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Wings Week

The Rushden Echo, 28th May, 1943, transcribed by Gill Hollis

Wings Week Triumph - Rushden Area Soars Above All Objectives

Rushden, Higham Ferrers and Raunds have all smashed their Wings for Victory Week targets, and with three days’ totals still to be announced the final reckoning is going to be a triumph for the area. The area’s original aim was £150,000, but yesterday’s declaration showed that £157,882 was already in hand.

One sure sign of the confidence and enthusiasm which have taken Rushden Wings for Victory campaign so quickly along the road to success was the spontaneous display of flags in the town. British and American flags were put up in the business quarters last Saturday, and many smaller ones were brought out by the children among the big crowd which saw the afternoon parade.

Substantial investments made known on Saturday included £7,500 by the Rushden and District Electric Supply Co., and £10,000 by the Rushden Industrial Co-operative Society, to which the C.W.S. added £3,100 on a membership basis.

Nearly one-third of the area’s objective was raised on the opening day. Saturday’s total, announced by the Mayor of Higham Ferrers (Ald. J. W. Barker, J.P.) at noon on Monday, was £46,500, comprising £24,500 from Rushden, £12,500 from Raunds and £9,500 from Higham Ferrers.

There was a buzz of enthusiasm when the blue Spitfire on the indicator over the old Rushden post office performed its first “hop” and showed that nine real Spitfires had already been paid for.

Ald. Barker expressed great satisfaction and said he wished to thank the Rushden Co-operative Society, and Mr. E. A. Sugars especially, for the Society’s magnificent contribution which had given the campaign such an encouraging send-off.

Women’s Effort

In a delightful little speech at Tuesday’s declaration Mrs. R. W. Norman announced that the area had passed the half-way mark, £80,000 having been invested.

Mrs. Norman is a member of the local Savings Committee, but she said she would like also to consider herself as representing the house-wives and mothers of the town.

“We womenfolk,” she continued, may perhaps feel we are not always able to do as much as we might wish towards the war effort, but as Chancellors of the Household Exchequer, here is an opportunity for us all to serve, by making a little larger budget surplus for investment in this special effort. Although it may not be an outstanding amount in itself, if we all participate the result will, I feel sure, be astounding.

“Not only that, but once having increased our savings amount, we must all do our best to add the little extra every week. In this way we shall be helping to bring speedy victory, and when peace comes we shall find we have an unexpectedly large investment to our credit.

“This, apart from being a nest egg against a rainy day, could be used for re-fitting our houses with necessities which are fast wearing out, but cannot at the moment be replaced; or our savings to-day may perhaps help towards the extended education of our children in later years and be the mans of giving the coming generation every facility for a career.”

Mrs. Norman then announced Monday’s figures: Rushden £25,600, Raunds £2,700, Higham Ferrers £5,200.

Rushden Church-street and Alfred-street Savings Group smashed its Wings Week target of £450 on Tuesday morning. “We are going to start again now,” declared the secretary, Miss F. I. Clipson.

Some hundreds of people saw the indicator raised to £105,000 (representing 21 planes) on Wednesday.

Tuesday’s Takings

Lieut-Col. V. H. Sykes, officer commanding the 8th Northamptonshire Battalion Home Guard, announced that on Tuesday Rushden raised £16,451, Raunds £4,112 and Higham Ferrers £4,437.

Col. Sykes told the crowd on Wednesday:-

“It is quite fitting that a representative from the last line of defence should be allowed to say a word with regard to our first line of defence. The exploits of the Royal Air Force arouse in all of us deep admiration. When we see the planes in the sky by day or hear the drone of the engines by night we think not merely of the masses of inventive ingenuity in the sky; we think also of those gallant men who man those craft.

“Therein are lads of whom we are all proud. There are many mothers’ cares; there are many parents’ anxieties. Each of those boys in sky blue carries with him hopes and ambitions and has a future in life like all of us, but when going on their mission each of them takes his hopes and ambitions with him, and his life’s future, and is prepared to lay all of them as a stake when doing his job.

“Their sacrifice is great, and the purpose of it is to provide a protecting hedge to these islands, to preserve us, our homes, our heritage and all that the word heritage implies. Thus they do as greatly as any man can do.

“It therefore behoves us to do what we can, and the least that we can do is to place at the disposal of our fellow countrymen all our resources in order to help these lads to have the best planes and equipment that British brains can provide for the purpose of destroying the enemy.”

