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Daily Record - Friday 02 February 1945
Port Sunlight At War: Soap And Munitions Turned Out Abundantly BEFORE the war the public took notice of Port Sunlight as one of the world’s largest soap factories, a place where labour wore a smiling face and an adventure in housing and social planning happily confirmed by over 50 years of prosperous existence. Now the curtain is partly lifted upon what this industrial community has done since 1939. Port Sunlight at War,” is the title of exhibition opened yesterday in one of the village halls. In diversity and scope, is an astonishing revelation. Within its limits it typifies the British talent, exercised in countless industrial centres these five years, for marrying skill with improvisation. In Germany they had to choose between guns and butter.” With Lever Brothers at Port Sunlight the corresponding election might seem to have lain between soap and munitions. It did not. They have managed to turn out both abundantly. Of that oiiginal number, over 2000 have been called up for the Forces and other forms of National Service, and the calling up of men and women who entered the company’s employment subsequently has brought that 2000 to over 3500. On the willing shoulders of those who remained at homeincluding over 1000 part-time women, many of them greyhaired grandmothers a great lead of munition production has been carried to the highest satisfaction of the Ministries concerned. SINEWS OF WAR Soap is itself a sinew of war. With water and disinfectant it forms Uie first line of defence against trench fever and the other diseases which breed in the soil of battle. Port Sunlight adjusted itself harmoniously to control and to the rationing of its chief product, and maintained its own soap production at a high level As a nucleus factory,” it took on the work of friends and competitors. and those who suffered badly from enemy action. It has made millions of tablets for the forces of the United Nations. COMPO RATIONS And it has carried out at the same time direct war work ranging from the proverbial split pin. by way of a hundred vital parts for guns, tanks, ships and planes, to the great bomber undercarriage. 3i 2 cwt. heavy without its wheels, and the better part of nine feet high. In department formerly concerned with the packing of soap for export 2.300,000 composite rations have been put up for the War Office. They included the 14-men compo for the N. African campaign, the one-day emergency pack for the Normandy landings and the “Pacific” and “Jungle” packs. On the day war broke out, Lever Brothers had just over 7000 employees at Port Sunlight.
Accessed 20th March 2018