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British Industries 1891
Rushden Extract

RUSHDEN is a parish in Wellingborough district, with an area of 2,770 acres. It has a post-office under Higham Ferrers, from which town it is distant one mile. The manor formerly belonged to the Dukes of Lancaster, but now belongs to H. M. the Queen. During the last thirty years Rushden has considerably increased in population, for, whereas the number in 1861 was only 1748, in the year 1881 it had reached 3657 and is now nearly 5000.

St. Mary's Church is a handsome cruciform structure, in Decorated English style, possessing a fine tower and crocketed spire, nearly 200 feet high. The living is a rectory (diocese of Peterborough) in the gift of the Lord Chamberlain, and valued at £350.

The manufacture of boots and shoes is the chief industry of this district, and finds employment for nearly the whole of the working-population. Tanning, currying, and leather-dressing are branches of trade also paid special attention to. Speaking generally, the factories are new and substantially built, and equipped on modern lines. Many of the chief business establishments in the town, possess a decidedly attractive appearance, and are largely stocked.

Certainly no town of its size in Northamptonshire can show such excellent results of well-directed commercial and industrial enterprise as can Rushden, and there is every indication that it will continue to grow and improve.

Published in 1891
INDEX
1
Ager & Badham
2
Henry Bull
3
C. B. Bunker
4
Bush Brothers
5
William Claridge
6
E. Claridge & Son
7
C. G. Cunnington
8
Cunnington Brothers
9
W. H. Darnell
10
Jacques & Clark
11
Knight Brothers
12
J. Knight, Junior
13
F. W. Perkins
14
George Miller
15
Charles Smith
16
Walter Sargent & Co.
17
W. J. Sedgman
1
Ager & Badham, Wholesale Boot and Shoe Manufacturers.—In the staple industry of Rushden, a well-known house engaged in this branch of commerce is that under the proprietorship of Messrs. Ager & Badham, Wholesale Boot and Shoe Manufacturers of this town, who have been established some years, and since their commencement have grouped together a widespread connection in different parts of the country. Their works are well located, and are three stories high, modern, and built for the shoe and boot industry, on suitable lines, and in accordance with the recognised rule of the business. They comprise stock, packing, clicking, and forwarding rooms, fitted up with every convenience for the prompt execution of all orders, with best type of boot machinery, appliances, plant, etc., also a well-appointed office. The firm manufacture principally for the home trade, and their goods are well known for excellent material used, combining style and durability. Great care is taken by the members of the firm in the selection of materials used, so as to keep up the high standard of the specialities of this house. The stock of made goods and raw material is extensive. Orders are attended to with the greatest despatch under the supervision of Messrs. Ager & Badham, no goods leaving this establishment unless up to the required standard. An adequate staff of workmen is continually employed. In commercial and social circles the firm are well known for their courteous and straightforward business dealings.
2
Henry Bull, Wholesale Boot and Shoe Manufacturer.—Mr. Henry Bull is certainly, entitled to rank among the most enterprising representatives of the boot and shoe trade, for he has been established in this line many years, and has succeeded in building up a valuable trade and reputation in all parts of the kingdom. He manufactures the class of goods for which the district is noted—namely, good medium quality; and all his productions in gentlemen's boots and shoes are noted for excellence of material and durability. The premises occupied by Mr. Bull as factory, warehouse, and offices, comprise a substantial three-storied block (built four years ago), which has a capital frontage sixty feet in length, and extends a considerable distance to the rear. The different manufacturing and finishing departments contain the latest improved machinery and appliances, and in fact, there is evidence throughout the whole establishment, and in the general organisation of the business, that the proprietor is fully alive to the requirements of the times, and is in a position to compete with any firm in the trade in regard to quality and price. In conclusion, it may be stated that Mr. Bull occupies an influential position in local industrial circles, and is looked upon as a most able manufacturer.