Yesterday’s Bull

Yesterday Mr. A. H. Whitton, in uniform as a Flight-Lieut of the Air Training Corps, cheered the largest midday crowd of the week with the news that following the investment of £52,882 on Wednesday, the area and separate town aims had all been surpassed. Rushden, wanting £90,000, had already invested £93,573, Higham Ferrers (£30,000) £32,330 and Raunds (£30,000) £31,979. Wednesday’s instalments were: Rushden £27,022, Higham Ferrers £13,193, Raunds £12,667, bringing the area grand total to £157,882.

A list of large investments gave the following sums: Northampton Town and County Building Society £20,000, Mr. John White £6,000, Messrs. John White Ltd., £5,000, Messrs. John White’s employees £10,000, Rushden and District Electric Supply Co., £7,500, National Provincial Bank, Midland Bank, Lloyd’s Bank and Barclay’s Bank £5,000 each, Pearl Assurance Co. £5,000, Fine Art and General Insurance Co. £3,000, Scottish Union Insurance Co. £1,000, Higham Ferrers Industrial Co-operative Society £2,650.

“A very stirring effort,” commented Mr. Whitton, who called attention to the fact that Mr. John White, probably the busiest man in the district, had devoted the entire week to the campaign. The speaker also praised the secretary (Mr. W. E. Capon) as “that dynamic personality.”

Hints To Firms

“To the manufacturers and other big investors in Rushden,” said Mr. Whitton, “I would say, ‘You may have done your share, but more is expected of you; to the group secretaries and factory secretaries, “Keep up the good work you are doing” and to the wage-earner – the backbone of this Savings Movement – “Continue to save, and to increase even, the money you put by each week, so that when this war is over you will be able conscientiously to share in the good times which will be the country’s due when victory is finally won.”

The Rushden Echo, 4th June, 1943, transcribed by Gill Hollis

Wings Week Triumph Brought £250,071
Rushden Area Pays for 50 Spitfires

It appears that the small investors were chiefly responsible for the success of the Rushden area Wings for Victory Week. Instead of the modest £150,000 (to provide 30 Spitfires) which was the committee’s aim, the district subscribed £250,071, giving a margin of 66 per cent. and covering the cost of 50 Spitfires. Financial observers place great emphasis on the high proportion of “small money” which represented genuine saving and not mere transfer from one investment to another.

Last year, in the Warship Week campaign, the area found its £250,000 objective too high and stopped short at £200,231. This time the investments maintained a steady flow. The £150,000 was covered in the first four days, £200,000 was in sight a day later, and the quarter-million was secured by the flood of small savings last Saturday, when people stood in queues to buy certificates or add to their Post Office Bank deposits.

Daily figures for the 1942 and 1943 campaigns were as follows:-


























Town totals on the two occasions were:-






Higham Ferrers






Raunds Excels

Raunds obviously distinguished itself this time by showing the largest increase on a percentage basis and by adding the largest percentage to its target figure. The aims were: Rushden £90,000, Higham Ferrers £30,000, Raunds £30,000.

Last Friday the daily announcement at the old Post Office corner in Rushden was made by Coun. A. C. A. Colton, Deputy Mayor of Higham Ferrers, who gave the total as £197,408 and spoke with breezy assurance of making it a quarter of a million. The crowd that day was the largest so far, but a still larger one at noon on Saturday heard Mr. A. F. Weale, J.P., Chairman of the Rushden Urban Council, make the final appeal, the total then being £218,598.

Mr. Weale declared that the marvellous enthusiasm of the British people was giving a lesson to the Axis Powers as to their determination to win the war, and he thought it would not be long before the Axis was smashed to atoms and asking for peace terms.

Mr. White’s Thanks

A striking reference to the closer unity into which the war has drawn the British people was made by Mr. John White, chairman of the campaign, when he addressed the crowd which heard the final declaration on Monday.

“When I sent out my first appeal as chairman for this Wings for Victory Week,” said Mr. White, “I said that, knowing how you had responded during those dark days not so long ago, I felt sure that I could look forward for a continuance now that the horizon was brighter and victory nearer. The figures show how fully my hopes have been realised. For this magnificent support I would like to express grateful thanks to everyone who has in any way contributed to this success, but my very special thanks must go to the small investor who has contributed so largely on this occasion.

“It is a very happy augury for the future to see so large a number who will now have a stake and a greater interest in the stable government of our country.

Drawn Together

“In these times of brighter optimism and confidence, when we look back, one cannot but feel how different the outcome might have been but for those few brave lads who fought and won the Battle of Britain, and for the inspiring leadership and encouraging example of our Prime Minister. As it was, however, the common danger and the deadly peril in which we found ourselves, as well as revealing deeds of heroism and self-sacrifice, drew us all closer together and united us, as a people, as nothing else has ever done. May that spirit of unity continue during the days of peace which may not be so very far distant, as we all feel the tide of battle has turned and is now flowing strongly in our favour.

