The Soapery, Copperas Street, S.E.8.
No striking change in the nature of its products has been necessary in the case of the old- established business of Richard Wheen & Sons, Ltd., since its principal manufactures-soap and glycerine-are required in war as in peace.
Considerable damage to the factory was caused by high-explosive bombs, flying bombs, rockets and incendiaries, but these obstacles have not been allowed to interfere with production. Thanks to the loyal support of the employees (nearly all of whom had their homes damaged by enemy action), the Company has been able to despatch its full quota of rationed soap for the civilian population, whilst undertaking additional supplies amounting to many millions of tablets of special soap for the Armed Forces, such as-salt water soap for use in brackish water in the Desert and toilet tablet, for the Far East. Other varieties have been specially made for various Government Ministries, N.A.A.F.I., pithead baths and European rehabilitation, and shipments to the Channel Islands have recently been resumed.
The Company's employees serving in widely scattered areas of the world have identified Wheen's Soaps in all sorts of unlikely places and one man in the Middle East was amused to notice on the outside of a case of soap what appeared to be calculations of the P.A.Y.E. liability of hi, fellow-worker who had packed it.
One curious bombing incident is worthy of record. A shower of incendiaries dropped one night, and was promptly dealt with by the Company's firewatchers, who thought they had accounted for all of them. Several weeks later, however, when coal was being taken to the boilers, an incendiary bomb partly burnt out was discovered, deep in the coal dump, the coal having apparently extinguished it.
The Company is now eagerly awaiting the return of its employees from Active Service. and looks forward to taking its full share both in the coming export drive, and in the production of increased quantities for the Home Trade.
(this comes from a Metropolitan Borough of Greenwich booklet about local industries in war-time)