Cottingham Brass Band,
with the clothing factory in the background
Closures shoe factory on Rockingham Road
opened in the early 1980s and shut up shop around 2000. The factory
originally made shoes (obviously!), but later moved on to make other
leather goods such as mobile phone covers. The building has now been converted
into three apartments.
building was originally erected in 1874 as a clothing factory by Kettering
clothing company Wallis and Linnell. In 1901, the factory employed 30 villagers. Frederick Wallis had set up a small clothing
factory in School Lane Kettering in 1856, going into partnership with
draper, John Linnell, the following year. The company also owned factories in Brigstock
(opened 1870 and 1873) and Gretton (opened 1890).
Beadsworth recalls working in the clothing factory in the 1960s. She says:
"We were paid piecework making suits, naval uniforms and blazers
that came in to the factory ready cut. I worked on the top floor where we
did the basic stitching, and the clothes were then sent downstairs to have
the linings put in and so on. I didn't work there long, but some people,
like Mrs Pearson, who was the foreman's wife, worked there all their
In his book on Northamptonshire first
published in 1906, Wakeling Dry refers to the building, saying:
"...leaving the village by the road passing the ugly, self-asserting
factory on the top of the hill, the tourist will find on his left a most
extensive prospect over the fertile valley of the sluggish, winding
Welland, which can hardly be surpassed in this county for beauty."
the second World War, the Home Guard used to
spend cold nights on the top floor of the factory 'firewatching'. And, in
the 1950s, the village lads used to play snooker in the bottom room.