HUGHES FAMILY CENTENARY CELEBRATIONOn the afternoon Friday 22nd October 2004, the directors and staff celebrated 100 years of ownership of the Foundry by the Hughes family, the longest it has been in the hands of one family during its half-millennium of existence. In 1904, Arthur Hughes bought the foundry from previous owner Alfred Lawson, handing it over in 1916 to his son, Albert Hughes. The various phases of ownership by Alfred and his descendants were as listed below with Alan Hughes, William's son, being the fourth generation Hughes to run the business:
Family, friends, and guests of the Foundry directors and staff joined with them to celebrate the centenary. These included spouses, parents, offspring, siblings, and local Member of Parliament Oona King. A buffet lunch, drinks, and a large cake depicting the company logo (see below) were provided, and Alan Hughes gave a speech covering the history of the Foundry over the past century. This included the surprising information that it was saved from probable closure in the 1940s by the Germans! When war broke out, the Foundry was turned to war production like much of British manufacturing. The government told us what we would be producing and what they would be paying us for doing so. It was a very generous figure, and with full order books throughout WWII we were able to invest in much-needed new plant. A lot of churches were damaged and rings of bells destroyed during the war, which also meant plenty of work after it was over.
After Alan's speech, the Foundry's longest-serving employee, Jeremy Platten, presented Alan and Kathryn with a small bell from all their employees (see below) engraved thus:
GIVEN BY THEIR WORKFORCE IN
RECOGNITION OF THIS SPECIAL OCCASION TO
ALAN AND KATHRYN HUGHES
31ST AUGUST 2004
Photographs by Elizabeth Hughes and Rob Hansen.
For more photos, click here.
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