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Clarke and Co.

The factory adjacent to The Green

After 50 years in the shoemaking business, Clarke and Co., of Rushden are closing down on April 1. [1974] The closure will mean that 50 men and women, including a few outdoor workers, will lose their jobs.

But with most shoe firms in the area desperately short of skilled closers and clickers, redundant employees should have no difficulty in finding alternative work.

The firm's managing director, Mr. D. W. Nicholson, explained that the closure results from the death of the owner, Mr. Christopher Stockdale. The firm was founded  in Victoria Road, Rushden, by Mr, Nicholson's father, the late Mr. Hugh Nicholson, who went into partnership with the late Mr Charles Clarke.

About 1930 they moved to their present factory on The Green.

"We sold out to Mr. Stockdale about four and a half years ago, and we have been active in a sort of caretaker capacity for his widow, Mrs. Victoria Stockdale", Mr. Nicholson explained today. "We are quite solvent. The closure is purely for domestic reasons."

Clarke and Co. have been manufacturing men's shoes for the medium grade market.

Note: A swimming pool, alongside left, was never completed (see note below)

Shoemakers Clarke and Co., of Rushden, Northants, has announced that it is to close down on April 1. [1974]

The decision will affect about 50 men and women operatives and a few, outdoor workers. Announcing the closure, Mr. D. W. Nicholson, managing director, said: ''We are quite solvent. The closure is purely for domestic reasons".

Clarke and Co. is the latest of a number of Northamptonshire shoe businesses to cease over the past 18 months.

Notes: Kelly's Directory 1903 gives Clarke & Co. at Church Street.

Building already there on 1900 map, when streets were being numbered.

Clarke & Co, were listed as boot & shoe manufacturers in Church Street in 1903 Kellys’ – but no property number given.

Edwin Mole, baker listed at number 3 Church Street.

Northern & Payne, coal merchants at number 5.

Rushden Times (branch) also at number 5.

Henry Wheeler & Son, plumbers, were at number 11.

This building looks like a shoe factory - so we are unsure if it was built for Clarke & Co, and taken over by J F Cook. If you can help with information, please contact us.

9 Church Street
5 Church St - was J F Cook print works in 1908

Warehouse and Swimming Baths
Designed by A. Sykes, A.R.I.B.A., Arch.T. October 1895

Occupied by Lilley & Skinner,
Leather Merchants approx. 1900

Top Floor opened as Y.M.C.A.
by H.R.H. Princess Helena Victoria
April 2nd, 1927

Opening in 1987 as an extension to
Peter Crisp Departmental Store

No. 9 in a series of "Historic Rushden" Notecards
Published by Rushden Amenities Society

Mind - mental health services - moved into this factory following a fire in their Alfred Street premises in 2008. After much refurbishment, mostly by volunteers, it is now fully occupied.

It is now called Phoenix House [2013] and has these beautiful doors at the entrance.

Warehouse built in 1895

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