3
C. B. Bunker, Draper and Haberdasher, High street.—Among the drapery establishments of Rushden mention must be made of Mr. C. B. Bunker, Draper, etc., High Street (who has had ten years' experience in London houses). It has only been founded eighteen months, but has made remarkable progress in so short a time, in this thriving centre of the boot and shoe industry, by forming a good connection among all classes of the community, which shows the energy and perseverance of its respected proprietor, who has left no effort untried in order to secure the confidence of the public by procuring all the latest productions (which his experience of the Manchester and London markets enables him to do), also novelties from the chief sources of supply, and which are sold at the lowest consistent profits compatible with good value for money's worth. The premises are eligibly situated in the main street, two stories in elevation, the shop being compact and fitted up suitable for the trade, with show and stockrooms at the rear. The stock comprises every description of general drapery goods, dresses, silks, fancy fabrics, ladies' and children's millinery, in the latest mode, family linens, flannels, longcloths, cretonnes, lace and tapestry curtains, ladies' and children's underclothing, flowers, feathers, ribbons, frilling, hosiery, gloves, corsets, skirts, and haberdashery in every variety, etc., etc. A special feature is the millinery department, every variety of style being made up to suit the various tastes of his customers. Another very important department which has been recently added is dressmaking and costume-making on the premises, under an experienced dressmaker's management, with a staff of qualified assistants. These goods will be made in the latest modes with a guaranteed fit and upon very reasonable terms. Ladies' own material will also be made up in any style required. Mr. Bunker supervises every detail of the business, while orders entrusted to his hands are seen to with despatch. Courteous assistants are constantly engaged to attend to patrons' wants of this growing concern; and we may safely predict further increased business and prosperity while conducted under its present vigorous management. [We are unable to find anything more about this business]
4
Bush Brothers, Wholesale and Retail Grocers, Provision Merchants, Fancy Drapers, and General Warehousemen; also at Long Sutton.—In the towns of Long Sutton and Rushden the name of Messrs. Bush Brothers is one of the most prominent from a commercial standpoint. In the former town they conduct a large business as Wholesale and Retail Grocers and Provision Merchants, while in Rushden they are particularly well known as Fancy Drapers and General Warehousemen. At both places the premises occupied are large, well fitted, and capitally suited to the businesses carried on. This firm purchase all their goods, groceries, teas, coffees, tinned meats, fish and fruits, provisions, drapery, haberdashery, stationery, and household requisites direct from the chief sources of supply, and are thereby placed in a position to compete in quality and price, wholesale and retail, with any firm in the county. Their trade extends over a wide area, and it should be stated that they have every facility at command in the way of conveyances, etc., for ensuring the punctual delivery of orders at any distance within a day's journey of either town. The partners in the firm are real gentlemen, and their success is well deserved. [This business only advertised in Rushden in 1890]
5
William Claridge, Boot Manufacturer.—In noting the various prominent commercial establishments in the staple industry of Rushden, special mention must be made of the well-known house of Mr. William Claridge, Wholesale Boot and Shoe Manufacturer. It has justified its claim to particular notice by the influential standing it has gained through the sound management which has been brought to bear upon this going concern, the productions of this house being known for their high standard of excellence throughout the length and breadth of the country. This business has been founded many years, and right on from its inception has grouped together a widespread connection in the different markets of a valuable character, and in spite of the severe competition among contemporary firms has held its own. The works are of three-storied elevation, and were rebuilt in 1889 on the old site, of white brick, and modernised in order to meet the required wants of an extending trade, and ore specially constructed to meet the exigencies of the business. They have a frontage of about one hundred and twenty feet, and are equipped with an elaborate plant of the most modern boot and shoe machinery. The motive power, which is at the basement, is one of Crossley Brothers, "Otto" gas-engines. The amount of work turned out every week is very extensive. The organisation of labour is of the most complete character, and all goes on smoothly and orderly under the supervision of the principal and his two sons, Mr. John and Mr. Charles Claridge. The different floors are arranged in the most perfect manner, and comprise stock, packing, clicking, sorting, closing, and forwarding rooms and workrooms, with substantial, compact, well-appointed offices. It is truly a surprising sight to see the different machines, go through their complex operations, as if instinct with human life and intelligence. The stock of manufactured goods in the different qualities and fittings is of the most extensive character, while the stock of raw material is equally large, and is procured from the very best sources of supply. Mr. Claridge manufactures principally for the home markets. A large number of hands are employed, and in conclusion we may add that while conducted on these sound lines the business promises to become one of the foremost in the trade.
6
E. Claridge & Son, Wholesale Boot Manufacturers, Higham Ferrers.—Among the most enterprising representatives of the boot and shoe trade in Rushden must be mentioned Mr. E. Claridge & Son, who have been established fifteen years, and have all along sustained a reputation for turning out the best-finished goods. Mr. Claridge devotes special attention to the manufacture of all kinds of medium-class boots and shoes for the home markets. His factory is a large brick and stone building, with a frontage of fifty feet, and a depth of fully one hundred and forty feet. The various manufacturing departments are equipped with all the requisite machinery and labour-saving appliances of modern type, to ensure speedy, accurate, and economical production. The warehouses for finished goods and the packing rooms are commodious and convenient, whilst the offices are well appointed and adequately staffed. Altogether Mr. Claridge employs a large number of hands, and has every facility at command for ensuring the prompt despatch of orders. There is no doubt that he owes his success to the fact that he has always insisted on using none but the soundest materials, and employing only the best workmanship in all his manufactures.
