The British United Shoe Machinery Company Ltd. or “BU” as it was known was Leicester’s largest employer and in the 1960’2 and 1970’ employed 4,400 people. Like so much of the City’s fine industries it fell on hard times in the 1980’s and then went through a series of complicated restructurings, buy outs and sell outs eventually to a large venture capitalist company, closing its doors for the last time in 2000.
The buildings were abandoned and stripped of valuables. This wonderful Roll of Honour was found in a skip in the yard with its glass cracked and soaking wet. It was handed in to our care in November 2016 and carefully restored.
It is extremely interesting in that the main page is specially designed for 1914 only but the list of names is pasted on as if there were errors or amendments in a previous sheet.
Despite the numbers of employees who must have served in the Great War, no other war memorial is known to exist but if anyone knows anything else about the good old BU, then please do get in touch.
All Saints Church, Highcross St, Leicester LE1 4PH