Henry Paxton Born 1883 at Northampton, son of Thomas Henry Paxton, boot dealer, and his wife Emma Berwick Curl. In 1904 at Bristol he married Mercy May Edwards and they had children Maurice Fred born 1905 and Sydney Frank born 1911. In 1915 he enlisted at Bristol and served as a Gunner with Royal Regiment of Artillery. After the war he managed the Lennards Ltd branch at 176 City Road, Roath, Cardiff. He died at Cardiff in 1946 aged 61 and his widow Mercy died there in 1953 aged 67. consult surnames P-S 

Carlisle Cumbria

63 English Street 1961 -1968

Carmarthen, Carmarthenshire

Welshman March 1912 CANTATA. A musical treat of the highest order was provided at the Tabernacle Schoolroom on Thursday evening of last week when the children’s choir under the baton of Mr William Thomas gave a magnificent interpretation of the cantata. Entitled Led by a child,” to a crowded audience. The children, who recited in an admirable manner, were trained by Miss Thomas (Public Benefit Boot Company) whilst the duets and choruses were sweetly and eclectically rendered by the choir. Miss May Hodges proved an accomplished accompanist. Earlier in the evening solos were rendered by Miss Katie Hodges. Miss Gwennie Hodges. and Mr .J. Henry Davies. whilst Miss Thomas recited

3 Hall Street, 1909, 1911-1929 listed in 1931

David Davies Born c1873 at Llangendeirne, Carmarthenshire, in 1911 he managed the boot shop at 3 Hall Street, Carmarthen and his wife Mary assisted in the business. Consult surnames A-D

Miss Taylor consult Above article in the Welshman March 1912

Chard in Somerset: Source is the Chard & Ilminster News 

Public Benefit Boot & Shoe warehouse Corner of High Street & Holyrood Street opened and advertised in the Chard & Ilminster News 9th August 1879. Proprietor E.Willcox 

May 1880  the company are advertising as trading in High Street with no mention of Holyrood Street also in 1880 and into 1881 they have a new proprietor W.J.Bivens & Company

April 1882 Public Benefit are operating independently in High Street

March 1888 the company announce a huge sale from their Fore Street Shop next door to the George Hotel. A company called Alfred Fry are overseeing the auction.

1894 and Public Benefit are still trading in Fore Street. 

1910-1919 Lennards are advertising in the Chard and Ilminster merely placing their trade mark but by then the company had closed its’ doors to  Chard.

Alfred Fry Born 1844 at Butleigh, Somerset, son of Charles FRY. . He trained as a boot maker and in 1891 he managed the Public Benefit Boot Co premises at Fore Street, Chard, Somerset. He died at Bath in 1924 aged 79.

Chatham, Kent

164-166 High Street, 1918-1929 listed in 1931 & 1934 Maidstone Library

Chelmsford, Essex

Essex Newsman Feb 1905 reports failure on an electric cable which was electrifying the pavement. It had the effect of making dogs jump and one dog jumped so high he knocked over a stack of shoes in the shop in the High Street and corner of Springhead Road.  The electricity failure was not strong enough to affect humans who passed by

Essex Newsman Dec 1908 Ernest Warricker, a labourer, of Galleywood, and Sidney Herbert Pamplin, a labourer, of Writtle, were charged with stealing a pair of boots of the Public Benefit Boot Company, Chelmsford. —The evidence was that a woman saw Pamplin take the boots and go off with Warricker. The boots were found in a public house yard in a sack, which P.s. Flack said he had previously seen Warricker with.—Pamplin pleaded guilty, and said Warricker had nothing to do with the theft.—Warricker stated that he did not Pamplin take the boots.— Pamplin was sentenced to 14 days’ hard labour and Warricker was discharged

87 High Street, (corner of Springfield Road) 1901-1973 listed in 1931 & 1940

Chelmsford, 37 High Street, 1907,(Mr A.G.Knight manager) Essex Newsman May 1908  also listed 1912-1927

Percy Berry Bugg Born 1875 at Ipswich, 1910 he is at Chelmsford where Percy managed the Public Benefit Boot Company premises at 87 High Street consult surnames A-D

Cheltenham, Gloucestershire

380 High Street, 1880-1883 Franchise arrangement with J.J.Smith boot & Shoemaker.Smith then removed to 379 High street

85 Winchcomb Street Public Benefit Boot & Shoe Supply Stores proprietors Pitcher & Son Boot manufacturers Cheltenham Mercury 15th October 1881. 

Cheltenham, 379 High Street,  1897-1917 (As Public Benefit-Lennards Ltd)

Cheltenham 1893 Bath Chronicle 12 Jan 1893 Stealing in

Cheltenham, 368 High Street, 1920-1938 listed in 1931 1945 & 1949 (newspapers)

Cheltenham 192 High Street 1958

Albert Brown district manager present at the inquest Manager F.G.Lodge 1898

F. G. Lodge  Manager of Cheltenham Branch committed suicide it was reported in the Gloucester Citizen 29th August 1898  consult surnames I-O

William Oran employee gave evidence at the 1898 suicide of Mr F.G.Lodge.

Henry George Mustoe Born 1 August 1895 at Cheltenham. He worked as a boot shop porter at the company’s premises at 379 High Street Cheltenham. During WWI, he served with the Gloucestershire Regiment in France.