“The money you have lent will be used for the construction and purchase of aircraft which, as well as carrying war into the enemy’s country, are going to protect the lives of those men who doubtless before long will be invading his territory.

Peace Ideal

“I believe the United Nations have available to them the majority of the scientists and of the inventive genius the world possesses, as is daily being proved by the wonderful machines now being used to pound the enemy in all the theatres of the war.

“I am sure when peace comes again it will be the sincerest wish of all of us that these wonderful inventions will be used, not for the destruction of life, but to bring the world and its peoples closer together, and by doing so hasten the time ‘when nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.’”

£100 for R.A.F.

The sale of stamps for affixing to the two bombs raised over £100, thanks to the keen efforts of the G.T.C. This money goes to the National Exchequer as a gift. From collections, the sale of emblems, etc., more than £100 was taken for the R.A.F. Benevolent Fund. Realising £66, the sale of the emblems was carried out by the St. John Nursing Cadets, the Youth Club and lady helpers. Souvenir cards were sold by the Girl Guides.

Considerable service was given by Rushden and Higham Ferrers Savings workers who spoke at the cinemas.

Rushden Queen-street Savings Group invested over £2,400, Church-street over £1,200, and Higham-road No. 1 Group, with only 22 members, totalled £1,020 15s.

The campaign secretary received for the R.A.F. Benevolent Fund £3 0s 6d. collected in pennies by Technical Sergt. E. L. Bates, R.A.F.

Rushden Robinson-road Street Savings Group, which put stamps to the value of £6 on one of the Wings Week Bomb cases, collected a further £17 15s. as a gift to the national exchequer. Trafford-road gave £3 3s. to the nation.

The factory group of Messrs. Sanders and Sanders, Ltd., with an average weekly income of £30, set out for £180 and raised over £700.

Higham Ferrers Council School beat all its earlier efforts in war savings by contributing £1,184 to Wings Week against a target of £1,000.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer has sent a telegram congratulating the area. Miss Jean Batten, C.B.E., who opened the campaign on May 22nd, is being supplied with full details.

The Rushden Echo and Argus, 24th September, 1943, transcribed by Gill Hollis

Wings Week Success Reviewed - Gifts to Rushden From Air Ministry

The extent to which small savings had affected the result was revealed on Wednesday when presentations were made in commemoration of the Rushden Area Wings for Victory Week. There was an interesting ceremony in the Rushden Council Chamber, attended by campaign workers, and W/Cdr. J. W. C. Mackenzie, of Sywell, represented the Royal Air Force.

Welcoming W/Cdr. Mackenzie, Coun. A. F. Weale, J.P. (chairman of the Rushden Urban Council assured him that the town’s interest in the R.A.F. was a very real and live one. “Wings for Victory,” he said, was a very apt heading for such a campaign as was held in the district last May, for they realised the marvellous work the R.A.F. had already done towards victory.

Saved The World

Three years ago the Battle of Britain was on, and the fine young men who did such gallant service during that great battle earned the undying gratitude of the country. They did not hesitate for one moment to take risks, neither did they count the cost, whether in limb or life. All England honoured them for their courage and gallantry in saving not only England, but the world.

Mr. Weale spoke of the fine co-operation between the three fighting Services, and said the country was confident of a sound and glorious victory.

Coun. W. E. Capon (hon. secretary) gave a detailed review of the campaign and announced that 33 savings groups each set themselves a target figure and exceeded it. The small investors, he said, had played an important part in the success of the campaign, and out of the grand total of £250,482 16s. 8d., the investments in National Savings Certificates amounted to £75,876, while £7,893 was added to Post Office Bank deposits and stamps to the value of £2,102 were purchased. Other items were: Defence Bonds £22,615, War Bonds £58,550, Savings Bonds £25,995, and a free gift to the National Exchequer of £5,000.

Small “Outside” Help

There was also a total investment of £52,550 by the building societies, banks and insurance companies, and in reference to this Mr. Capon said: “I am not minimising the importance and helpfulness of the amount towards achieving our target, but compared with some towns adjacent to our own I respectfully suggest the amount is proportionally small.”

The average investment per head of the population was £11 8s. The Rushden Schools contributed £1,761. The Trafford-road and Robinson-road groups patriotically raised money solely for the relief of the Exchequer. A sale of emblems raised £125 for the R.A.F. Benevolent Fund, and the whole of the expenses of the campaign were covered by the profit from the programmes, while advertising costs were met by generous business firms and others. Stamps value £126 were placed on the bombs, and ladies under Miss Foxworthy and Mrs. R. Denton knitted comforts for the R.A.F. – a work which was still being carried on.

