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Mrs Martha Minney

Northampton Mercury & Herald, 25th June 1954

80, she would “love to be back at work”

Five years ago, an accident at her home ended 80-years-old Mrs. Martha Minney’s long association with the shoe factories of Rusden.

She was a typical shoeworker—one of several thousand engaged in the industry at Rushden.

For nearly 40 years she worked there. She remembers when factories were stuffy in summer, dirty, and often cold in winter. She recalls the overcrowding, the long hours, the short holidays.......

But as the years passed, conditions improved. It was no longer a hardship to work in Rushden factories; the employees were treated well and received better wages.

Then, one day in 1949, Mrs. Minney slipped and fell at her home, 7 Grove-road. She broke her thigh and became an invalid. Now she spends her days in an armchair alone with her memories.

Besides witnessing big changes in shoe factories, Mrs. Minney has seen even bigger changes in the size and appearance of Rushden.

"Years ago, it was only a village and there was very little shoe work," she said.

She remembers riding round the town in a donkey-drawn cart . . . the days when there were no railways or high pavements . . . when fairs were held on the main street.

A little sadly she said: "I would love to be back at the factory to-day."

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