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The Rushden Echo, 1st July, 1921, transcribed by Gill Hollis
Joseph Wesley Vorley
Rushden Tradesman’s Failure
Cycle Repairer’s Petition In Bankruptcy
Deficiency, £128

Joseph Wesley Vorley was born at Raunds in 1894. He was a motor mechanic, but in 1914 joined the Army.

In January 1919, he was demobbed, and came to Rushden as a motor mechanic. Later he decided to start a business as a cycle repairer.

He soon became unable to continue and was brought to the bankruptcy court in July 1921.

Rushden Echo, July 1921

On his own petition, Joseph Wesley Vorley, of 3, Winchester-road, Rushden, carrying on business at 59, High-street South, Rushden, as a cycle repairer, has been adjudged a bankrupt, and the public examination will take place on July 19th.

The gross liabilities are £169 8s 6d, of which £163 6s 3d to 17 unsecured creditors is expected to rank for dividend. The assets are estimated to produce £41 2s 3d., leaving a deficiency of £128 6s 3d.

The Official Receiver says that the causes of failure as alleged by the debtor are “Losses in dealing with motor-cycles, bad debts, selling goods below cost to meet accounts, and the low condition of the local boot trade. The enforced removal of my business from Spencer-road to 59, High-street South, Rushden, at a time when I was doing well.”

The following deficiency account (dated 2nd April, 1919) has been filed: Bad debts, £2/5/6; depreciation of stock-in-trade, £13/5/9; household and personal expenses of self, £392/0/0; total, £407/11/3. Less – excess of assets over liabilities on 2nd April, 1919, £150/0/0; net profit arising from carrying on business after deducting usual trade expenses, £129/5/0; total £279/5/0; deficiency, £128/6/3.

The Official Receiver’s observations are: The debtor (now aged 26) was up to August, 1914, a motor mechanic, when he joined the Army. In January, 1919, he was demobilised, and from that date until March following worked for a firm of motor engineers at Rushden. Thinking he could do better he commenced business on his own account as a cycle repairer, with a free capital of £150, at 2, Spencer-road, Rushden, which premises he had to vacate after four or five months’ trading. He states he had some difficulty in obtaining other premises and partly attributes his present position to this removal, but he was able to continue with some success until the trade of the town began to fall. In January, 1921, he was sued for £4 5s 9d., and since then other creditors have sued and obtained judgment, and on one issuing execution the High Bailiff took possession of the stock, etc. This compelled the debtor to file his petition. The only books of account kept are invoice, letter, and purchases books. No cash book has been kept, and there is nothing to show what has been drawn for personal expenses. The debtor is unmarried and resides in furnished lodgings. All the unsecured liabilities disclosed by the statement of affairs are for trade goods supplies.


22nd July, 1921

Cycle Repairer in Difficulties

Two Rushden cases came before the Registrar (Mr. Percival) at the Northampton Bankruptcy Court on Tuesday.

A Forced Removal

Joseph Wesley Vorley, cycle repairer, 59, High-street South, Rushden, was called up for public examination. The Gross liabilities were £169 8s 6d., of which £163 6s 3d was expected to rank for dividend. The assets were estimated to produce £35, deficiency £128 6s 3d.

Debtor said that prior to August, 1914, he was a mechanic in some motor works. In that month he enlisted and served until January, 1919, spending four years in France. His gratuity mounted to £20, and with other money he had saved he had £150 when he started in business at Spencer-road, Rushden. He was there four months, but had to move because the premises were sold over his head. The change to High-street South interfered with the business, and he lost considerably through it. The bad state of the shoe trade also affected him. His actual shortness began to pinch last year, but he thought he could overcome it. In January he was sued by one creditor, and paid in full with the exception of 7s 9d solicitor’s fees. Other people sued him, and eventually he filed his petition.

The Official Receiver: How long were you unable to pay your debts before you filed your petition?

Debtor: Twelve months. When in Spencer-road I could always pay accounts promptly. Since last June I knew I could not pay everyone in full if they all wanted it at once.

How could you hope to repay them? - I hoped trade would revive.

In reply to the Official Receiver, debtor said he kept no cash book on account of personal drawings. He allowed himself £3 10s a week, out of which he paid 30s. for lodgings and the rest on clothing and himself. He did no betting or gambling.

The examination was adjourned until August 16th.

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