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Rushden Echo, 25th February 1916, transcribed by Gill Hollis

Farriers’ Dinner at Rushden

Training Shoeing Smiths for The Army

The first annual dinner of the Rushden, Wellingborough and District Master Farriers’ Association was held at the Waggon and Horse Hotel, Rushden, on Saturday, when upwards of sixty sat down to a capital spread provided by host F. Wilkins.

Mr. G. H. Skinner presided, supported by Professor W. Jones Anstey, of Oxford University (President of the National Farriers’ Association), Messrs. T. Willmott, Dunkley and W. H. Matthews, of Northampton. The company included as guests several horse owners and journeyman farriers.

After the loyal toast, “The Army, Navy and Auxiliary Forces” was submitted by Mr. T. Willmott, who said that the gratitude of the country was due to the Army and Navy for their effective work in preventing the enemy from invading England’s shores. The Territorials had proved themselves equal in every way to regularly trained soldiers.

Mr. W. H. Matthews gave the toast of “Success to the Association.”

Prof. Anstey, in response, spoke of the growth of the Association, and said that one of the main planks in their programme was that farriers should be better educated.

 In years gone by farriers knew nothing about shoeing, but the farriers’ trade was a scientific one, and required knowledge of the functions and structure of a horse’s foot. Years ago it was customary to cut away the frog of a horse’s foot, open the sole and spring them, and thousands of pounds in valuable horse-flesh had been lost to the country by improper methods of shoeing. Horses were often mutilated because a farrier had no knowledge of the structure of a horse’s foot.

He was now training as shoeing smiths 550 men in the Northern command, and the Army was clamouring for more, but could anybody tell him where men could be obtained at £2 per week? In addition to better education amongst farriers they also wanted more unity. They should help one another up, not push each other down.

“Success to the Rushden and Wellingborough District branch” was given by Mr. W. Smith, Mr. W. Ginns responding.

Mr. Lovell proposed the toast of “The horse owners” and Mr. Whittemore responded.

The toast of “The Press” was submitted by Mr. T. Willmott, a “Rushden Echo” representative responded.

Thanks were accorded the Host and Hostess on the initiative of the chairman.

Mr. Wilkins responded and moved a vote of thanks to Mr. Skinner for presiding.

Songs were given by Messrs. F. Wilkins, W. Ginns, Rolando, B. Tomkins, W. Abbott, G. Beetson and Prof. Anstey, Mr. E. Wadsworth accompanying.

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