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Mr. F. Corby - currier


Fred Corby's works in John Street
A view of the factory in John Street, from College Street looking
across the playground of Alfred Street School
A plan showing the footpath
This plan shows a "passageway" that was made in 1892, running from Alfred Street alongside the School. At the factory you could go left and then turn right down into John Street or keep on past the back of the factory and turn right by the brook and into College Street. The factory stood where the school yard is today (2008), and much of the passageway is still used as a short cut by pedestrians.
03 January 1902 - Northampton Mercury

SCAFFOLD ACCIDENT. On Monday morning as Charles Oliver, a foreman bricklayer, in the employ of Marriott, builder, Rushden, was at work on Mr. Corby’s factory, fell from scaffolding and received severe injuries his head Dr Baker was promptly attendance.....

The delivery wagon dressed up for a carnival
This is Fred Corby's delivery cart with the horse groomed for
a parade, year unknown.

Rushden Echo, 20th Nov. 1908, transcribed by Jim Hollis

A new room, to be used as a leather-store and machine-room, is to be built by Mr. Fred Corby, adjacent to his factory in John Street. It will be about 60 feet by 50, covering the whole length of the yard, and will consist of one storey, with “north lights” in the roof.

The work, it is hoped, will be finished by Christmas. A new engine and gas plant are to be put down.

See the one storey extension and glass roof in photograph left

Rushden Echo, 28th January 1916, transcribed by Gill Hollis

Rushden Soldier for a Foreign Destination
Saddler John Corby, of the Royal Horse Artillery, son of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Corby, of Rushden, has left England for a destination in the Far East.

Rushden Argus, 12th January 1917, transcribed by Kay Collins

Rushden Soldier Invalided Home

Saddler John A. Corby, Royal Horse Artillery, the son of Mr. Fred Corby, leather dealer, of Rushden, has been invalided home from Mesopotamia.


Rushden Echo, 5th July 1918, transcribed by Kay Collins

Currier’s Outing—The employees of Mr. Fred Corby, currier, had their outing last Saturday, when they visited St. Neots. Starting at 7.30a.m., they proceeded, in brakes, through Swineshead, and on to “The Kangaroo,” where refreshments were served. They then went on through Great Staughton, and arrived at St. Neots about 1.p.m. All took their own rations, except tea, to which they sat down at the New Inn. The time was spent on and by the river and in the town. The return journey was by way of Kimbolton. The arrangements were carried out by Mr. J. L. Percival, secretary.

Rushden Echo, 4th July 1919, transcribed by Kay Collins

The Annual Outing of the employees of Mr. F. Corby took place on Saturday. Leaving the Green at about 7.30a.m., they journeyed by motor charabanc through Wymington and Olney, halted at Woburn for lunch, and from there proceeded to St. Albans. There an enjoyable time was spent sight-seeing, etc. On the return journey a stop was made at Luton, where tea was provided. A short time was also spent in Bedford. After a few hours on the river, they restarted the homeward journey, arriving at Rushden about 11.30. The arrangements were made by Mr. J. A. Corby and Mr. W. Jolley.


For a Carnival event
c1918 for a Carnival or Fete event - Photo by Ernest Virgo
The notice in front declares "Leather made by us for the boots
of the British and Allied Troops".

Extract from Peace Celebrations 1919
By dusk several houses were illuminated. Mr. F. Corby’s house and grounds presented such a pretty appearance with the 400 fairy lamps and flags that hundreds of people stood in front of the house admiring the effect. Mr. B. Coe’s residence was also very nicely decorated and illuminated.
Extract from the Council Meeting April 1927

The new vice-chairman, it is expected, will be Mr. Fred Corby, each political party nominating in turn. Mr. Corby will take on that office for the first time.

He has had a good training in managing the town’s municipal affairs, not only from his six years of office as a member of the Urban Council but as a Council School Manager and member of the Education Sub-Committee (and the old School Board) on which he has served for over 30 years. Mr. Corby has been chairman of the Health and Sanitary Committee in the past twelve months and has served on all the other committees previously. Also, he has to his credit the longest period of service on the Council and in the Liberal Party without being chairman of the Council. His appointment to the vice-chair will be welcomed by the Council members generally. Mr. Corby’s contributions to discussions have always been helpful and constructive. He was one of the prime movers in the Council’s efforts of a year or so ago to open out a broad highway from the station along Rectory-road to Newton-road. As an administrator Mr. Corby has always taken the long view, and he ever aims at the town getting maximum value for the money spent. He is to the forefront as a successful business man.

In 1890 by expanding the firm of curriers, now known as Messrs. Fred Corby, Ltd., beginning in premises in Duck-street opposite Mr. A. Sander’s house and facing the Lightstrung Company, Duck-street entrance. Three years later he has the John-street factory (recently extended). He employs a large number of workers from Rushden and the district. Mr. Corby is the secretary of the Park-road Baptist Church, and his work and attendance for that place of worship have done not a little in shaping its life for the benefit of the town.

Rushden Echo & Argus, 8th January 1932, transcribed by Kay Collins

The annual covenant service was held at the Park-road Baptist Church on Friday last, when the Rev T W Gill gave a New Year address, Mr Fred Corby (church secretary) also spoke, Mr J Sykes read from the Psalms, and the very old covenant was recited by the pastor, the members duly renewing their pledge.


aerial view c1970
c1970 Aerial View

The property left was built in 1882 for Amos Cave who called it Rushden Villa. When Fred Corby moved in he changed it to The Beeches. During WWI it was used as a home for evacuees. The last person to live there also had the large garden plot opposite was Mr W J Peck. The Beeches became a residental home for senior citizens, and the garden was sold as a bulding plot about 1980.

The property right was originally called the Shrubbery, later changed to Risdene when it became an old people's home, being the gift of Mr Peck to the town.

The road left is Washbrook Road, and across is Higham Road

The Beeches


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