Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Lotus (Shoemakers)

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February 1915.
March 1919.
April 1933. Lotus and Delta.
June 1933. Lotus and Delta.
July 1945.
April 1946.
1951. Delta shoes.
October 1953. Delta Shoes.
December 1954.
December 1954.

of Stafford, Stone, and Northampton.

1814 Thomas Bostock, a native of Heage, Derbyshire, moved to Stafford and set up in a small way as boot and shoe maker. Later, with three of his sons, Thomas Bostock founded businesses at Stafford and Stone.

1836 Set up another branch of the business at Northampton

1840 Thomas retired. His eldest son, Edwin, took over the Stafford factory, specializing in the production of women's shoes, whilst another son - Frederick - ran the factory at College Street, Northampton, making fine quality men's shoes.

1890 Frederick Bostock acquired a new factory in Victoria Street, Northampton, where he lived.

1912 Frederick Bostock (1860-1940[1]) became the Managing Director of the private company, Frederick Bostock Ltd.

1913 another factory was opened at Countess Road, Northampton, to produce the "Veldtschoen" shoe (the idea for this shoe came from South Africa, where they were originally worn to keep out ticks, but were also extremely waterproof). This type of shoe produced by Lotus Ltd., even today, helped to make the Company's name. Mr E.S. Perry was manager at this time of both the Countess Road and Victoria Street factories.

1916 The Victoria St factory was extended several times on the site between Victoria Street, Newland and Ladys Lane

1919 Frederick Bostock Ltd. amalgamated with Edwin Bostock & Co. Ltd. of Stafford and Stone, to become Lotus Ltd. Henry Bostock of Stafford became Chairman, Frederick Bostock of Northampton became Vice-Chairman and the Managing Directors were Henry John Bostock and Frederick Marson Bostock of Stafford. Lotus Ltd. then became manufacturers and distributors of boots and shoes sold under the "Lotus" and "Delta" trade names. The factories still continued to be ran separately, with the Stafford and Stone factories making ladies shoes and the Northampton factories making men's shoes.

1921 The Victoria St factory became a three-storey building, and finally a fourth storey was added which became the "Clicking Room". The premises of the Eversley Commercial Hotel were also acquired for the employees canteen and staff shop.

1921 The Countess Road factory was closed.

1923 Both Lotus and Delta shoes were made in Stafford[2]

1940 the various factories of Lotus Ltd. were integrated, with the largest factory at Stafford becoming also a warehouse for the shoes made at the other factories.

When Frederick Bostock died, his son Neville Bostock, became the Managing Director of the Victoria Street factory and James Bostock became the Managing Director of Stafford.

c.1950 James Bostock became Managing Director of both factories.

1952 A large interest in the company was acquired by Great Universal Stores and later a further holding was bought by the Wolfson Foundation[3]

1972 A majority holding in the company was acquired by David Rowland's Argo Carribean Group

1973 Debenhams Ltd acquired Lotus[4].

The Victoria Street factory was demolished during the early 1970s to make way for the Greyfriars Bus Station and between 1968 and 1973 the employees of Lotus Ltd. were gradually moved to a new purpose-built factory on the Holloways Industrial Estate, Weedon Road, Northampton.

1978 Lotus Ltd. were the oldest shoe manufacturers in Northampton.

1978 Mr T. Harris was the General Manager of the Northampton factory, which produced high-quality men's shoes and ladies golf shoes, which have been exported to virtually every country in the world and sold in Britain through 4,000 agents, mail order firms and in high street stores.


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. BMD
  2. The Times, Jun 13, 1923
  3. The Times, Feb 03, 1970
  4. The Times, Aug 02, 1973
  • Northampton Record Office [1]