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Suppers and Socials at Rushden

Rushden Echo, 14th February 1908, transcribed by Kay Collins

Suppers and Socials at Rushden
Co-operative Employees Entertained

At the invitation of the committee of the Rushden Co-operative Society, the employees and their friends enjoyed their annual supper and social last night at the Co-operative Hall. A first-class supper was served and full justice was done to it. Mr J Hornsby presided, and was supported by the following members of the committee:- Messrs G. French, W Clarke, J Drage, F W Elsdon, W Hobbs, J W Crouch, and G Coles, with Mr W J Cure (secretary).

Mr Cure, after supper, proposed a hearty vote of thanks to the committee for their kind invitation. It was pleasant to be able to break away from the cares of business for a time. It was surprising what an amount of labour was involved in a business like theirs. Last year, by the daily efforts of all concerned, the trade had reached nearly £41,000. (Applause.) They continued to progress, and the trade for the first six weeks of this year showed an increase of £412 over that of last year. During 1907, they received 24 tons of bacon, 6½ tons of tea, over 40,000lbs. of butter, about a ton of tobacco—all ending in smoke(laughter)—nearly 5000 bags of flour and offals, 3530 tons of coal, 146 tons of sugar, besides enormous quantities of lard, cheese, jams and soap. That would give them

An idea of The Work

that had to be done. He had intended to give particulars dealt with at the butchers’ shops with the number of the pigs killed and the number of their squeals when killed but they had not time. (Laughter.) This year they were aiming at a trade of £50,000, and if each employee and member realised his responsibility there was no reason why they should not reach it. (Applause.)

Mr T E Wigginton, assistant secretary, seconded the motion. He compared the conditions of employment in 1900 and 1907, and said that not only had the average in wages increased but many little privileges and concessions had been granted. One striking feature in connection with the Rushden society was the sociability of the committee with the employees. (Cheers.) Some committees regarded themselves as masters and the employees as servants, but the Rushden committee looked upon and treated the employees as fellow workers in the same cause. (Applause.) That the employees recognised this was shown by their efforts to raise the standard of efficiency. There were seven employees who held certificates and eleven more were taking subjects for which they hoped to get certificates. (Applause.)

Mr I Haigh supported the motion on behalf of the drapery department, and said that department would do its little bit.

To Make the Society More Prosperous.


Mr W H Marriott voiced the thanks of the grocery departments, and said the grocery departments were going to do what they could to reach that £50,000. (Applause.)

Mr W Jeacock supported the motion on behalf of the butchers.

Mr S Coot, speaking for the bakers expressed the hope that trade would increase till they had two annual suppers like that in a year. (Laughter.)

Mr J Hilton supported on behalf of the coal department.

Mr C Giles representing the Education Committee and the Orchestral Band, bespoke everyone’s support for his committee who had no light task at times. He specially complimented Mr Firth and his friends on the excellent dramatic performance given at the beginning of the week.

The motion was heartily carried.

Mr J Hornsby responding on behalf of the committee, said it gave them great pleasure to meet the employees. He believed every employee had done his level best in reaching their

Splendid Record of Last Year.

The Education Committee, too, had done good work and he was quite sure that work had been appreciated. (Applause.) They were all glad to welcome as visitors some of the former employees, who were now holding good positions in other societies. The only new venture they had at Rushden during the past twelve months had been the provision store and he was glad to say that had turned out a great success. (Applause.) He hoped they would all spend a thoroughly enjoyable evening. (Applause.)

A very pleasant social followed. Dancing was indulged in, and songs, instrumental solos &c., were given by Miss H Wood, Miss Holyoake, Messrs. C Tew, W Colton, T E Wigginton, I Haigh, G Coles, F W Elsdon, G W Button, J Underwood, J W Crouch and S Bierton.

Several interesting competitions took place. A ‘Limerick’ competition was won by Mrs Wright, Mr W Hobbs and Mr C Neal taking second and third prizes respectively. In a candle-lighting competition for ladies, the winners were:- 1 Mrs Harlow, 2 Mrs Hornsby, 3 Mrs Coles. An orange-eating contest for youths created both astonishment and uproarious merriment. Bob Wright was easily first, with E Tansey second. Messrs Bierton and Hankins tied for prizes in a cigarette-smoking competition. There was also a tug-of-war for ladies and another set-to for gentlemen. Refreshments were handed round during the evening and a thoroughly enjoyable time was spent.

