William Penness was born in 1855 at Clifton Reynes in Buckinghamshire. He became a shoe maker and in 1875 married Elizabeth Gutteridge of Olney. Soon after they came to Rushden. At first they lived a 9 Sunny Bank Terrace, but had moved to 39 Crabb Street by 1891. In 1892 William was already established as a lift maker, when he purchased a piece of land at the corner of Montague Street and Moor Road. He possibly had a small factory there.
Clifton House A D 1897 - No 11
William Penness - lived here and built a stable and coach house behind.
In 1901 William was living at 11 Griffith Street where he built a stable and coach house behind. This was converted in a factory where he made lefts and heels for the shoetrade.
The factory in 1992 - the doors far right where the lift was accessed
Elizabeth died in November 1901, aged 46, and William died in April 1920 aged 65. They were buried in Rushden Cemetery Grave B812.
The lift and lift pulley installed in the factory by William Penness.