Sunday, May 6, 2012

October 31 - November 6, 1940

War Weapons Week kicked off with a procession through the town and Swindon announced the savings target had been raised to a whopping £400,000.

By Tuesday the Town Hall indictor stood at £92,316.  Three heavy weights had got the fund going with both the Midland Bank and the Pearl Assurance Co. Ltd each donating £25,000 and the Prudential Assurance Co. Ltd. £20,000.  Local builder E.W. Beard contributed £1,000 while Gorse Hill boys’ school added £26 1s 10d to the effort.  Individual donations included those of Mrs F.M. Bays, £37 10s, Mrs R.E. Kent £98 and Mr A. Kent £37.

“Your money can be converted into bombers and bombs, and should soon be the means of knocking the Blitzkreig right out of business,” the Advertiser reminded readers.

On Wednesday the total had risen to £170,950 putting Swindon well within reach of its £200,000 original objective.  Among the latest to step up to the plate was the GWR with a mighty £20,000 followed by the National Provincial Bank with £10,000.  Builder A.J. Colborne gave £1,000 as did JP Mr A.A. Drongoole.

Garrard employees invested £663 10s and not to be out done the New Swindon Industrial Co-operative Society contributed more than £900 to the town’s mid week total.

“Tremendous interest has been created by the exhibition at the Town Hall, and the showing of the fine programme of propaganda, Service and Empire films has attracted crowd audiences,” reported the Advertiser.

Talk Victory, Sing Victory, Say It With Music said Duck, Son & Pinker during an intense advertising campaign in the Advertiser.  Freedom Is Worth Your Last Penny urged the Swindon National Savings Committee in an advert paid for by Mills & Merricks of Swindon.  McIlroys reminded their customers The British Empire will never fall if you put your shoulder to the wheel and buy National Savings Certificates.

By Thursday the town’s original target of £200,000 had been left behind.  “Today three more bombers were placed in position over the target area, making a total of 11, and a goodly number of wicked looking bombs,” reported the Advertiser referring to the Berlin scene on the Town Hall indicator.

With just two days left the total stood at £252,630.  Swindon savers were looking at a massive daily investment of almost £74,000 to reach the ambitious £400,000.

Saturday’s headline announced the running total had reached £326,006.  In a tremendous final effort Swindonians set the Town Hall indicator ablaze with £349,154.  As promised a new picture was displayed with bombs raining down on a burning Berlin.

Meanwhile the Spitfire Fund closed and it was revealed that Swindon had not only achieved, but exceeded the £5,000 total.

This remarkable feat was due in no small measure to the work of Fire Chief Mr W.R. Howells and his section officers and men.

To spur on Swindon savers the fire fighters paraded the streets pushing a barrel organ bearing the words ‘We have Musso’s organ – we will have Rome next.’  And outside the Brigade headquarters was displayed an effigy of Lord Haw Haw complete with liar’s medal, two Iron Crosses, and a yard and a half long sword loaned by Mr F. Cleverly.

In just seven days generous Swindonians had donated £1,352 to complete the project inaugurated by the town’s late Mayor, who had died within a week of the end of his mayoral year.

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