Germany Watched

The artistic plaque presented to Rushden by the Air Ministry was handed to Coun. Weale by W/Cdr. Mackenzie, who said that when the Wings for Victory campaigns were organised they held both national and international significance. They were watched by nations throughout the world. They were particularly watched by our enemies, and he thought the results gave them something to think about.

All over the country the response was tremendous, and he thought the Rushden area would be well and truly satisfied with its contribution, which must have been very gratifying to the local committee.

The Royal Air Force knew how to use the equipment that had been provided, and would continue to use it to the best advantage against the enemy.

In reply Mr. Weale said the plaque would be kept in the Council Chamber in remembrance of a great week. Commenting on the magnificent total of small savings, he observed: “I always thought Rushden people were thrifty, and after that week I knew they were. I had no doubt of their patriotism either. They showed that they had a hand to play, and they did it with great force.”

Optimistic Leaders

Mr. A. H. Whitton, on behalf of the Rushden Area National Savings Committee, accepted from W/Cdr. Mackenzie a Certificate of Honour signed by the Secretary of State for Air (Sir Archibald Sinclair). “We could not have surpassed the target without optimism,” he said, “and we had two gentlemen in the responsible positions who held that quality – Mr. White, the chairman, and Mr. Capon, the secretary.

Mr. Weale also praised the secretary’s work and said that nothing could have aided the success more than the fact that Mr. White came forward and threw himself wholeheartedly into the work as chairman.

The next presentation was of a set of R.A.F. log books from the committee to W/Cdr. Mackenzie. This was made by Mr. John White, who said it was a strange coincidence that a letter had reached him that day from a man in North Africa who had just received the “Rushden Echo and Argus” with the wonderful story of the local campaign. The writer sent his own congratulations and those of a certain Beaufighter squadron who were doing good work out there.

“I am sure when the log is written,” added Mr. White, “it will be no less inspiring than the one we already know of the immortal few who saved us through the Battle of Britain.”

Groups Rewarded

Dr. R. W. Davies, vice-chairman of the R.U.D.C. distributed Certificates of Honour to the following Savings Groups, whose contributions are shown: Bignells, Ltd., Duck-street (secretary, Miss Q. M. Powell) £258; Church-street (Miss Clipson) £1,454: Coxton Shoe Co. (Mrs. L. R. Dickerson) £251; Crabb-street (Mrs. Hensman) £174; F. Corby, Ltd. (Mr. Litchfield) £375; P. Collins and Co. (Mr. S. A. Putnam) £123; Glassbrook-road Works (Mr. D. MacGregor and Miss B. Harris £1,392; Ellis and Everard, Ltd. (Miss F. J. Scrimshaw) £166; Essex-road, Mrs. Burfield) £150: Griffith-street (Mrs. F. Botterill) £314; S. L. Hunt (Mrs. Godfrey) £35; Hayway (Mrs. Ladds) £86; Harborough-road and Little-street (Mrs. Desborough) £313; Higham-road No. 1 (Mr. H. Craxford) £1,020; Intermediate School (Mr. Howitt) £406; Knight and Lawrence (Miss Percival) £539; B. Ladds, Ltd. (Miss I. E. Ladds) £228; Moor-road, Station-road and Midland-road (Miss I. E. Ladds) £247; Oakley-road and Pytchley-road (Mr. H. W. Moore) £304; Pendered Group (Mrs. Dickerson) £48; Prospect-avenue (Mrs. Bradshaw) £636; Putnam and Sons (Mr. B. H. Howard) £173; Portland-road (Miss R. A. Sugars) £200; Prospect-terrace Junior School (Mrs. Constable) £125; Queen-street (Mr. F. Green) £2,403; Robinson-road (Mrs. Denton) £1,174; A. Sanders, Ltd. (Mr. H. W. Moore) £174; St. Margaret’s-avenue (Mrs. A. Allen) £278; Sanders and Sanders (Mr. A. Watson) £731; Strong and Fisher (Mr. F. W. Hancock) £184; Trafford-road (Mrs. Knight) £215; United Counties Bus Co. £38; Wentworth-road (Miss Bailey) £153.

In moving a vote of thanks Coun. F. Green, J.P., praised the Savings Group officers and collectors, saying that the success in Queen-street was largely due to the young ladies who went out collecting in all weathers.

Mrs. B. Perkins, the W.V.S. representative on the committee, seconded, and in reply W/Cdr. Mackenzie averred: “We all feel in the Service that we have the backing of everybody.”

Mr. T. L. Watts, Clerk to the Rushden U.D.C., assisted in the ceremony, and Mr. N. J. Daft, of Kettering, represented the National Savings Commissioners.

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