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Robinson Bros.
Wholesale & Export Shoe Manufacturers
a parcel label the factory
Robinson Bros. label and the factory on the corner of Grove Road/Robert Street taken in 2007

Eli Robinson was born in 1846, and married Elizabeth Willmott in 1869. By 1891 Eli and Elizabeth had four young sons, Walter, a clicker aged 18, Edward (baptised George Edward) aged 16, a rivetter like his father, Roland aged 8 and Sydney aged 5. Eli submitted plans to the council to make additions to his house in Grove Road in 1895, and to build a small factory in Manton Road.

Rushden Echo, 16th March 1900, transcribed by Kay Collins

A New Club to be called the Rushden Town Band Working Men's Club and Institute has been formed, and the factory formerly occupied by Mr Eli Robinson in Manton-road, has been taken for the purpose, forming very convenient premises. The bottom floor consists of a bar, a portion being partitioned off as a skittle room.

The following year Eli had more plans drawn up for a house and shops on the corner of Grove Road and York Road in 1896. Walter was married in 1897 to Sarah Annie Carter, of Shawell, Leicestershire, and they were living in Manton Road.

Photos taken in 2015
12 + 10 12 back to the factory
12 + 10 formerly 59 + 60 Roberts Street
12 - 10 - 8 - 6 - 4 - 2 and the Factory beyond

In 1901 Elizabeth was managing a grocery shop at 50 Grove Road, but two years later James Britten had taken on the shop, and Eli and Elizabeth had moved to 60 Roberts Street. George Edward and his brother Walter were now well established as shoe manufacturers employing workers, trading as Robinson Bros. Their father was now a shoemaker, and Roland was a finisher, and their youngest brother Sydney was a baker. The brothers applied to make additions to their factory in Roberts Street in 1901, but no information of the original plan for the factory has been found.

Elizabeth died in 1928 and Eli in 1931, and they are buried side by side in Rushden Cemetery Graves F363/4.

Rushden Echo, 11th October 1912

Presentation—€”On Friday evening last at the factory of Messrs. Robinson Bros., Robert-street, Mrs. Benning, who has worked for some considerable time in the girls'€™ closing room, and will shortly be leaving for Australia, was the recipient of a brush, comb, and mirror, enclosed in a leather case. A few appropriate words were said by Miss Lizzie Linnitt. The girls then wished Mrs. Benning good health, prosperity and success in Australia, and a safe voyage across the sea. The present was handed to Mrs. Benning by Miss Amelia Bird, who hoped that Mrs. Benning would find the present very useful in every way. Mrs. Benning very feelingly replied, and thanked each of the girls in the room. It will be well remembered that Mr. Benning left Rushden for Australia about ten months ago, and he has been doing well. Mrs. Benning will leave Rushden on Oct. 15, and her two little sons will accompany her. They will join Mr. Benning in Melbourne, Australia.

Rushden Echo, 30th November, 1917, transcribed by Gill Hollis


Third Share in a Boot Manufacturing Business

At the meeting of the Northants Appeals Tribunal on Monday:

Fred Robinson, aged 35, married, grade I, a member of the firm of Robinson and Son, boot and shoe manufacturers, Rushden, appealed, through Mr. W. George, against the decision of the Rushden Tribunal dismissing his appeal for exemption.  Mr. George asked that the appellant should be given two months final to allow time for the conversion of the business into a company and the safeguarding of his client’s share (one-third) in the business.  At present he was a foreman and operator.  Captain Cook promised to arrange that Robinson should not be called up until the end of the year, and the appeal was dismissed on this understanding. [Shoetrade tribunals]

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