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Diana Coleman, 2010
R J Coleman Pattern & Knife Manufacturer

Letterhead Business Card
Business Card

Pattern & Knife Making In Rushden January 1969 to April 2010

January 1st. 1969 Billy Garner (who was well past retirement age) was the only Pattern Maker in the town at this time, trading from a small workshop behind the row of terraced houses in Newton Road where the car park is now.

At this time several of the larger factories had their own "Pattern Making Departments", and John White's even had their own Knife Making plant at one stage.

Also serving the town at that time with Patterns were two Kettering firms Mobbs - Miller, and G. Bennett along with Art Pattern and Knife from Leicester.

Late January 1969 Speedy Pattern Service came to the town from Northampton, changing their name later to R J Coleman.

1970 saw the arrival of Johnson Haynes Patterns & Press knives also from Northampton.

1971 A new business was formed by two of Johnson Haynes employees and a third partner - B H S Patterns and Press knives.

In 1996 B H S partners split up one keeping on the pattern and knife business and one trading as B H S Cutting Formes Ltd. supplying mainly the print trade (the third partner having left some years previous) The two companies carried on trading from the same premises for about two years.

1998 B H S Patterns and Press knives amalgamated with and moved into the premises occupied by Johnson Haynes and gradually lost their identity.

February 2004 Johnson Haynes went into liquidation and thus both companies ceased to exist.

B H S Cutting Formes Ltd. and R J Coleman Pattern and Knives are still trading in 2010.

R J Coleman retired in August 2012.

R J Coleman Patterns and Press Knives
Factories we remember when we came to Rushden in January 1969

Footwear Manufacturers


A & S Footwear

Espin Leathers

Michael Leathers

Wildman & Bugby

Denson Footwear



Fantom Footwear

Soles, Heels, Etc.

Fox Shoes

Altona Leathers

Ashford & Campion

W Smart & Sons



R Tarry



Cutting & Closing

J Hulatt


R J Coleman Patterns & Press Knives
New Companies we remember formed from January 1969 - April 2010

Footwear Manufacturers


Ambassador Footwear

Colin Cross 

Artisan Footwear 

D Hudson Leather & Plastics


G H Leathers

Bishop & Harper (Later R Bishop) 

Langley Leathers

Craft Manufacturing


Epic Footwear   


L & S Products   


MNP Shoes   

Soles Etc.


T R Lawman

Renaissance Footwear 


Robella Shoes 


Frank Robinson Moccasins


Pendered Moccasins  

Cutting & Closing

Frank Thomas Boots 

Bob Tulley Cutting 

Trade West

Church & Co Ltd. Closing 

Slipper Factory (Crabb Street)

Robin Closers

William James Shoes

Johnson Haynes Closers

Washbrook Products   



Businesses Still Trading April 2010

Footwear Manufacturers

Artisans Footwear - Producing small quantities of children's footwear.

R Bishop - One off orders for specialist footwear i.e. Boxing Boots

D B Shoes - Specialising in wide fitting adult footwear.

Wm. Green & Sons Ltd. (Grensons) From April 1st 2010 under new management, they have been bought out by Mr. T. Little still working from the original premises in Queen Street, manufacturing between 200 and 250 pairs of shoes a week, but have been and are still at this time importing large quantities to sell under their various brand names.

L & S Products - Small pairage of very high quality moccasin slippers.

A Sargent & Sons Ltd. - Producing good quality men's welted made entirely in the Rushden factory.

Sanders & Sanders Ltd. - Still producing some MOD work, Riding Boots, Special measures, and some general men's footwear, mostly made on the premises, but some imported uppers.

William James Shoes - Men's dancing shoes, small niche orders for themselves and for other companies, also children's stable boots for another company.


Ashford & Campion - Soles etc. - based in Higham Ferrers

Church & Co. Ltd. Closing room - to feed their Northampton Factory

G H Leathers - now trading from Higham Ferrers

T R Lawman Ltd. - Soles Thro's, Insoles, Stiffeners, Toe Puffs

W. Smart & Sons - Mainly Leather Soles etc. for repair trade

Wildman & Bugby - Leather

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