Chester Le Street Added from Lennards List

62 Front Street listed in 1931 & 1934 & 1938 Kelly’s


Chichester East street fine 20th c view of the cross

West Sussex Gazette Oct 1937 W.E.A. NOW WED Two young people very well known in the city, Mr. James Frederick Blackmore and Miss Ena Marion Lorna Weller, were married at St. Bartholomew’s Church on Thursday . The bride’s parents are Mr. and Mrs. A. E. Weller,(Mr A.E.Weller is manager of the Chichester Branch of Lennards Ltd)  . The bridegroom has been for some time on the staff of Chichester Post Office, and he and the bride have acted as joint Secretaries of Chichester branch of the Workers’ Educational Association. Lennards Ltd HQ sent gifts and Miss Weller had worked as an assistant in the Lennards Corner branch from time to time

65 East Street 1904,  Chichester Observer June & November 1904, 1905, up to 1914  Chichester Library

1 East Street, 1915-1918 

Chichester, The Cross, 1929- listed in 1931 & 1945 & 1957 Lennards Corner

Chichester, North Street, 1960


Wiltshire Times and Trowbridge Adv.Aug 1905. THEFT BOOTS AT BRISTOL Result of a Drop of Whiskey. Cecil Wheeler (24) formerly of Christian Malford, near Chippenham, appeared before Bristol Police Court, on Friday, charged by the Great Western Railway Company with stealing pair of boots, value 10s. 6d.—Detective Slade said that he had been on the previous Saturday when a number of pairs of boots had been sent from Wellingborough to the Public Benefit Boot Company. Subsequently he was going through the goods yard and discovered a cardboard box from which a pair of boots were missing. He spoke to Cecil Wheeler, who admitted having the boots and taking the witness to his lodgings produced them.—Mr. Watson, who appeared for Wheeler, pleaded that on the day named accused had a drop of whiskey, which seemed to have exercised influence over him. He saw the case and took the boots. Why, he did not know. Four years ago defendant came to Bristol as a railway porter. He was in a good situation once Christian Malford, and he bad 14 years’ good character. He had a letter from the Vicar of Christian Malford, in which be spoke very highly of Cecil Wheeler.—The Bench decided in view of defendant’s previous good character to be lenient with him. He was bound over in £10 and one surety of £10 to be of good behaviour for twelve months, and to come for judgment within that time if called upon

30 The Bridge, 1911-1938 listed in 1931

Chippenham, 57 Market Place, 1937-1939 & 1953

John Henry Oliver  Born 1880 at Loughborough, son of Samuel Bernard Oliver, boot-maker, and his wife Clare Williams. His grandparents John Carter Oliver and Elizabeth Henshaw ran a boot shop in Barrow-upon-Soar, Leicestershire. In 1901 he worked as a boot shop assistant in Cardiff and later lived in Chippenham, Wiltshire. He married Ethel Alice Broadhead in 1906 and they had a daughter Marjorie Oliver 1923

Chiswick see London

Cinderford, Not listed in 1931

High Street, 1901-1929

Thomas Willstead Born 1861 at Drybrook, Gloucestershire, son of William Willstead, collier, and his wife Mary Ann Shin. He operated an outfitter’s shop on High Street, Cinderford, Gloucestershire, and became an agent for the Public Benefit Boot Co. consult surnames T-Z


161 Cricklade Street, 1891-1929 listed in 1931

Henry Leopold Durham Born 1885 at Bredenbury, 1901 he worked as an apprentice to John James Tyler manager of the Public Benefit Boot Co branch at 161 Cricklade Street, Cirencester. In 1911 he worked as a boot trade manager in Rochford, Essex. Consult surnames A-D

John James Tyler Born 1860 at Upham, Hampshire, son of George Tyler, victualler and farmer, and his wife Harriet Eliza Page. 3. At the age of 20 he worked for the Public Benefit Boot Co and from 1891 to at least 1901 he managed the company’s premises at 161 Cricklade Street, Cirencester. consult surnames T-Z

Clapham Junction See London  

Cleethorpes Added from 1931 list

13 Grimsby Road, New Clee listed in 1931


49 Hill Road, 1902-1929 listed in 1931 & 1935


4 Long Wyre Street, 1904-1914& 1917 Kellys

Chelmsford Chronicle Jan 1906 Jas. Whitecross, private of the King’s Own Scottish Borderers, was charged with, stealing from a door yay, at Wyre-street, a pair of boots value 4s. 11 id., the property of the Public Benefit Boot Company, Saturday night. —He was sentenced to 21 days’ hard labour.

Thomas Cole Wonnacott Born 1878 at Tavistock, Devon, son of Thomas Wonnacott, draper, and his wife Eliza Tomes. In 1911 he managed the company’s premises at 4 Long Wyre Street, Colchester, Essex. He later worked for a Bristol clothing company and served with the Royal Engineers in WWI. consult surnames T-Z

Colchester, 7 Long Wyre Street, 1912-1929 listed in 1931


Market Place, 1929 listed in 1931


Cork, Not listed in 1931 

83 North Main Street, 1907-1915

192 High Street Coventry 1958

Crewkerne, Not listed in 1931

Church Street, 1906-1910, 1916 Kelly’s 

Croydon see London


4 Queen Street, 1909, 1914

Dawlish, The Strand, 1919-1929

Premont Place listed in 1931


6 Little Brittox, 1909, 1911-1916 Corner of Wine Street and Little Brittox

Devizes, Lennards Corner, The Brittox, 1929 listed in 1931


12 Tavistock Street, 1896-1900, 1909

Devonport, 22-24 Tavistock Street, 1920

Devonport, 23-24 Tavistock Street, 1929-1939 Listed in 1931 & 1935


8 & 9/9a Cornhill  evidence found for a branch in 1905 they had a large presence and the scene is still the same today. I would suggest the company arrived around the turn of the century.

