[Beds & Herts Saturday Telegraph: May 10th, 1919]
That the most sanguine hopes had been more than realised was the gratifying statement made at the first annual meeting in connection with the Luton Disabled Soldiers and Sailors Straw Hat Institution held at the offices of the Chamber of Commerce on Thursday afternoon. Mr Percy Currant presided.
From the annual report it transpired that 41 men had been received at the school. Of these, 15 had been discharged as efficient, four had left through illness, 10 had been discharged for physical reasons, and 12 were still undergoing training. The men sent out of the school as efficient had all been placed in satisfactory situations.
During the 12 months, 850 dozen hats had been manufactured, and at the close of the period 630 dozen had been sold. In the period since, the remaining 220 dozen had been disposed of, and in all cases the full market value had been realised.
Canon W. W. C. Baker said this appeared to be little short of remarkable, when it was remembered that the hats concerned were made by the men during their training period.
The Chairman and Mr G. Field emphasised the same point, the latter stating that the margin for factory waste was extraordinarily small and very considerably below the estimate of the committee. Great credit, he added, was due to Mr and Mrs Hoar, the instructors.
The report, together with the statement of accounts, was adopted on the motion of Canon Baker, seconded by Alderman H. O. Williams, and copies are to be forwarded to the Beds Education Committee and to each member of the committee.
Canon Baker and Mr W. Walters spoke in terms of appreciation of the labours of the factory committee and of the success which had attended their efforts.
It was unanimously decided to increase the joint salary of the instructor and instructress to £360 per annum, the new rate to become operative immediately.