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Walter Tarry - 100th Birthday
Walter Tarry reading one of his birthday cards
Walter Tarry on his 100th Birthday in 1976

Shoe workers walked out of their factory and went to a nearby marquee yesterday to help celebrate their boss’s 100th Birthday. Earlier, well-wishers and business associates showered him with more than 100 cards and scores of telegrams. Mr Walter Tarry, co-founder of the Rushden firm of Tecnic Shoe Company Ltd. still pops in to the factory next to his Bedford Road, Rushden home to see things are running smoothly.

He has worked in the shoe industry for 87 years, establishing Tecnic Shoes in the factory in Harborough Road, Rushden in 1915. His partners were Mr. Sidney Fox, whose son, Ron is still at Fox Shoes Ltd., Mr. Fred Hawkes, who later started a local engineering firm and Mr. Horace Wright, the only other founder still alive.

The marquee, on lawns next to the Bedford Road factory, was filled after work by employees honouring Mr. Tarry’s service to the industry. He was on the council of the British Footwear Manufacturers Federation for 15 years and was twice president of the former Rushden Footwear Manufacturers Association.

‘The shoe trade in Rushden is very much superior to what it was when I came to the town. We now produce the same sort of quality shoes that Northampton does. Back then the footwear was more heavy in Rushden,’ he recalled.

Mr. Tarry and his wife Ann, his two daughters, four grandchildren and six great grandchildren plan to celebrate his centenary with a private family party.

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