2 South Street, 1906

Dorchester, 2a 1909, South Street, 1916

Dorchester, 5 South Street, 1917, 1920-1938 listed in 1931

 William Frisby Born c1850 at Frisby on the Wreake, Leicestershire, son of Joseph Frisby, farm servant, and his wife Lucy Duffin. From at least 1891 until 1911 he managed a boot dealership on South Street, Dorchester, thought to be part of the Public Benefit Boot Co group. He died at Dorchester 13 December 1924 aged 74. His son Joseph founded the firm Joseph Frisby Ltd that operated a chain of footwear stores. For complete details consult Surnames E-H

Dublin, See London derry Not listed in 1931

Leicester Chronicle Aug 1893  THE DEEDS OF ARRANGEMENT ACT, 1887 The following deeds of assignment have been registered in the central office and duly filed in the Leicester County Court  George Thornell Dudley, of 78, Belgrave-gate, boot and shoe dealer ; carrying on business as Dudley and Co., and of 31, Talbot-street, and 46, Henry-street, Dublin, carrying on business as the Public Benefit Boot Company ; at 18, North Earl-street, Dublin, carrying on business as Smart and Strong ; at Capel Street Dublin, carrying on business as Coleman and Co. ; and lately carrying on business at Camden-street, Dublin, as the Public Benefit Boot Company ; at 54, Rathannes-road, Dublin, as Coleman and Co. ; 19, Wexford-street, Dublin, as the Public Benefit Boot Company ; and 31, North-street, Belfast, as Dudley and Company, formerly as Smart and Strong, to Augustus Cufaude Palmer, of Grey Friars, Leicester, chartered accountant, as trustee for creditors generally.

Irish Times June 1891 BOOT Trade—Wanted, respectable youth as Junior Salesman ; must not be afraid to work Apply manager Public Benefit Boot Company. 31 Talbot Street 

Dublin Daily Express Jan 1898 A clever arrest—William Cundy 30, giving an address as Mayor street, and described as a bootmaker, was charged by Detective officers Lonergan and Fawcett with having on the night of the 27th January broken into the boot shop, 15 North Earl street, by breaking a pane of glass, value £4. los, and putting in his hand and stealing £1 4s worth of boots, the property of the Public Benefit Boot Company. He was also charged with having the boots illegally in his possession , and offering them in pawn.. Other charges were preferred against the prisoner by the same detective Mr. Frederick Powell, manager of the Boot Company establishment identified the stolen boots.

Freemans Journal Jan 1900 BREAKING GLASS. Mary McHugh, of Bolton court, Bolton street, a laundress, was charged with haying maliciously broken a pane of plate glass–the-window of the boot shop, 37 Capel street, the property of the Public Benefit Boot Company, value £15. The’ prisoner struck the glass three times with a bottle. The prisoner, when asked had she anything to say in explanation of her conduct, replied that she wanted to get a pair of boots. She was sent for trial to the City Sessions.

Irish Independent March 1906  (In January, 1905), James M’ Gandy, proceeding through the streets of Derry, observed the sign over a certain establishment, “Public Benefit Boot Company.” Assuming too liberal an interpretation of the inscription he annexed a pair of boots valued at 5s 11d, and disappeared. He returned from Glasgow on ‘Tuesday and had scarcely set his foot ashore before he was arrested for his 14 months’ old transgression. Yesterday he was sent to gaol for two months

Dublin Daily Express Dec 1906 CHARGES OF SHOP LIFTING Yesterday, in the Northern Police Court, a woman, named Kate Byrne, was charged by Detective Sergeant Farrell and Detective Officer Mc Cabe -with having obtained boots from shops by false pretences. The evidence was that on 8th inst. she visited the shop of Mr. Edward, 48 Mary street, and obtained three pairs boots, value 27s by representing herself as Mrs. Farrell, of Marlborough street, which statement was untrue. on another occasion she called at the shop of Tyler and Sons, 29 North Earl street, and obtained two pairs boots value 16s. 10d., by false pretences, stating that they were for a Mrs. M’Connell, of Lower Sackville street. On Saturday night, as she was attempting to repeat, the performance in the shop of the Public Benefit Boot Company, in Capel Street street, she was arrested by police officers. The accused pleaded guilty. but was remanded pending the production of further evidence

Freemans Journal Jan 1899 P.B.Boot co require smart young man as assistant 15 North earl Street Dublin

37 Capel Street, was open 1st Sept 1897

15 North Earl Street was also open on that date.Dublin

It later removed to number 18 North earl Street (1901)

18 North Earl Street, 1914

Actual dates for both branches is unknown and this is the nearest dates we have to establishing foundation in Dublin according to the Dublin Times

43 Camden Street 1894 Lower 46 Henry Street 1894 national directories These could have been repair facilities or a franchise agreement, a common practice amongst the business world

7, South Great George’s Street  opened Dec 1901 Kingstown

A Coleman Manager of 46 Henry Street branch Dublin 1894

R Downes Manager of Kingstown Galway Branch Ireland 1897.Freemans Journal April 1897 an article By R Downes manager of the Public Benefit Boot company in Kingstown heading a petition to end the severe disruption outside their business premises by the installation of an electric tram system. With roads being dug up and tons of rubble and stone left for days on end. causing hardship and huge disruption to all the businesses along the proposed route. Mr Downes has written a long appeal of complaint.

