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Walker & Gunn


Founded in 1917 by Frank Walker and Mr Frank Gunn. In 1921 it was made a private limited company.

Production was quality shoes for men and women, warm-lined boots and bootees, and hand-made sandals.

Frank in 1940
Frank Walker in 1940

Rushden Echo, 19th September 1924, transcribed by Kay Collins

A Party of about 120 excursionists from Messrs. Walker and Gunn’s works, and including 23 from Messrs. H. R. Patenall’s factory, visited the British Empire Exhibition at Wembley on Saturday last. Mr. A. Abbott, of Rushden, supplied the charabancs, and the party left Higham at about 6.30, reaching Wembley in good time, where lunch was served by the kindness of Messrs. Walker and Gunn. They then split up into parties and visited the various palaces, etc. The return journey was begun at ten o’clock, and the trippers arrived at their destination about two o’clock on Sunday morning.

Frank Walker's son Donald joined the company, and daughters Connie and Nora kept the company's account and ledgers.

In 1950 they increased the capital, and the company became a Limited Company.

Donald was chairman and managing director by then, with Mr. B. W. Garley, Mr. E. Abbott (secretary) as directors.

Frank in his office
above: Frank Walker in his office and
below: his daughters working on the accounts
in the office

Interior of the factory in the 1950s
Overhead shafting was removed and electric motors added to run the machinery
before removing belt drives across the floor
Belts driving the machines before they were removed
Clicking department 1950s

above: inside the old factory
right: centre is Mr Jeffs, to his right is Bernard Simmons

cricket team

Cricket Team

Back: Bernard Simmons, -, -, -, Herbert Smith, -,

Front: -, -, - Smith, -, -.

Plastics factory old Walker & Gunn factory
The old Walker & Gunn factory - as Chamerlain Plastics

Walker & Gunn ceased trading in 1964 and W W Chamberlain moved into the building to make their 'textile bonded' product. When Chamberlain's moved to new premises the factory buildings stood empty for a long time.

In August 2000, when demolishing the factory, scaffolding fell off the front of the building, closing the A6 to traffic. Today a block of flats and School Lane road junction occupies the site.

demolished replaced
Demolished in 2000
Replaced by flats

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