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Joseph, Arthur, Charles & Charlie Robinson

Scouts outside Charlie Robinson's shop
Arthur Robinson's Beerhouse and Charles' Newsagents
Courtesy of Rushden Museum
Scouts in the foreground suggest a Church Parade

Wellingborough & Kettering News, August 14th, 1880

On the fourth day of August, 1880, Joseph Robinson made application for a retail licence to sell beer.
He was a "Shopkeeper and Fly Driver, now residing at a House situate in High-street, and adjoining Church-street, in the Parish of Rushden, in a property of and rented by me under Arthur Campbell Bulkley Praed, and now in my own occupation".

Licensed for retail only

When Joseph Robinson died in 1896, his wife Elizabeth (nee Jaques), continued the business as a greengrocer and beer retailer, and their son Arthur held the licence to sell beer 'not to be consumed on the premises'. The other part of the property was Charles' newsagents shop. An advert above the shop window offers cycles for hire.

The shop was on the corner of High Street and Church Street, and looked towards the Church.

In front there are several Scouts, suggesting the photograph (top right) was taken at a Church Tea Parade. We do not know when it was taken.

Perhaps one of the cycles for hire?
One of the cycles for hire?

Postcard c 1905
An early postcard showing Robinson's thatched property at the south end of High Street c1905

Delivery Boys' Cycle number 13

Rushden Echo, 21st May 1915

Mr. C. Robinson’s Old Shop

the old shop
Mr. Robinson, the Central Newsagent, of Rushden, who recently moved into larger premises, did a large business in the old shop,
but he has made tremendous advances in the new shop.
Besides his newsagency—the largest in the district—he is making a speciality of Photo Frames (English-made) and other goods.

Rushden Echo, 21st March 1969, transcribed by Kay Collins

Newsagents who were part of old Rushden

about 1902
Mr. Charles Robinson, who started his own business in part of his parents’
beer shop, is pictured in the doorway of his original shop - the news poster
at the side of the door way reads "The Great War of 1900"
For 60 years the name Robinson was synonymous with newspapers in Rushden. From the turn of the century up to almost eight years ago Charles Robinson (father and son) ran a newsagents in the High Street.

This week Charles Robinson (junior) reminisced to an “Echo” reporter about his father’s business and the days when newspapers were so much cheaper than today.

Mr. Robinson, 53, and his wife Sylvia, cannot escape being connected with the old Rushden. Mr. Robinson’s father started the newsagents, his grandparents ran an outside beer shop and the Robinson’s house in High Street South is on the site of the old Coach and Horses public house.

To trace the start of the Robinson’s newsagents one must go back to the turn of the century when Charles Robinson, senior, was 11. [1892]

Then he was selling copies of the “Evening Telegraph”. After a few years he opened his own small shop by the side of his parents’ beer shop.

Chalres serving a customer
Mr. Charles Robinson junior, with a customer at the
shop in High Street before he retired.
The beer shop, which was run by his grandmother, sold beer which was not to be consumed on the premises. His grandfather had a horse and trap and he used to collect people from Wellingborough station.

After some years at the premises attached to the beer shop, he moved to premises in the High Street. [17 High Street - formerly T J Fairey ironmongers - c1918] Next door to his shop was a fruiterers’ shop run by his brother. At the other end of High Street was a newsagents run by his sister.

His son joined the business, but in 1951 Mr. Robinson senior died, shortly after celebrating his 50 years of newspaper work.

During his 50 years as a newsagent he was known for his clever advertising in the local Press. One advert in the “Rushden Echo” was in the form of a ballot sheets asking people to elect him to serve them in his shop. The following week he followed this up with another advert thanking all the people who voted for him.

His son retired from the business about eight years ago – although the shop can still be seen as it is now Colman’s newsagents.

4th prize out of 700 competitiors - 'Hobbies' display 1911
Photo Courtesy of Rushden Museum

Charles Robinson's newsagency c1919 - Postcard by C F Chapman

1916 Display of War Pictures

In January 1917 C Robinson was the agent for Insurance against a Zeppelin Raid.