Catherine Healey  assistant. A recent photograph proves that a young woman standing outside the shop in Capel Street,  married in 1907 meant that up to the first child arriving she worked there from circa 1897- circa 1908. Why I say this is because on new store openings the company would send a photographer to record the opening of the branch and staff would stand outside. Catherine is in fact a young woman of 17 there. The Facia also is advertising Public Benefit Boot company the title when it wasn’t a limited company. Later on the word Ltd was added

Edward McGrath Manager  Derry Journal May 1907 consult surnames I-O 

Frederick Powell Manager of a Dublin Branch 15 North Earl Street 1898 consult Surnames P-S for further details


Dover Express December 1914 OPENING OF MESSRS. LENNARDS LTD. ESTABLISHMENT. Messrs. Lennards Ltd., the premier West of England boot manufacturers, have this week opened their new Dover branch at 1, Cannon street. The premises present a very smart appearance, and the display of footwear is very attractive. Messrs. Lennards make a speciality of upholding the reputation of ” Most Wear for the Least Money.” Wherever Lennards have a branch its reputation is a very high one, and, no doubt, they Will do a large business in Dover. 

1915, 1920-1938 Listed in 1931 and into the 1940’s Lennards Corner Dover Library


Greenlee Lennards Ltd ad for a manageress in Inverness. 57 Overgate Dundee DD1 1QQ 1978


Luton reporter October 1904 mentions Dunstable and St Albans as local branches near to Luton. Part of S.Taylor and Company trading as the Public Benefit Boot Company

Luton reporter Jan 1904 A CORRECTION. It was  stated in the Football Reporter on  Saturday that arrangements had been concluded between the Public Benefit  Boot Company, Limited, of Luton etc & Lennards, Limited, of Bristol and Leicester (trading as the Public Benefit Boot Company at over a hundred retail branches). to form a new company to embrace both concerns” The information as to the amalgamation which appeared in the London papers referred to the branches of the Public Benefit Boot Company, Limited. Leeds, and did not include  the St. Albans, and Dunstable establishments, known as the Public Benefit Boot Company. Luton, which, continue under the same proprietorship and management. The prestigious branches forming the Luton partnership was headed by the Harker family with original partner from the seven businesses that formed the leeds incorporation in 1897 being Jabez who’s so in law John Taylor managed the Luton branch. Certainly many of the Harker and Franklin family members were involved in the management of branches across the country. 

Easington Colliery added from 1931 list 

Seaside Lane listed in 1931

East Stonehouse, See Plymouth


56 Terminus Road, 1915-1918 Listed building erected 1898 Chichester Library 

Eastbourne, 54 Seaside Road, 1929 listed in 1931


58 Market Street (Lennards Ltd, unknown date)

Eastleigh, 15 Market Street, 1915

Eastleigh, 13 Market Street, 1915 – 1929 listed in 1931

Eastleigh, 11 & 13 Bernard Street & 1A High Street, 1930-1935

Ebbw Vale, Monmouthshire 

AlBert Lewis Gibbs Born 1869 Cardiff. 1901 until at least 1911 he managed the company’s premises at Market Street, Ebbw Vale, Monmouthshire Consult surnames E-H for mrte information

6 Market Street, 1901-1929 listed in 1931

Evesham not listed in 1931

52 High Street, Boot Warehouse July 1909-1916 Evesham Library almanacs

Frederick Clews Born 1875 at Redditch, Worcestershire. In 1911 Frederick and his Irish-born wife Agnes lived on High Street, Evesham, where he worked as a boot salesman. Consult surnames A-D


211 High street

Exeter Flyer Obstruction 02-1897 manager prosecuted Robert Vane Manager fined 10s for allowing  a box to remain in the road for 1 and a quarter hours.

Exeter, Lennards Buildings, 211-212 High Street, 1897-1919

Exeter Flying Post 24th December 1898 branch at 211 High Street Exeter


Exeter & Plymouth Gazette 9th august 1899 Interesting account of how P.B. proposed to demolish All hallows church built pre conquest days and  numbers 211-212 High Street Exeter. the aim, to widen Goldsmith Street and form a quadranted corner on the High street/Goldsmith Street then place artistic shop fronts on the building. AllHallows church was pulled down to accommodate this. By 1906 the deed had been accomplished and 211-212 dating from c.1650 had been rebuilt into a larger four storey premises, using stone and timber to the frontage in an attempt to be in keeping with the area.  Public Benefit began trading at 212 High street and H.Samuel the Jewellers occupying 211 in 1907. Later in 1908 the property was sold and 212 was demolished and another rather plain insipid building ‘put up’  along with many other buildings to allow Marks and Spencer’s to erect a large store in the Goldsmith/high street area. The blitz of 1942 destroyed about 50% of historic and ancient buildings on the `High Street’ Development from the new century right up to modern times have aided in destroying many more. Even 206 and 207 just past the ancient guildhall and on the corner of Goldsmith street were demolished around 1979 and the current replicas erected.

