|The Rushden Echo & Argus, 23rd August 1940, transcribed by Gill Hollis
Flying Start for Spitfire Fund - Rushden and District in Enthusiastic Mood
John White’s Have Promised a Fighter 'Plane Already
Commended by the Mayor of Higham Ferrers, the Chairman of Rushden Urban Council, and civic leaders throughout the district, the Spitfire Fund opened on Tuesday by the “Northamptonshire Evening Telegraph” is shaping already as the most popular local appeal within memory. The aim is to provide the Royal Air Force with more of the splendid fighter machines which, in the gallant hands of young British pilots, are striking back with deadly effect against the invading German bombers.
Readers of the “Echo and Argus” will naturally wish to play their part, and they are invited to bring or send their subscriptions to the “Echo and Argus” and “Evening Telegraph” Office, High-street, Rushden. All subscriptions received at this office will be acknowledged in both newspapers, and official receipts will be issued where required.
Apart from direct donations by individuals many ways of raising Spitfire money will suggest themselves to those who wish to help.
Ald. Frank Walker, J.P., Mayor of Higham Ferrers, commends the Spitfire Fund in the following message :-
“I am glad that a fund for the purchase of a Spitfire by this district of Northamptonshire has been opened through your columns, and I commend the appeal to the loyal folk of Higham Ferrers. I hope and believe that the borough will play its full part in demonstrating, with the rest of the area, our pride in the men who defend us, and our gratitude for what they have achieved in recent days.”
Councillor J. Allen, Chairman of Rushden Urban Council, has sent this message :-
“I wish to commend most heartily your Spitfire Fund Campaign.
“Representative organisations in Rushden will be co-ordinated so that a Town’s Fund can be inaugurated to obtain the utmost success.
“I have no doubt the result will be worthy of our gallant airmen.”
The First List
The first list of subscriptions received at Rushden is as follows :-
“Impregnable” 'Plane - Directors and Employees Combine in Magnificent Gift
Already Britain’s gallant Air Force is assured of one Spitfire from Rushden and Higham Ferrers. It will be given by Messrs. John White (Impregnable Boots), Ltd., and Mr. White hopes that this magnificent gift will be an incentive to the “Evening Telegraph” Spitfire Fund.
Mr. White gave the news to our office on Thursday morning. “I have seen your appeal for a Spitfire,” he said, “and I wish every success. Our own position, however, is that, being a large firm and in a position to do so, we would like to give a Spitfire ourselves.
“We have decided to guarantee the £5,000 that is required, but we are giving the employees an opportunity to give just what they please.
“At the same time we hope it will be an incentive to your fund. For ourselves, we feel that the size of our concern makes this a duty that we ought to perform. When we consider the risks that the young men are running in our defence we realise that we can do no less.”
“There is only one thing, “added Mr. White, “we hope it will be an ‘Impregnable’ one.”
It is gathered that Mr. and Mrs. John White will give a substantial portion of the donation, and that the balance remaining after the operatives have subscribed will be made up by the directors.
Evening Telegraph, 03 Sept 1940, transcribed by Dom Jones.
Rushden’s First Spitfire
Dashing Winners of the Towns' Race - Otherer 'E.T.' Funds Roaring Up!
The gallant winner of the hectic race to be the first town in our area to raise £5,000 for its own Spitfire was made known this morning.
At 11 a.m. the Rushden Office of the "Evening Telegraph" brimming over with exuberant gratification, cheerily informed the hon. treasurers of the Spitfire Funds that Rushden and Higham Ferrers had actually succeeded in raising the £5,000 necessary to purchase their own Spitfire.
Mr. Walter Tarry, of the Tecnic Boot Co., Ltd., gave the joint towns such a magnificent lead by his sensational cheque for £1,000, there has really been no holding-in of Rushden and Higham people.
We have been inundated with contributions both large and small from all sections of the inhabitants, in their fixed resolve that their Spitfire should be the very first to bear the name of its town. And in these few short days they have carried their amazing assurance to brilliant accomplishment.
To-day The Rushden Spitfire Is An Accomplished Fact
A GRAND PAIR
Before long Mr. John White's "Impregnable" Spitfire will be there to keep it company.
Rushden is first home in the great patriotic race for Northamptonshire towns to pay for a Spitfire through the "Evening Telegraph Fund". Joined by Higham Ferrers, it had subscribed about £4,000 at the weekend, and before 11 a.m. to-day Tuesday amid great excitement, the objective of £5,000 was gained.
By noon there was actually £143 in hand towards the second lap and heaps of promises of further contributions to come.
On their toes after the week-end lists had shown them to be leading, the two towns raced for the tape with a great burst of enthusiasm.
Yesterday and to-day subscriptions flowed freely from all quarters, followed by eager inquiries, “Shall we do it?” “Have we turned £5,000?”
Added to the "Impregnable" Spitfire already promised by Messrs. John White, Ltd., the Rushden and Higham fighter is a magnificent contribution to the national war effort, and transcends anything in the whole history of local public subscriptions
The two towns, however, are not stopping there. Their civic and industrial committee has already decided that the factory collections, arranged to be spread over four weeks, will continue according to plan.
Many other efforts are in progress or taking shape, and will go ahead with unabated vigour.
In fact, Rushden is optimistic enough to believe it might raise another Spitfire. It will certainly raise a great deal more money, for there is no thought of pausing just because the first success has been so amazingly swift.