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John White - Closing

Evening Telegraph, February 1991, article by Nick Tite

Shoe firm John White is closing its manufacturing plant at Rushden with the loss of 120 jobs
But a rescue has package has saved 32 jobs at the factory in Atherstone, Warwickshire, which makes the famous Doc Marten's footwear.

Over the past year John White, which was founded in 1919 and holds a Royal Warrant, has shed 260 jobs at its Rushden and Corby sites in a bid to stay competitive.

Managing director Dennis Doidge has now announced the manufacturing side in Lime Street, Rushden, will be run down and shut over the next few months. But he is hopeful some of the jobs can be saved if the firm can be sold as a going concern.

He blamed factors such as the economic climate for the firm's failure to win enough orders to slay in business.
Yesterday he said. "John White is closing down. We are in discussions to achieve that closure.

"We still have shoes to sell. The manufacturing side will be run down and phased out and this should be achieved over the next few months. We are still in business at the moment and we have customers to satisfy but the reason we are closing is our levels of production cannot reach the required minimum in the market.

"Unfortunately, due to a variety of factors most of which are out of our control such as the economic climate, we cannot achieve the sales we need to keep the business viable. Obviously we would hope we can interest other footwear companies in the firm either as a stand-alone unit or complementary unit. We hope jobs may be saved".

Branch secretary of the shoeworkers' union - Nuflat Ian Bayes, said: "This is a sad time for Rushden. Once the whole operation is shut, down we want to see what deals we can get for the workers. Hopefully they can be relocated within other firms and we will have to see whether anyone will want to takeover John White."

The Warwickshire plant has been taken over by John Pick, a subsidiary of the Wollaston-based R Griggs and Co.



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