War Weapons Week – Ambitious Don & Dearne Effort

February 1941

Mexborough & Swinton Times – Saturday 08 February 1941

War Weapons Week

Target now £350,000
Ambitious Don & Dearne Effort
National Savings Vice-president to Visit District
Miners’ Association Promise £10,000

In view of the participation of the Dearne Urban District, with a population of nearly 25,000, in the Don and Dearne War Weapons Week, it was announced at a meeting representative of the five South Yorkshire urban districts which are taking part on Saturday that the target would be raised from £250,000 to £350,000.

This may seem a large sum for a series of small towns, but the loan of the money is required for the worthiest of causes and if every person in the area realises his or her personal responsibility in the matter the target should be fully attained to provide a useful squadron of bombers which will help to give the Nazis a stiff dose of their own medicine later on.

An important item on the preparatory programme which is to precede the opening of the Week is the visit of Sir Charles Mander, of Wolverhampton, National Vice- President of the War Savings Movement now definitely fixed for Sunday afternoon, February 16th.

The organisers of the War Weapons Week have been fortunate to secure the services of so distinguished a speaker, and apart from all representatives of the various district organisations which have been set up to e promote the War Weapons Week it is hoped the audience will include all who are interested in the success of this ambitious effort.

There is no doubt that Sir Charles will have an inspiring message which should give the Week just the impetus required.

A promise of support to the extent of £10,000 from the Yorkshire Miners’ Association is a good augury of the spirit of co-operation which is being shown in connection with the effort.

Districts Get Together

Encouraging Joint Meeting

Signs of Progress

Hopes that bombers flying over the district, dropping leaflets, and tanks will be included in the inaugural ceremony of the Don and Dearne War Weapons Week from February 22nd to March Ist, in addition to the suggested military parade were expressed at a meeting of the co-ordinating committee for the Week at the Secondary School, Mexborough, on Saturday, when Coun. D. Sheldon (Conisboro’) presided. Conisborough Wath end Mexborough have taken advantage of an early start, and are making good progress, and representatives from Swinton and Dearne gave pleasing reports of early activity.

Mr. W. L. C. Pratt, secretary, read a letter from the Dearne Urban Council acknowledging the invitation to join in the effort, but pointing out that the next meeting of the Council in committee was not until February 5th. The Chairman, however, had agreed on behalf of the Council to join in, and representatives would be delighted to attend the meeting of the co-ordinating committee. A similar letter from Swinton U.D.C. giving their representatives was also read.

Details of a poster competition for schoolchildren, for which prizes are to be given by Mr. W. P. Turner, to stimulate the interest of parents of the district through their children, were given by, the secretary of the Schools’ Advisory Committee. Mr. H. L. Watkinson, who said that the prizes given at juniors’ and infants’ schools would be valued at 10s., and those at schools above that grade at £1.

The chairman pointed out that with the decision of Dearne District to join in the effort the area was widened and the population increased. Therefore the “target” would be £350,000, instead of £250.000. When asked what general facilities would be available during the Week. Mr. G. Rowbottom, Area Commissioner for National Savings, said a cinema van would be in the area all week and he had applied for some tanks from Leeds; if possible a local unit.

Conisborough Report.

Mr. T. C. Campbell gave a report of the progress made by Conisborough’s various committees. The Publicity Committee, he said, had arranged a parade which would include Home Guard, Civil Defence personnel, decorated vehicles, and a military band, and were trying to arrange for Mr. Tom Williams, M.P., to take the salute at a march past.

Representatives from Y.M.A. branches and the savings groups in Conisborough and been invited to their meetings, and invitations had been sent to Old Denaby to send representatives. They had anticipated having the cinema van in Conisborough for two days. In addition they had secured films for the local cinemas and taken shops for the sale of savings stamps and certificates, and the Schools’ Advisory Committee were going ahead with the poster competition They had sent a communication to the Royal Air Force authorities to see if they could have three or four bombers flying over the parade, dropping leaflets with information concerning National Savings.

Mr. Rowbottom, who said he was present at the meeting, said he had had an offer of a further projector and films in addition to that at Mexborough.

Special ” Days.”

Mr. H.B. Sparkes, who reported on Mexborough’s activities, expressed regret that W. P. Turner was absent owing illness. Progress had been made by the Schools’ Advisory Committee, through the secretary. Mr. Watkinson, and the Publicity Committee were trying to arrange for a day by-day programme for the week, having special efforts on special days: for example Monday as “Children’s Day.” ‘Tuesday as “Miners’ Day.” and so on. A number of meetings were being arranged and it was hoped to get prominent speakers for them.

Mexborough hoped Swinton would help them in the matter of the parade, making it a combined success, and he thought Swinton would agree to combining for this matter. Visits had been paid to public houses by members of the committees to attempt to get co-operation and street groups were to be formed.

Swinton “Strike Off.”

Coun. M. Creighton. J.P. for Swinton, said they called a meeting to “strike off” on Tuesday, and said that the Schools and Publicity committees had already met, and were trying to arrange some entertainment for each day. The Publicity Committee had reviewed advertising, posters, film trailers, and trackless and bus posters. Swinton had thought that the military band question was going to be a vexed one, because there were not many military bands to be obtained. They decided it would be very much better if they co-operated for the parade with Mexborough. The question of “taking the salute” could be solved by having two saluting bases, one at Swinton and the other in Mexborough. Swinton had suggested that Mr. E. Dunn. M.P. should be the speaker in the Swinton district, and they might also get the personal co-operation of Col. J. W. B. Landon. of Wentworth, or Rear Admiral Sir T. Spence Lyne.


The Wath district report was given by Mr. J. Ritchie, who said that at the next full meeting of the Wath committees they would attempt to ascertain how much money each of the constituent sub-committees would be responsible tor. He had received a hint that they could be ‘ very optimistic as far as Wath was concerned. He suggested that the more prominently the civic leaders were associated with the speaking the more successful the efforts would be. At present they saw no difficulty in arranging a parade, although this was not vet fixed.

Mr. J. B. Wilkinson (Dale Brown and Co. Swinton) said, on behalf of the Personal Contacts Committee at Swinton, that they already had “several thousands in the coffer.”

Coun. Sheldon, on behalf of Conisborough, said they were agreeable to the aeroplanes flying over the whole area if this could be arranged. They were also agreeable to “share” their military band if the authorities were agreeable. Mr. Ritchie reported that he had no further information about the proposed meeting of all the district’s small committees, to be addressed by a prominent speaker to help “ginger up” their efforts.

Contacting Youth.

Mr. Watkinson suggested that the youth of the district might be contacted through the newly-formed youth movements, but it was pointed out that many districts had not yet started these bodies, and it was decided to send reports of the various committee meetings to those who had.

Mr. G. Pollard stated that good progress was being made in the village of Bolton and their Publicity and Personal Contacts representatives were already working hard. Representatives listened with interest to a suggestion which Mr. Ritchie said he had picked up from another town’s War Weapons Week, where firms and large stores were selling the 15s. Savings Certificates to their employees and customers at a reduced rate. Mr. Campbell reported that he had made application from the Conisborough area for an amount of stamps and certificates, but was informed that the Treasury would prefer to deal with the district as a whole so that no confusion would result, and to save work. Mr. Rowbottom said that if the various districts would matte out their requisitions he would apply for the certificates and stamps. A suggestion by Mr. F. Hawksworth (Dearne) that firms could, during the Week buy large blocks of certificates for subsequent sale to their employees over a long period was duly noted.