Rushden Echo, 18th January 1918, transcribed by Kay Collins

For the Boys—We consider that one of the finest presents we have seen for a long time for the boys serving in His Majesty'€™s Forces is the novel match-box case sold by Mr. Charles Robinson, the newsagent, High-street, Rushden. A photograph is worked on to the case, and any portrait can be copied. Our representative was surprised at the large number of orders shown him by Mr. Robinson, these orders coming not only from Rushden and the district, but also from all parts of England.

The little matchbox cover had room for a photo to be inserted back and front.
We don't know who the people are - can you help please?
Perhaps a soldier's parents??
To see two more of these match box covers see W T L Flood

Rushden Echo, 27th June 1919, transcribed by Kay Collins

The Old Property occupied for the past half-century by the Robinson family, green-grocers, etc., is shortly to be pulled down for the erection of up-to-date premises. We understand that Mr. A. Robinson has been fortunate in securing a shop, No. 3 Church-street (next to Mr. Hawes, baker) in which to to carry on until the new place is built.

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

Please Don’t Forget that A. Robinson, fruiterer, greengrocer, etc., of High-street, Rushden, will very shortly be opening new premises, No. 3 Church-street, where there will be the usual supplies of fruit, vegetables, etc., of first-class quality.

Demolished in 1920
The building that was demolished in April 1920
The Rushden Echo, 2nd April 1920

A piece of dwindling old Rushden now being demolished. The interesting and picturesque house at the corner of High-street and Church-street, until recently occupied by Mr A Robinson, is in the hands of the 'house demobiliser' and this means that only Farm House School is left of the High-street of the once peaceful village of Rushden. The building has been a licensed house for a large number of years, the licence having been held by the Robinson family for about 40 years. Mr Joseph Robinson held it for a long time and on his death his widow, Mrs Elizabeth Robinson, took over the business. The licence was, on the death of Mrs Robinson, transferred to her son, Mr Arthur Robinson, who has held it since then. The portion of the building on the right was for 16 years used as a newsagent's shop by Mr Chas Robinson, who now occupies the shop close by. A considerable piece of the land at the corner will be cut off to improve the corner. The licence has been transferred to Portland-road.

Rushden Echo, 4th May 1923

Rushden War Memorial is ever an object of great beauty and dignity, standing as it does in exquisite surroundings (the Green now looking at its best), and we can commend Mr. Charles Robinson on his excellent idea of having had made models of the memorial in china bearing the Rushden crest.

These models, rising 6in. High from a base 2in. Square, are a splendid representation of the monument to the Rushden fallen. At 2s. 6d. each, these souvenirs are very reasonable. They also have a double value, appealing to collectors of crest china and to those who wish to possess a replica in their homes of the Rushden memorial.

the model

Rushden Echo, 22nd August 1924, transcribed by Kay Collins

Newsboys’ Outing—Yesterday Mr Charles Robinson, newsagent, took his 16 newsboys to Wembley Exhibition, himself paying all expenses. The party, with adults (20 in all), journeyed in Mr George Robinson’s charabanc, leaving Rushden at 8.30. A stop was made at St Albans for refreshments and sightseeing, and after another pleasant run Wembley was reached about noon. “Charlie” piloted his group of eager youngsters about the various “countries,” Canada, Australia, India, Palaces of Industry and Engineering, and then to the Amusements Park, where the boys were in high glee on the various attraction. Allowed by their leader to go on the water, the newsboys went in boats for half-an-hour (and stayed on for over an hour!). Their inner wants were supplied by frequent “dives” into “nosebags” which they all carried. Gathering his company together at seven o’clock, “Charlie” got them safely stowed away in the charabanc. Three lust cheers were given by the boys for their leader. Rushden was reached about 10.30.

Rushden Echo - January 1924
1924 advert
In the 1930s
The shops in the 1930s

The newspaper delivery boys going on a bus trip
An outing for the newspaper delivery boys
3rd from the left – Stanley Eric Robinson – a nephew of Charlie Robinson
Charlie is seated centre - year unknown - so if you can help please get in touch.

If you are one of the boys in the picture please let us know.

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