7
C. G. Cunnington, Currier, etc.—The largest business in connection with the currying and leather-dressing trade in the town of Rushden is that carried on by Mr. C. G. Cunnington, who has been established about fifteen years, and by consistently turning out thoroughly first-class work and goods has won his present enviable position in the district. The premises comprise offices, warehouses, stockrooms, sorting, washing, and currying workrooms, all of which are conveniently arranged, and afford every requisite facility. In the currying and leather-dressing departments the best-improved machinery and labour-saving appliances are in use, and an adequate staff of experienced hands is employed. Mr. Cunnington continually holds an extensive stock of leather for all purposes, and is thus prepared to meet urgent demands most satisfactorily. His trade extends to all parts of the kingdom, and fit the present time is steadily increasing. In local commercial and industrial circles Mr. Cunnington is greatly respected, and it is admitted on all sides that his success has been thoroughly well deserved.
8
Cunnington Brothers, Wholesale Boot, Shoe, and Upper Manufacturers, Curriers, etc.—In the town of Rushden the manufacture of boots and shoes, together with kindred industries, such as currying and leather dressing, constitutes the staple trade, and among the firms engaged in this line an influential position is held by Messrs. Cunnington Brothers, whose business dates its founding back about ten years. This firm is well known as manufacturers of boots, shoes, and uppers, medium quality being their speciality; and all their productions are in considerable demand, being acknowledged first-class quality. As curriers they are well known to turn out none but the best class of work. They continually maintain a large stock of leather for all purposes, which they curry for their own consumption. The premises utilised are three-storied, with a frontage of fifty feet, and extend fully one hundred and twenty feet to the rear. They comprise well-appointed offices, spacious warehouses and stockrooms, in addition to the various working and manufacturing departments, the latter being equipped with all the requisite machinery and labour-saving appliances of improved type. In each branch of the business it is evident that Messrs. Cunnington spare no effort to enhance their reputation and serve the best interests of customers, and employing a large staff of experienced hands, they are enabled to meet all demands in the promptest style. The partners in the firm are gentlemen of high and influential standing in the commercial and industrial world.
9
W. H. Darnell, Complete House Furnisher, Wholesale and Retail Grindery Dealer, Church street and Alfred Street.—A business that calls for special remark in reviewing the industrial enterprises in the town of Rushden is that carried on by Mr. W. H. Darnell, who is doing an extensive trade in house furnishing, and is also well known as a wholesale and retail dealer in grindery. The premises front to Church Street and Alfred Street, are three stories in height, and extend for upwards of a hundred feet to the thoroughfares named. The two businesses are kept distinct, and the premises throughout are arranged in the best manner to suit all requirements. In the house furnishing department Mr. Darnell holds an exceptionally large stock, including bedroom, dining, drawing, and sitting-room suites in the newest designs, tables, over-mantels, pier glasses, perambulators, domestic machinery, bedsteads, beds, bedding, mattresses, ironmongery, china, glass, pictures, carpets, rugs, etc., etc. He is prepared to furnish a cottage or mansion throughout on the shortest notice, and is in a position to offer the best advantages in respect to price and quality to all purchasers. In the grindery department his stock is also of great variety and extent, and sufficient to meet all wholesale and retail demands. In this line Mr. Darnell does a good trade among the principal boot people in the town and district. He employs an adequate staff of assistants, and personally overlooks the entire business.
10
Jacques & Clark, Wholesale Boot and Shoe Manufacturers.—A prominent firm in the boot and shoe industry of Rushden is the house of Messrs. Jacques & Clark, Wholesale Boot and Shoe Manufacturers, established four years ago, which from its start has grown into an expanding trade, having formed the basis of a substantial connection in various parts of the kingdom by the high character of its manufactures, embodying first-rate workmanship, good material, and substance, combining a good fit and style, which proves unquestionably that this progressive firm goes with the times by turning out productions that cannot be beaten by other houses in the trade, hence the success they have achieved up to the present time. Their factory is centrally situated, and is a three-storied structure, with a frontage of about sixty feet. The interior is equipped with modern boot machinery appliances, etc., the motive power being gas. There is every facility and convenience for the prompt discharge of all orders placed in their hands from their many patrons. The stock rooms are well filled with the various goods made by this house in different fittings for their home and export trade. The clicking, packing, and forwarding rooms are likewise fitted up in accordance with the trade. An ample staff of good workmen find continuous employment, while the organisation is of the most complete character. The stock is large, both in made goods and raw material, which is procured from the chief leading sources of supply. Messrs. Jacques & Clark are worthy exponents of their trade, and are much respected commercially and socially by all who have business dealings with them.
