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H W Chapman Ltd

Cromwell Road factory Oak Street
The factory at Allen Road corner with Cromwell Road
Oak Street factory of Groome's was taken after WWI

The first Rushden factory was built in Cromwell Road in 1897, and in the 1920s they took over the Oak Street factory built by A Groome & Sons in 1890.

The Wellingborough News, 16th May, 1902, transcribed by Jim Hollis

On Friday afternoon considerable alarm, but fortunately very little damage, was occasioned by the headlong career, through the heart of the town, of a horse and van. It appears that the driver of the horse, which belonged to Mr. H. W. Chapman, box manufacturer, was unloading goods at a factory near the Midland Station, and whilst he had entered the factory for a moment something startled the animal. It started at a rapid pace along the High-street, people scattering in all directions, and drivers of vehicles drawing quickly aside. When near the “Argus” Office the wheels of the van came in contact with the back of a trap, and two men were thrown out into the road, one alighting on his head, but both fortunately escaping without serious injury. A few yards further along, a trap belonging to Mr. Warren, butcher, was drawn out of the way, but someone attempted to stop the runaway, which caused it to swerve, the wheels catching the trap and throwing the pony clean out of the shafts on to the road. It proved, however, to be none the worse for the mishap. The horse safely rounded the turn into High-street South, and continued for some two miles along the Bedford-road, when it was stopped by Messrs. C. Robinson and Jackson, who had followed on bicycles. The animal was then driven back, apparently little the worse for its run.

Rushden Echo, 28th February 1908, transcribed by Kay Collins

A New Company, H. W. Chapman Ltd., has been registered with a capital of £25.000 in £10 shares (500 preference), to take over the business of a cardboard box manufacturer, etc., carried on by H. W. Chapman at Wellingborough, Rushden, and London. The subscribers are:- Ordinary shares: H. W. Chapman, D. D. Chisholm, T. J. Morgan, J. T. Lewis, Wellingborough; H. Simmonds, Kettering; F. J. White, Queen-street, Rushden; F. J. Burford, Wellingborough. Minimum cash subscription £500. The number of directors is not to be fewer than three nor more than five; the first are H. W. Chapman, J. T. Lewis, H. Simmonds, F. J. White, and F. J. Burford. Qualification £200.

Rushden Argus, 6th March 1914, transcribed by Kay Collins

Alarming Accident - Motor in a Rushden Front Garden
A very alarming accident occurred about noon on Tuesday, when a motor lorry, belonging to Mr. H. W. Chapman, box manufacturer, Rushden, dashed into a wall in Portland-road, Rushden.

The vehicle was being driven up Portland-road, and when taking the curve near the top, and approaching Cromwell road, the steering gear broke and the lorry became unmanageable. The driver turned off the engine, but the heavy vehicle swerved round to the left, mounted the causeway, and dashed into the front garden of No. 59. The railing and the wall were knocked down, but the machine stopped within a foot of the front window. Mechanics were quickly on the spot, and in a very short time spare wheels had been secured and fixed, so that the motor could continue its journey.

Rushden Echo, 8th February 1918, transcribed by Kay Collins

Messrs. H. W. Chapman Ltd., box manufacturers, have given all their employees 6d. for every pound earned during the past year.

Extract from a Military Tribunal in May 1918

Harry Battson, 29, Grade 1, departmental manager for Messrs. H. W. Chapman Ltd., box manufacturers, engaged on Government contracts – July 31st final.

Inside Allen Road factory in the 1950s
Inside the box factory at Allen Road in the 1950s (left) Inside the Box Factory at Allen Road in the 1950s.

(below) An outing and two photos of employees taking in some fresh air during the "teabreak".

If you went on the outing please would you tell us about it?

Some of the employees on an outing Taking a breath of fresh air! Tea break outside

Mods & Rockers
1959 or 1960
Chapman's Factory Float
"Mods and Rockers"

now housing
The former H W Chapman box factory was refurbished
into living accommodation in 2017.

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