Western Times Aug 1901 Henry Charles Webber, labourer, no fixed address, for stealing a pair of boots from the Public Benefit Boot Company on Saturday, was sent to prison for two months with hard labour

Exeter & Plymouth gazette July 1902 FALSE PRETENCES AT EXETER. ONE MONTH’S IMPRISONMENT. At Exeter Police-court yesterday, before the Mayor (Mr. A. E. Dunn) and Messrs. H. B. Varwell and A. Bowden, Frederick Reed, alias Robinson, ex-soldier and a native of Southampton, was charged with attempting to obtain three pairs of boots from the Public Benefit Boot Company, High-street, Exeter, by means of a trick, on the 12th inst. Prisoner pleaded guilty. Inspector Dymond said the prisoner was stranger to the city. He was admitted to the Church Army Labour Home on May 9th, and remained there until Saturday, when he left with 17s in his possession. On Saturday evening he went to the Public’ Benefit Boot Company and handed the manager a note, purporting to have been written by the Captain of the Home, asking for three pairs of boots be sent to the Home on approval. The prisoner said the Captain only*wanted two pairs, but was desirous of having an extra pair sent to the Home to select from. The manager said he would send the boots, but prisoner said he was anxious to take them. The manager, however, decided not to allow the accused to take them. When the boots were sent to the Home it was found that the Captain knew nothing about the order, the note not having been written by him. Prisoner was arrested in the New Golden Lion Inn. In reply to the the Mayor, accused admitted that when he entered the Home he said that both his parents were dead, whereas they were not. The manager of the Public Benefit Boot Company said the value of two of the pairs of boots was 13s 10d. Proceedings were taken for the protection of other tradespeople the city. , The Mayor said that, perhaps it was to the accused’s advantage that the Bench did not know anything of his past career. He would have to go to prison for one month with hard labour. 

Western Times April 1907  Bradninch Woman’s Temptation at Exeter. Emma Hollett, of Bradninch, was at Exeter Police Court, on Saturday, charged with stealing a pair of lady’s shoes, value 2s 11d the property of the Public Benefit Boot Company, Exeter. Defendant was seen to take the shoes from a nail outside the shop, and being stopped she said she did not intend to steal them. She only took them to show a friend, intending to bring them back.—Defendant’s husband said he had never had any similar trouble with his wife. There were eight children.—A fine of 10s inclusive was imposed; the Bench condemning the practice of exposing goods as temptation.

Western Times Jan 1907 Successful Auction at Exeter Mr. J. F. Irwin, auctioneer, of Exeter, conducted his first sale in the city yesterday, at 211 and 212, High-street. It was that of the fittings and fixtures the premises lately occupied by the Public Benefit Boot Company. There was a large attendance of buyers, and the prices realised were highly satisfactory, many of the lots fetching good money. The old brass plates, mirrors, and shop fronts sold extremely well, reaching well above the prices anticipated. The whole of the building materials are to offered by Mr, Irwin in few days, full particulars of which will our advertising columns. 

Sidwell Street

Exeter, 170 Sidwell Street, 1909-1916

Goldsmith Street

Exeter, 23-25 Goldsmith Street, 1910-1916

Exeter, 4-5 Goldsmith Street, 1920

Exeter, Lennards Corner, 211-212 High St  & Goldsmith Streets, 1929 listed in 1931 & 1935, 1938 & 1940, 1945

Charles Thomas Atkinson. In 1911 he was single and worked as a boot salesman at 23 Goldsmith Street, Exeter. He died at Exeter in 1941 aged 87.

John Morris Born c1877 at Ruabon near Wrexham, Wales, he married Gladys Marion Fogwell in 1910  In 1901 he worked as a Cardiff boot shop assistant and in 1911 he managed the Lennards premises at 212 High Street, Exeter with his wife assisting in the business.In 1914 he was a Lennards Ltd shareholder and managed a company branch shop at 35 Pandy Square, Tonypandy, Glamorgan, Wales. Consult surnames I-O

Gladys Marion Morris  Nee Fogwell wife to John Morris assistant at 211 High Street Exeter

George White  Manager 170 Sidwell Street Exeter 1912-1916


Exmouth, Lennards Corner, 47 Chapel Street, 1929-1938 listed in 1931 & 1948.1950-1973 exmouth Library

36 The Parade 1909

Ernest Galsworthy Born 1893 at Bideford, Devon, son of Alfred GALSWORTHY, house painter, and his wife Elizabeth Ann ROOKE. In 1911 he worked as a boot shop assistant in Bideford.  With his wife as assistant they managed Chapel Street Exmouth from 1931-1950 followed by a removal into new premises 36 The Parade up to 1957 He died in 1975.