11
Knight Brothers, Wholesale Boot and Shoe Manufacturers.—Numerous firms are engaged in the boot and shoe trade in the thriving town of Rushden, and the majority certainly devote themselves to the manufacture of medium-class goods. The firm under notice, Messrs. Knight Brothers, are among the number so engaged, and are a firm whose productions are held in high repute in the chief markets of the United Kingdom and some parts abroad. It is not many years since this business was founded, nevertheless it is now fully entitled to mention in this review, being conducted on the most able and enterprising lines. The premises utilised by this firm are three-storied, substantially built, and conveniently divided into offices, warehouses, and factory, the last named being equipped with all the requisite machinery and appliances of the best type for ensuring speedy and economical production. Messrs. Knight employ a considerable number of hands, and are favourably placed for executing all orders in the promptest style. The partners in the firm are gentlemen of long experience in the trade, and are to be congratulated upon the eminent success that has thus far attended their business operations.
12
J. Knight, Junior, Wholesale and Export Boot and Shoe Manufacturer, Victoria Road.—A prominent position must be accorded Mr. J. Knight, Junior, in reviewing the boot and shoe trade in Rushden. This gentleman has been established some years, and by turning out uniform first-class goods has built up a trade of considerable value and extent. He devotes special attention to the manufacture of medium-class and cheap goods, and is in a position to compete in both quality and price with any house in the trade, in the town or county. His premises are of spacious dimensions, three-storied in height, substantially built, arranged on modern lines, and conveniently divided into office, warehouse, and factory. The last named is furnished with all the requisite machinery. There is a well-appointed large factory at Olney, recently opened for the manufacture of the cheaper productions. It is equipped with the best machinery and appliances, and has every facility for carrying on a large trade, comprising stock, packing, clicking, sorting, and forwarding rooms. With such excellent manufacturing facilities, and the aid of a large number of experienced hands, Mr. Knight is prepared to execute all orders on the shortest notice. All his productions are noted for thorough utility, soundness, lasting wear, and best finish; indeed, it is only by maintaining these qualities at the highest degree of excellence that he ensures a large and constant flow of orders from all parts of the kingdom and abroad. By all who know him Mr. Knight is much respected for his enterprise, and it is safe to predict that he will yet take a higher rank in this important branch of industry.
13
F. W. Perkins, Wholesale Boot and Shoe Manufacture.—A well-known house in connection with the boot and shoe trade in Rushden is that, of Mr. F. W. Perkins, who has for many years conducted this concern, having a good connection of a substantial character in various parts of the country. The works are eligibly situated in the centre of the town, and are a three-storied block of buildings, constructed on modern lines for the trade, having an extended frontage. They comprise well-appointed offices, stock, packing, clicking, forwarding, and workrooms, equipped and fitted up in accordance with the requirements of the trade, embracing boot machinery, appliances, and all necessary plant for the prompt despatch of all orders received by this firm, the arrangements being of the most complete character. Mr. Perkins manufactures goods of a medium quality, which in point of material, first-rate fit and good value, will compare with other houses in the county, and which are offered at lowest prices consistent with good workmanship. There is no question that Mr. Perkins thoroughly deserves the success that has all along been accorded to him since he has been in business.
