The release of the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in 1939 was a cause of great celebration among all connected with Sugdens.
Our very own Bernard Sugden was to be given a knighthood!
Mr Bernard Sugden, our Chairman at the time, was the second son of founder William Sugden.
Bernard above all others was very much the instigator of his generation of Sugden brothers, beginning the sewing of the shirts in the back of his fathers shop in 1896 before leading the company into new beginnings in a factory at Water Lane Mills.
Bernard is credited by the latest generation of Sugden brothers as being the one who knocked on doors to get the big contracts that saw the company flourish. None more so bigger a door of opportunity was when he began speaking to the War Office, which led to many a shirt and uniform been produced throughout the two world wars.
His Knighthood came not for his work with Sugdens however but through his many connections within the local community. He was involved with the Spen Valley Liberal Associaton, the Spen Valley Chamber of Commerce and honorary treasurer of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce of the British Empire, where he attended congresses in Canada, South Africa and New Zealand!
Bernard was also a Justice of Peace for the West Riding of Yorkshire, an active Freemason and also a member of Barnsley Rotary Club which he attended when visiting our Barnsley factory.
The articles below are newspaper clippings from June 1939 which have been kept by the Sugden family and kindly donated back to us to help us compile our archive.