Elizabeth Ann Galsworthy nee Rooke assisting her husband Ernest they managed Chapel Street Exmouth from 1931-1950 followed by a removal into new premises 36 The Parade up to 1957


Lakes Falmouth Packet & Cornwall Advertiser March 1911 Theft of Pair of Boots. . Mary Caroline Toy, a widow, who appeared In Court carrying an  infant and another small child, was charged with stealing a pair of bools, value 6s. 11d., the property of the Public Benefit Boot Company on  February 2nd! Superintendent Nicholls explained that the prisoner had been In the Falmouth Workhouse since February and had been confined. Hence the reason tor the delay In bringing her before the Bench. Francis Edwin Newton, manager of the Falmouth branch of the Public Benefit B00t Company, stated that the prisoner called the shop on February 2nd and asked to have two pairs of boots sent her on approval. She stated she would call next morning & pay for the pair which she kept. Four pairs of boots were sent. The lad called the next morning and brought back two pairs. Prisoner was then living at 28, Killigrew Street. On again sending to the house for the prisoner, he found that she had gone. Information was then given to the police. One pair was value 5s. 11d. and the second pair 6s. 11d. Prisoner said she asked the lady in the shop to send up a few pairs of boots. The boots were sent up and she kept two pairs, fully Intending to pay tor them. Miss Jane Ann Owen said she kept a pawnbroking shop in the High-street. On February 3rd prisoner came to the shop with the pair of boots produced (the boots had not been worn). She gave the name of Lily Toy and witness Advanced her 3s. She did not recollect what really occurred, but she was certain she asked the prisoner If the boots were her own property, It was always her custom to do so.  The case rolled on….Superintendent Nicholls said the company’s manager did not wish to press the case. He had to take proceedings in order to get the property back. The Bench bound the prisoner over to come up tor judgment when called upon.

Falmouth New Branch 4 Market Street the Strand Cornish Telegraph 15th December 1898

Falmouth, 51 Market Street, 1900-1929 listed in 1931 & 1935 (East Side)

Falmouth, 43 Market Street, (E side) 1906, 1909  Kellys 

Falmouth 43 Market Street reported in :Lakes Falmouth Packet & Cornwall Advertiser 30th December 1910 theft of fur necklet manager mentioned

Frederick James Bragg Born 1871 at Bristol. From 1901 to 1906 he managed the Public Benefit branch at 43 Market Street, Falmouth in 1911 he managed the company’s premises at 52 Fore Street, Tiverton, Devon. He died in 1919 more info surnames A-D

Jessie Buzzacott Born 1878 at Crediton. In 1900 married Francis Edwin Newton, a salesman for the Public Benefit Boot Co. In 1912 Jessie was the manageress of the company’s branch at 43 Market Street, Falmouth. Consult surnames A-D

Francis Edwin Newton Born 1876 at St Thomas, Exeter, Devon. He married Jessie Buzzacott in 1900 at Crediton, Devon. During the period 1909-11 he worked as a salesman at the Public Benefit Boot Co branch at 43 Market Street, Falmouth, Cornwall then became manager and in 1912 his wife Jessie was listed as manageress of the Ladies dept. Consult Surnames I-O and the 1911 court case above


East Anglian Times July 1905. SALES BY AUCTION GARROD, TURNER, and SON. FELIXSTOWE. A commanding BLOCK of BUSINESS PREMISES, abutting upon Hamilton Road, at the junction with Orwell Road , on the direct route from the Town Station to the Beach, in the shopping centre of the Town, and in an improving position. The buildings, of good architectural design was erected a few years ago. and are well and substantially built in red brick and stone with Broseley tile and slated roofs, and having gabled elevations to both roads. They comprise -in HAMILTON ROAD. TWO SHOPS, Nos. 28 and 32, with modern plate-glass fronts and recessed entrances, having a RESIDENCE over. No. 3O, known as “The Hamilton Boarding House,” containing private entrance from the road, three sitting and six bedrooms, bathroom, kitchen, scullery, three w.c.’s. capital light storerooms In the basement, and a yard. No. 28 let to Mr. F. S. Tuddenham £4O per annum; No. 32 Mr. W. G. Archer, at £40 per annum, and No. 30. of the estimated rental value of £40 per annum, with possession on completion. The adjoining HOUSE and SHOP. No. 26. with private entrance and eight rooms, two w.c.’s and yard, Iet to Messrs. Damant and Son, lease, at £75 per annum. Tbs adjoining FINE CORNER BUSINESS PREMISES. Nos. 28 sad 26. at the junction of Orwell Road, absolutely one of the best comer positions in Felixstowe, comprising EXCELLENT SHOP, with wide corner entrance. nod windows to each road- Private Entrance from Hamilton Road, leading to seven rooms, bathroom, and w.c., with outside balcony the upper floors, workshop. kitchen, yard, and w.c. In the basement. Let to Messrs. Lennards, Ltd., on lease, £120 per annum. opposite is the Trinity Methodist Church Interesting description of an area from well over a century ago

12 Hamilton Road, 1909

Felixstowe, , 12 Victoria Parade, 1908-1929, listed in 1931

Ferndale, Glamorgan

Glamorgan Free Press 17th Dec 1898 40 High Street The, Strand.

 40 High Street, The Strand 1900-1929 listed in 1931

Frederick Milsom Joynes Born 1888 at Gloucester. In 1911 he managed the company’s premises at 40 High Street, Ferndale, Glamorganshire. He died in Bristol in 1941


4 Cheriton Road, 1911-1929

Lennards Corner 10 rendezvous Street listed in 1930(Newspaper ads) 1931

Thomas Bull Born 1858 at Mersham, in 1911 he managed the premises at 4 Cheriton Road, Folkestone with his wife Eleanor assisting in the business. Consult surnames A-D


5 South Street, 1929 listed in 1931


Somerset Standard July 1899 A WARNING TO TRADESMEN. Sidney Hugo. manager of the Frome branch shop of the Public Benefit Boot Company, was summoned for obstructing the footway at the Market-place by leaving three boxes thereon for an unreasonable time.—P.C. Treeby stated the facts of the case, and the Superintendent (Mr. W. Rawlings) testified as to previous warnings given to the defendant. —The defendant’s excuse was that he was waiting for the Inspector, and that he was so pushed for space that he was unable to take the boxes inside.—Fined 5s. and costs.

