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Factory in Rectory Road

Rectory Road corner of Victoria Road built in the 1880s and extended in 1889 (see council plan 134)
Extract from 1891 Industries - 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.

This factory has a long but changeable story. It was built c1887 by Joseph Knight, later Knight and Brightwell, a store for the CWS factory, then Hugh Nicholson.

Rushden Echo, 27th November 1908

C.W.S. - The Co-operative Wholesale Society have taken the factory in Victoria-road, recently vacated by Messrs. Knight and Brightwell, and will use it as a stock-room until the extensions at the Portland-road factory are completed.

During WWII Howes and George took over, then Bennett and Wright.

A W Head took the building in about 1958 from F England Smith & Co.

A series of photographs when the factory was
standing empty - Courtesy of Clive Wood

Interior of the factory
View from Beaconsfield Place

In the Yard
A stair-case
Paint has fallen off the wall

The building was left empty for many years, but currently (2018) it is occupied once more by Hooton & Sons Ltd., Wellington Warehouse.

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