NEWS NEWS
LATE-OCTOBER 2004

HUGHES FAMILY CENTENARY CELEBRATION

On 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:

1904Arthur Hughes
1916Albert A Hughes
1945Albert A. and William A. Hughes
1950Albert A., William A. and Douglas Hughes
1964William A. and Douglas Hughes
1972William A., Douglas and Alan Hughes
1993Douglas and Alan Hughes
1997-to-dateAlan and Kathryn Hughes

The silly face
competition Jennifer Hughes, Jason
Walpole, David Menzie

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.

The WBF
birthday
 cakeThe party in
full swing

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:

1904-2004
GIVEN BY THEIR WORKFORCE IN
RECOGNITION OF THIS SPECIAL OCCASION TO
ALAN AND KATHRYN HUGHES
31ST AUGUST 2004

The presentation
bellAlan & Kathryn Hughes
examine inscription

Photographs by Elizabeth Hughes and Rob Hansen.

For more photos, click here.

News Archive:
October 2004:
July 2003:
June 2003:
September 2002:
Late-August 2002:
August 2002:
April 2002:
February 2002:
September 2001:
May 2001:
February 2001:
December 1999:
Lord Mayor Opens WBF Shop Extension
Report on Ringing Roadshow, 2003
Ringing Roadshow, 2003
New York: The 9-11 Bell Dedication
The 1881 Libel Case
Casting the 9-11 Bell
Another Liberty Bell
A Big Wheel
Open Day 2001 (with photos)
Historic Finds at the Foundry
Open Day 2000 (with photos)
Masham and the Millennium


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