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Mrs. Helen Wills
"The White House"

Photograph of Helen Wills
Helen Wills

John Wills - aged 2½
John Wills - aged 2½
Rushden Echo, 3rd July 1925, transcribed by Kay Collins

Second Prize—An endowment of £25 and a cash award of £10, has been gained by Mrs P W Wills and her only child, John Richard Wills, aged 2½ years, of 179 Newton-road, Rushden, in a competition open to the British Isles. The competition, known as the Empire’s Mother and Baby Competition, was conducted by the National Baby Week Council, London. The baby, brought up under the instructions of Nurse S L Wilkins, C.M.B., of the local Infant Welfare Centre, is, needless to state, an all but perfect child physically and mentally, and incidentally the little chap has a charming face. To enter the competition the mother had to give satisfactory written answers to questions on bringing up a child. Dr Davies certified the statistics of the child’s measurements, weight, health, history, etc.

Mr and Mrs Wills are naturally very proud of their son’s success. The prize will be awarded at Wembley next Monday. An entry is being made in a competition open to the whole British Empire. The same child was a prize-winner in the last Rushden Health Week Baby Competition.

Note: photo in the Rushden Echo, 17th July 1925 - taken from the Northampton Herald with caption: 'John Wills – One of the Bonniest Boys in England'.

Rushden Echo, 20th February 1948, transcribed by Kay Collins

So U.S. Replied with Food

When Mrs. P. W. Wills, of Rushden, visited the U.S.A. last year she was invited several times to enlighten Americans on conditions in Britain.

Mrs. Wills obliged, and on the food question stressed the plight of old people living alone. The American women were more than sympathetic. They did something about it.

From the “Helen Wills Club” in Memphis, Tennessee, to “The White House” at Rushden have come numerous tins of food high in points value. They have all been purchased by the 19 members of the club, and still more are expected in the future.


Mrs. Wills and her friend Miss C. Sanders, of The Hayway, have been busily engaged in the re-packing of the gifts and collecting names and addresses of Rushden people over 80.

At the week-end, 26 parcels left the Grove Road “distribution centre” as a kind-hearted gesture from a band of Americans to the oldest folk of Rushden.

And there is a treat on the way for the young ones too. Four cases of used toys sent from Clarksdale, Mississippi, will be distributed to children’s homes by Mrs. Wills.

Rushden Echo, 1948
Mrs Wills
Mrs Wills repacks the food

Food for thought provided by Mrs. P. W. Wills, of Rushden, during a visit to the U.S.A., brought food for old people in return.

During her visit Mrs. Wills told women of the food plight of old folks living alone, and the American women responded generously.

At her home, Mrs. Wills repacks the food she received from them, before distributing it to Rushden people over the age of 80.

Rushden Echo & Argus, 20th February 1948, transcribed by Kay Collins
Mrs Wills with Mrs Compton
Eighty-two year old Mrs. Compton, of Essex Road, Rushden, opens a gift food parcel presented to her at her home by Mrs. P. W. Wills, who distributed the parcels received from the United States.

Water colour of the White House - rear elevation

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