Rushden Echo, 18th March 1910, transcribed by Kay Collins

Employees Supper at Rushden - Interesting Presentations to Mr Hornsby

The annual supper and social evening of the employees of the Rushden Industrial Co-operative Society was held in the Co-operative Hall yesterday week. About 120 sat down to an excellent spread, the company comprising, in addition to the employees, members of the General, Educational, and Guild Committees.

After supper, on the motion of Mr Shelton, hearty thanks were accorded the general committee for their hospitality.

Mr Colton, in seconding, said that they had had an excellent spread and that they were greatly indebted to the committee for these annual functions. It was gatherings such as those which brought the employees together and cultivated a spirit of fraternity.

Mr W Hobbs, in acknowledging the vote of thanks, said that so far as the committee were concerned, the employees were quite welcome to all they had had. He was pleased to see them all again, although twelve months ago he little thought that he would be occupying his present position as president. During the past year one or two changes had taken place, which they would do well to note. Two whom they rightly designated as


of the movement in Rushden had lately passed away—he referred to Mr Thomas Clarke and the late secretary, Mr Thomas Brightwell. These men had given a great part of their lives to the movement, and he thought they could not do less than say a word of commendation of their splendid efforts on behalf of the co-operative movement. They were men of stirling ability and men whose example they might worthily follow. Another friend whom they missed that night was the late Mr Croot. There were also two employees who had left them and gone to work for other societies. They wished them success. Continuing, the president said that the employees were to be congratulated upon the increased turnover during the past year. The committee could do a little in the committee room, but a great deal of the responsibility rested upon the employees. He hoped they would still give the committee their loyal support, si that the society might become still larger and do an increased amount of good. He hoped they would spend an enjoyable evening. (Applause)

An Excellent Programme

was provided, consisting of songs by Mr Smith, a pianoforte duet by Mr Wigginton and Mr Colton, and recitations by Messrs G W Button, Harry Neal, and F Berrill. Various games and competitions were freely indulged in.

A feature of the evening was a presentation from the General Committee to Mr Hornsby, the late president.

Mr Hobbs in making the presentation, said he was called upon to perform a pleasant duty that he had not anticipated. At the last annual meeting they lost a friend from the committee as well as from the presidential chair. In losing that friend they had lost one whom they all respected and who had done his duty to the society. It was his duty, in the absence of Mr French, to make a somewhat pleasing presentation to their friend Mr Hornsby, and he would like to mention one or two things about Mr Hornsby, although he was not given to flattery. He never wished to sit under a better chairman than Mr Hornsby had been. Mr Hornsby had striven to carry out his duties in a strict and

Impartial Manner

He (Mr Hobbs) was not going to say that he had never disagreed with Mr Hornsby. Mr Hornsby had thought fit to sever his connection with the society as president, although he had promised that his interests would be with them as before. They as the committee thought that after nine years’ work on the committee some fitting recognition should be made of Mr Hornsby’s services. The presentation would take the form of a photograph of the committee, with Mr Hornsby in the midst, and he asked him to accept it with their best wishes for his future welfare. (Applause)

Mr Hornsby, in acknowledging the gift, said it certainly did his heart good to hear the kind words Mr Hobbs had spoken. He wondered what he had done to receive such a recognition of his services. Each member of the committee had done their duty equally with himself. He highly appreciated the gift and also the motive which prompted it. He had tried to do his duty as had all his colleagues. The society had had its ups and downs, but during the past ten years it had made great strides. That was largely due to the

Unity and Fraternity

Which existed among the employees, and he saw no reason, with the present committee and present employees, why the society should not make greater strides in the future than it had in the past. If they all did their duty and worked should to shoulder there was a great future before the society.

Mr W J Cure, who followed, said he had also a very pleasing duty. The committee had recognised the value of Hornsby’s services and had shown their practical appreciation of them. He was there to say that the committee did not appreciate his services more than did the employees. A kindly, friendly disposition had always been exercised by Mr Hornsby towards the employees. They must indeed feel as employees that Mr Hornsby was a true man and all he had done had been done with pure motives. The employees regretted that they were not in a position to show their appreciation of Mr Hornsby in a tangible fashion that night, but he wished to ask Mr Hornsby to accept formally an

Illuminated Address,

expressing their sentiments and best wishes for his future well being. He regretted that the address was not ready that evening but they expected it in about 14 days.

Mr Hornsby, in reply, said the presentation from the employees came as an entire surprise to him, and he hardly knew how to thank them. He thanked them from the bottom of his heart, for the kind words spoken by Mr Cure. He had striven during his term of office for the best interests of the employees. He had emphasised more than once that if they could get a good staff of employees the work of the committee would be easy. He wished to sincerely thank them for their practical appreciation of his efforts. (Applause)

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