14
George Miller, General Ironmonger and Factor, Bank Buildings.—Among the chief business enterprises in the town of Rushden must be mentioned that of Mr. George Miller, who is a manufacturer and factor of all kinds of zinc and galvanised goods, stoves, grates, ranges, ironmongery, brassfoundry, gasfittings, bedsteads, fenders, mattresses, brushes, etc., etc. This gentleman occupies premises which are centrally situated, known as the Bank Buildings, possess an attractive two-storied frontage forty feet in length, and extend a considerable distance to the rear, comprising a well-fitted shop, stock, show, and workrooms. The shop has large plate-glass show windows, in which a capital display is always made. Mr. Miller holds a stock of goods remarkable for variety, excellence, and cheapness, embracing every description of general, furnishing, and builders' ironmongery, galvanised cisterns, gasfittings, wire netting, joiners' machinery, tools, and cutlery, corrugated roofing sheets, nails, screws, nuts and bolts, glue, ammunition, etc., etc. In each department he shows the latest novelties, and the advantages offered to both wholesale and retail customers are such as would be difficult to duplicate. All kinds of repairs are neatly and promptly executed on the premises by skilful workmen. Mr. Miller gives the entire business his close personal attention, and is evidently determined to leave no effort untried to serve the best interests of his numerous customers, and deserve a continuance of the valuable support he has thus far enjoyed.
15
Charles Smith, Dispensing and Family Chemist, High Street.—-About two years ago Mr. Charles Smith, Dispensing and Family Chemist, opened this business in High Street. This gentleman has had many years' practical experience as a dispenser, having been with a Dr. Crew for some years as a dispenser, also as senior assistant to Mr. J. W. Sargeant, of Wellingborough, for two years, likewise with Messrs. Higgate & Grippa, Surgeons, Wellingborough, after which he held various appointments in London, W., likewise the dispensership of the Temperance Home, Ellison Lodge, North Finchley, while manager of the Woodside Park Pharmacy, etc. Mr. Smith is enjoying a considerable share of the best patronage of the district, and his premises are well suited in every way to the business in hand, being fitted up with excellent judgment and taste. The stock held is large and well selected, including all kinds of drugs and chemicals, patent medicines, proprietary articles, horse and cattle medicines, and a great variety of surgical, toilet, and nursery requisites, all of which are guaranteed of first-class quality and manufacture, and are offered at most reasonable prices. Mr. Smith gives special attention to the dispensing department, and uses none but absolutely pure and fresh drugs in the compounding of physicians' prescriptions and family recipes. That this business will continue to gain in popularity at the same gratifying pace as hitherto can be predicted without the least hesitancy, for the proprietor is as much respected for his ability as his courtesy and integrity.
16
Walter Sargent & Co., Wholesale and Export Boot and Shoe Manufacturers.—Another prominent firm engaged in the boot trade in Rushden is Messrs. Walter Sargent & Co. whose business since its founding some years back has developed at a rapid pace, proving it to be conducted with uncommon ability and enterprise. This firm manufacture the medium quality of goods for which the district is famed, and all their productions bear a standard reputation for durability and superior finish in the chief home and foreign markets. The premises utilised are four-storied, of modern and substantial construction, and possess a frontage of ninety feet, while extending a considerable distance to the rear. They consist of offices, warehouses, and factory, the latter being equipped with a modern machinery plant driven by a powerful gas-engine. The firm have a branch factory at Podington, Bedfordshire, four miles from Rushden, three stories in elevation, fifty-two feet frontage, and twenty-two feet wide, equipped on best lines with boot machinery, appliances, plant, etc., divided into the usual rooms, comprising stock, packing, clicking, and forwarding rooms, in which the cheaper goods are manufactured. A large complement of artisans are constantly employed under the supervision of one of the members of the firm. A large stock of finished goods is kept on hand to meet urgent demands. The partners in the firm are gentlemen of high commercial standing, and are to be congratulated upon the eminent success that has thus far attended their operations.
17
W. J. Sedgman, Clothier and Juvenile Outfitter, 3, Victoria Buildings, High Street.—Among the recently established business enterprises of note in Rushden must be mentioned that of Mr. W. J. Sedgman, Clothier and Juvenile Outfitter, who occupies commodious and well-appointed premises at No. 3, Victoria Buildings, High Street. Mr. Sedgman is evidently thoroughly acquainted with the trade in all its branches, for he is maintaining a stock remarkable for variety, excellence, and cheapness, and consequently is attracting a considerable share of patronage. All kinds of fashionable ready-made clothing for men, youths, and boys may be found at this establishment, together with juvenile outfits, silk and felt hats, caps, hosiery, shirts, cuffs, collars, ties, scarves, gloves, umbrellas, etc., etc. The premises possess a handsome lofty frontage, and are well adapted in every way to the business in hand. Mr. Sedgman has had no reason to complain of the success that has attended his efforts during the few months he has been established, and the people of Rushden have cause for congratulation on the acquisition of such a reliable and enterprisingly conducted clothing business.
[at 114 High Street, Philip Sedgman was manager in 1901, J J Clark had taken over by 1908]



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