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The Rushden Echo and Argus, 28th August, 1942, transcribed by Gill Hollis
Rushden’s New Canteen For 600
Mr. John White’s Project
Best Equipped Fire Fighting Firm

Two hundred of his employees who helped to provide entertainment during Rushden’s Holiday Fete were themselves entertained on Tuesday evening in the Lime-street canteen by Mr. John White himself.

A supper and entertaining programme had been arranged and during the toasts Mr. White announced that there was a possibility of a new canteen being built, one to house 600 employees.

The loyal toast was proposed by Mr. White.

Mr. L. W. Bradshaw, secretary of the company, giving “The Firm and the Directors,” observed that when he commenced work with Mr. White there was an office staff of 5, but when war broke out they had 10 times that number and the factory staff had increased proportionately. Mr. Bradshaw mentioned various changes which had been made during the advancement of the business. One could not only see a difference in the buildings, he said, but a difference in the people. An equipped fire fighting service had been provided, having two trailer pumps which meant that they had the best factory fire-fighting service in the district. Good first aid parties were also established and regular lectures and practices had been arranged. With regard to the directors, he observed that they always did the best to make the work of the executive staff as easy as possible.

The chairman’s beneficence outside the business was known to all by what he had done; the magnificent gift to the Borough of Higham Ferrers and the gift of the bandstand in the Rushden Hall Grounds. Many other organisations had benefited by his generosity but only those people directly concerned had been allowed to know of them. His recent gift as opener of the Rushden Holiday Fete was characteristic of his generosity.

Mr. White mentioned details of his long association with Mr. Bradshaw, whose service had been one of the most loyal the firm had had. They had been informed by the Government, he continued, that they would be able to build a larger canteen suitable for 600 diners and if this came into being they would be able to look forward to even larger gatherings. On their own (United Charities) day seven thousand people had been admitted to the Hall Grounds and he considered this a compliment to himself and to his workers. When the war was over they would have an interesting story to tell of the part they had played and he hoped that he would be the one to tell it.

Among those present were Mrs. White and Miss White, Mr. and Mrs. B. H. Toms and Mr. and Mrs. Don Bugby.

There was an entertaining programme in the evening, the artistes who appeared at intervals between the dancing being Mr. F. Rice (baritone) and Mr. W. Clarke (tenor). Other items were given by the Rushden Adult School choir combined with the Impregnable Choir with Miss Field as soloist. Mr. Harry Rice was M.C. and the Impregnable Band supplied the music. Mr. Joe Keller (accordion) who was to have appeared was unable to attend.

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