Somerset Standard July 1901♦ MOTHER AND TWO DAUGHTERS IN Rosina Annie Ledbury (19) and Maud Laura Ledbury(11) sisters, of Cross-street, were summoned for stealing s pair of shoes, value 1s. 11d., the property of the Public Benefit Boot Company, Market-place, Frome, on the 29th June, and Frances Mary Ledbury, mother of the above, was summoned for receiving the shoes, well knowing them to have been stolen on the same date.—P.C. Treeby stated that he received information of the loss of the shoes, and after inquiries he saw Mrs. Ledbury. He told her a pair of shoes had been stolen from the Public Benefit Company’s shop In the Market place and he suspected that she knew something about it. She showed him the shoes produced, and stated that they were what her daughter brought home from Reading In February. He took the shoes to the manager at the shop, who identified them. He afterwards went to Broadway Factory, where he arrested Rosina Ledbury, and at first she denied the charge, but on the way to the Police Station she said: “I and my sister Maud were down town on Saturday afternoon, when Maud picked the shoes from off a peg, put them under her cape, and we took them home and told mother we had stolen them from the Public Benefit Company.” He next arrested Mrs. Ledbury, and after he had read over to her what her daughter had stated she replied “I was stupid to have done it.” He afterwards arrested the younger girl, and she said what her sister stated was all right.—John Lloyd, manager of the Public Benefit Company’s shop at Frome, deposed to missing the shoes, and to Identifying those produced, the value being 1s. 11d. —Rosina Ledbury said she told the constable that her sister picked the shoes up off the ground, and Maud with many tears said the shoes were on the pavement outside the shop. The mother, who also shed tears, said when the girls brought home the shoes she did not know what to do for the best. She did not like to send them hack and she thought of burning them. — The Chairman commented strongly on shopkeepers placing their goods outside their shops as a temptation. In that case they believed the mother was much the worst offender, as she knew the shoes had not been honestly come by. She would be fined :30s, Rosina Ledbury would be fined 10s, and Maud would he bound over to come up for judgment within the next six months, if called upon

Somerset standard March 1911 IMPUDENT CASE OF SHOP LIFTING BY CHILDREN. SEQUEL TO BAD HOME INFLUENCE. MOTHER STRONGLY ADMONISHED BY THE BENCH. FATHER SYMPATHISED WITH. Violet Townsend (14) and Beatrice Townsend (13), two very diminutive children for their ages. living at Broadway, were summoned for stealing a pair of lady’s shoes valued 3s. 110., from the outside of a shop in the Frome Market Place, belonging to the Public Benefit Boot Company, while their sister, Edith Townsend, aged 17 years, a domestic servant, was charged with receiving the shoes well knowing them to have been stolen. James Young said he was the manager of the Public Benefit Boot Company’s branch shop in the Market-place at Frome, and it was his custom to hang some of the stock outside the shop. On the 3rd inst. there were several pairs of ladies’ shoes hung outside the shop, and at a quarter to eight in the evening they were all right, but when he wont to take them in at closing time he found one of the pairs missing. He identified the shoes produced as those missing by the name inside and by the make. The value of the shoes was 3s. 11d. The case is a lengthy one but the outcome was: Violet worked at a factory at Welshmill paid 3s 6d a week. Beatrice still went to school but was guilty of stealing other items in Frome Market place. Edith was bound over for twelve months and come up for judgement if called upon. Violet was placed under probation for a year. Beatrice had been under probation for the past six months and was ordered to an industrial school for three years. Firstly though a school had to be found and an inspector in a later report commented that he had tried eight schools and none had any places. he also was impressed with Beatrice saying her conduct had been exemplary whilst in his charge. Mrs Townsend would be sent to prison pending the payment of a fine by her husband. 

Frome. 22 Market Place Bath Chronicle & Weekly Gazette 15th December 1898

Frome, 22 Market Place, 1897, 1902-1929 listed in 1931

Sidney Hugo. Manager of the Frome branch consult Somerset Standard July 1899 above

John Lloyd  Manager of Market place branch consult Somerset Standard July 1901 MOTHER AND TWO DAUGHTERS IN felony case see above

Walter Bernard Waite
Born 1884 at Upton Loval, Wiltshire, son of Herbert David Waite.  1917. In 1901 he was a boot shop assistant at Frome, Somerset and in 1911 he managed the company’s premises at 16 Catherine Street, Salisbury, Wiltshire consult surnames T-Z

James Young Born 1878 at Bristol, Gloucestershire, son of James Young. In 1911 he worked as a boot and shoe salesman at the company’s premises at 22 Market Street. Frome, Somerset. He was still living at this address when he died 7 March 1929 aged 51. consult Somerset standard March 1911 above also surnames T-Z

Gateshead added from 1931 list See Newcastle


59 High Street, 1929 Demolished and new building ‘put up’ listed in 1931


Central Somerset Gazette Jan 1911 advertising as Lennards Ltd & PBBC informing customers to take their repairs to 20 High Street Glastonbury 20 High Street, also 1914-1929 listed in 1931


