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J & C Claridge Ltd
Founded by William Claridge
Window panel rescued doorway of the house adjoining the
factory (white framed door in the picture below right)

11 October 1879 - Northampton Mercury

Trip to Hastings—On the 24th ult. the employees of Mr. W. Claridge, of Rushden, went on a trip to Hastings, where a very pleasant time was spent.

Claridge's c1890s c1970
Behind the trees is the house and garden with a lean-to greenhouse against the boundary wall. Two buildings beyond - the Lightstrung
In the 1870s Mr Walker kept a private school in the house of John Claridge - behind the trees.
The factory had changed little since it was rebuilt in 1889 - c1970
Demolished in 2015 - and flats built on the site early in 2016

In the 1861 Census William Claridge was a shoemaker. The Shoe and Leather News gives the date of establishment as 1860, but in the 1914 Biographical Directory the date is given as 1863 and in 1916 as 1865. Perhaps William was working on his own from 1860, and opened his factory in 1863/5. In 1879 a new warehouse was built, and the factory was rebuilt in 1889.

Extract from "The Baker Brothers":
Mr. Baker recalls the start made in boot manufacturing by the late Mr. William Claridge in premises at the back of Mr. W. H. Marriott’s house in High-street South.

When William died in 1891 his two sons, John & Charles, were already managing the business. The magazine cover (below) featured the company on its 90th anniversary.

1950 cover of Shoe & leather News

John Claridge J.P.
John Claridge J.P.

Noted from a brochure cover:
Telephone No. 19
Incorporated in 1922
Trade Marks:
Eureka - Beau Broadway - Riviera

London Office and Showrooms:
Room 30A, Camomile Street Chambers, London, EC3

Manchester Export Office and Showrooms:
Room 22, 34 George Street, Manchester

Another interior picture.
Wooden shoe racks for moving the work round the shop floor.

Inside the factory.
Interior of the factory. Note the array of overhead belt drives.

Northampton Mercury 09 March 1900 

LOCAL SUCCESS—Mr. Charles Claridge's St. Bernard bitch, Oakley Queen, won two first prizes the Leicester Dog Show this week. Coffee Tavern Company.

The Rushden Echo, 21st December 1917

The Employees of Messrs William Claridge have, as in previous years, sent a donation to the fund to provide smokes for Wounded Soldiers and Sailors at the request of Lord Beresford. They have also made a collection for the British and Foreign Sailors’ Society.

Possibly at Claridges
This photograph was passed to us as "possibly Claridge's factory".
If you can help please let us know.

Accident - Master Claridge 1918
Rushden Echo, 1st July 1927, transcribed by Peter Brown

Business Changes At Rushden
Messrs J and C Claridge Ltd
Retirement of Mr C Claridge

Councillor Charles Claridge ex-chairman of the Rushden Urban District Council has retired from the firm Messrs J and C Claridge Ltd of Rushden with which he has been associated as director since its inception. Mr Charles Claridge is the youngest son of the late Mr William Claridge, who in the early ‘sixties started the firm which for so many years traded under the name of William Claridge and which was one of the oldest firms in the town. Mr William Claridge died about 35 years ago, and his sons the late Mr J Claridge J P, C C, and Mr Charles Claridge continued the business which was some years ago converted into the firm of Messrs J and C Claridge Ltd. Mr John Claridge, up to the time of his death, was the chairman of the company, and Mr Charles Claridge was the managing director. Mr William Claridge was the elder brother of the late Mr Ebenezer Claridge, the founder of another well-known house at Rushden, and the name of Claridge has always been held in honour in the town.

Mr Charles Claridge is a member of the Rushden Urban District Council, of which he was in 1925-6 the vice chairman, proceeding to the chair in April 1926, and from that position he retired a couple of months ago, having filled the office of chairman to the entire satisfaction of his colleagues on the Council and the townspeople in general. He has been a member of all the committees of the Council. During his chairmanship he had the honour of extending the town’s hearty welcome to Her Highness Princess Helena Victoria. Mr Claridge was the chairman of the local committee on the occasion of the visit to Rushden and Northamptonshire Agricultural Society for the annual show, and he had the honour of being introduced to His Royal Highness Prince henry. Mr Claridge is associated with St Mary’s Church, Rushden.

As a sportsman Mr Claridge has worthily upheld the traditions of the town. While he has been associated with all the sports, he has been most intimately connected with cricket and association football. He played for the old Northants football team and was secretary of the Northants Football Association. For many years he played for the Rushden Town Cricket Club, and during a long period he carried out the secretarial duties. He is also a keen tennis player and is interested in other games.

The business of the firm of Messrs J and C Claridge will be carried on as usual.

The rear of 'Brookside' during demolition 2015

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