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From Trade Directories, Council Plans, & a bundle of receipts found in 2011
Joseph Knight

York Road factory - now flats
The York Road factory - now flats


Old factory on the corner of Victoria Road/Rectory Road

Herbert Adnitt's receipt
Herbert Adnitt's receipt for architectural services June 1920
Joseph Knight began shoemaking in the 1870s and was a finisher in 1881. By 1891 he was manufacturing in Victoria Road and kept this factory making footwear for the wholesale trade until the 1920s.

A factory in York Road, belonging to Ellard & Howes, was destroyed in a disasterous fire in 1907, and Joseph and Mr Brightwell applied to the council for permission to rebuild on the site in June 1908.

This factory thrived and plans were submitted to the council for an additional leather store to be added in October 1908. Another open shed was erected in April 1911, and further factory additions were made in 1914/5.

More plans for additions were drawn up in 1920, Mr Herbert Adnitt being the architect. About 1926 the firm became a limited company, probably on Joseph's retirement. He died in 1932 aged 76.

The factory was taken over by Bignell's in about 1938. Much later it was taken over by Wearproof Ltd. After standing derelict for a few years, it has now been made into luxury flats (2009).


For a photo album of the factory click here Ebooks and scroll down to 23 York Road and click run

click here for a Survey of the factory

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