Gloucester Journal April 1900 Martha Fryer Seymour Road & Isabella Birch Royal Oak Yard Westgate Street were charged by P.C Collett with stealing a pair of sh es value 4s 11d from the Public Benefit Boot company shop in Eastgate Street. Thomas Henry Palmer an assistant at the shop was responsible for hanging several pairs of boots, the pair produced were amongst them, and missed them the same evening. Harry Sevier assistant to Mrs Goldberg pawnbroker informed that the shoes had been pledged for 2s 6d. Fryer and Birch (mother and daughter respectively)  were questioned and later charged, sent to gaol for seven days with hard labour

Gloucester Chronicle Oct 1907 THEFT OF BOOTS. Leonard Rhyles, Linton, near Ross was charged with stealing pair of boots, value 6s 11d, the property of the Public Benefit Boot Co.. Ltd.. 5 East gate street Gloucester Mr. A. Lionel Lane defended. Francis Henry Lennard. manager for the company said the boots were hanging at the door of the shop at one o clock on Saturday.At 2-30 they were missing! Mr Lane asked’ The boots usually hanging outside the shop did not encroach on the public footpath?D. C Protherogh said that he saw prisoner, who was in company with another young man, outside the PublicBenefit Boot Co.’s shop at 1.30 on Saturday afternoon. he appeared to be unfastening something from a string of boots hanging outside the shop, door A minute or two or later he put something under his coat and walked towards the Cross. Here witness stopped him. and took the boots produced from under his coat.Prisoner said “All right sir that’s acting the fool” when charged at the police station prisoner replied “That’s right. I hope you will let me have bail” Prisoner pleaded guilty. Apparently Mr Rhyles was in Gloucester about 8.0 clock am as it was his birthday and he was celebrating, had too much drink and took the boots when dare to do so by his friend. Once again the question of hanging boots outside was putting temptation before people.The chairman said the bench had long since disapproved of the practice as temptation made the thief. fined 5s & 18s costs or in default 10 days imprisonment”  

Gloucester Journal Sept 1931 Col.Lennard held a dinner in Gloucester in order to present to Mr W. Pitchford the manager with a Shield and a certificate for the winner of the best dressed window in their Eastgate premises. W.J.Newman district inspector expressed his wish that the shield would remain in his district for a long time.

Gloucester Citizen December 1948 BROKE IN TO GET FOOTBALL BOOTS Keith Raymond George Norley (18), wanted a pair of football boots. He and Dennis Powell (17) and Douglas Wakefield (17), broke into Lennards, Ltd., warehouse at Mangotsfield to try and find a pair, but they only found women’s shoes, so they took nothing. They pleaded guilty to the offence at Glo’shire Quarter Sessions yesterday. Morley also pleaded guilty to breaking into the Salvation Army Youth Club at Mangotsfield, and stealing two chisels. They were each bound over for two years, Morley and Powell being ordered to pay £5 towards the costs of the prosecution and Wakefield was ordered to pay £10 towards the costs of the prosecution

High-Street, Gloucester Citizen 5th August 1885 application to affix a sign 9 feet above the shop

30 Barton Street Gloucester 1897

Gloucester Citizen 42 Eastgate Street 13th  December 1898 

Gloucester45 Eastgate, 1895-1914 Kellys

Gloucester, 5 Eastgate Street, 1907, 1920-1929 & up to 1949 & listed in 1931

Francis Henry Lennard Born 1878 at Leicester, son of William Lennard, boot retailer, and his wife Emma Kirchin. At the turn of the century he worked in boot manufacturing in Kettering. 1907 he was manager of the shop at Gloucester see Gloucester Chronicle 1907 above

W.J.Matthews Gloucestershire Chronicle August 1905 On the occasion of the removal of Mr. W. J. Matthews, local manager of the Public Benefit Boot Company, to Plymouth, a supper party, was on, Tuesday Evening given at 5 Eastgate Gloucester,  in his honour.. consult surnames I-O

W.J. Newman District inspector:   Gloucester Journal Sept 1931 Col.Lennard held a dinner in Gloucester in order to present to Mr W. Pitchford the manager with a Shield and a certificate for the winner of the best dressed window in their Eastgate premises. W.J.Newman district inspector expressed his wish that the shield would remain in his district for a long time.

Thomas Henry Palmer
Born 1879 at Gloucester, son of Thomas Arthur Palmer.  in 1900 he worked at Gloucester branch 5 Eastgate Street as an assistant. 1906 at London where he worked as an assistant and they had a daughter Violet Evelyn Mary born 1908.In 1900 at 5 Eastgate Street Gloucester as assistant and by 1911 he managed the company’s premises at 124 Lawrence Hill, Bristol. consult surnames P-S & 1900 newspaper report above

Great Malvern, See Malvern

Great Torrington, not listed in 1931

South Street, 1910-1914

Great Grimsby added from 1931 list

Lennards Corner 74 Freeman street

Great Yarmouth 

43 Market street 1914 Kellys

1934 Church Lane 


Henry John Hayes Born c1874 at Bristol. Henry worked as a boot shop assistant at the company’s premises at 6 Market Street, Guildford became manager of the Branch in 1911.


High Street, 1929 listed in 1931

Guernsey Channel islands

Mr Bloomberg Manager of a franchise on Jersey. Independent & Daily Telegraph 15 Jan 1898 GUERNSEY NEWS. (From the Guernsey Evening Press Jan. 10.) more information available on surnames A-D