Boykins Narrow Fabrics to open plant here

Published 8:27 am Friday, May 20, 2011

by Clyde Parker

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a selection of news from The Tidewater News and reflections on Western Tidewater’s past.

MAY 20, 1961


A $381,000 plant for the manufacture of narrow fabrics will be established in Boykins.

Mayor Elmo L. Rock announced plans to establish the Boykins Narrow Fabrics Corp.

“The new industry results from a high degree of community cooperation between the firm, the town of Boykins, the Virginia Electric and Power Company and the Tidewater Virginia Development Council,” he said.

“The plant in Boykins will be one of the most modern weaving operations in the country,” Rock said.

The building, costing approximately $131,000, will be of masonry construction and contain about 20,000 square feet of floor space. Cost of equipment will be about $250,000.

“The location of this industry in Boykins represents the highest degree of cooperation in working together to attract an industry”, said Robert C. Ray of Franklin, TVDC Vice President for the Southampton County region.

A loan secured through Vaughan and Co. Bank in Franklin and the Small Business Administration will finance the land and building. Employment will build in increments of 20 as training is completed.

(Boykins Narrow Fabric Corp. is now known as Narricott Industries.)


Franklin Town Manager Harold Atkinson and Electric Department Superintendent Edwin Beale told the Town Council that a new ladder truck is needed to replace a 10-year old truck and an “unsafe ladder.”

On a motion by J. Floyd Briggs, Council decided to request bids on a one-ton truck and regular ladder, and also a 1½-ton truck with the new “pelican” type scoop bucket in which a worker can stand and work more safely.

A regulation type ladder and truck would cost about $4,450, Atkinson estimated.

“The ‘pelican’ will run over $8,000,” he said.


The A & N Clothing and Sporting Goods Store, Franklin’s newest retail business, will celebrate its grand opening at 116 N. Main St. during the week beginning May 23.

Included in the store’s line of goods will be camping equipment, sporting goods, shoes and work clothes.

The store will be managed by Walter Bradshaw, a native of the Franklin area. He attended Franklin High School and served in the Army from 1945 to 1947. He is married to the former Eula Bass of Courtland.

(Today, 116 N. Main St. is the location of the Franklin Wells Fargo office).


Judy Baynard, a Franklin High School senior, has recorded an all-time Franklin top score and one of the best, if not the best, scores in Virginia on the English achievement section of the College Board exams.

The College Board tests are given to students who have an average score of 500 on the various test sections. The highest possible score is 800. Judy scored 750 on the English portion and was well up in the 500s on all other sections.

“We are releasing her English score because we believe it is the highest ever recorded here,” said Franklin High School Principal F.H. Christopher.


Turnbull “Tabb” Gillette was sworn in Tuesday as Courtland’s new postmaster.

He replaces Chapman Peele, who has served as acting postmaster since B.A. Williams Jr. resigned two years ago to begin the practice of law.

Gillette has been working in the sales-service department of Union Bag-Camp Paper Corp. since resigning in 1959 as assistant principal and football coach at Franklin High School. He was one of eight who applied for the postmaster position.


About 50 speedboat racers will put on a show near Franklin on Sunday, July 9, according to Ralph Stradley, operator of Battle’s Beach on the Nottoway River. Sanctioned by the American Power Boat Association, the event will take place over a five-mile course.

Two divisions of boats will compete — gasoline fueled and alcohol fueled — with A, B and C classes. Heat races will be held in each division.

“The boats are capable of doing from 60 to 80 miles-an-hour”, said Otis Smith of Franklin, who plans to enter the alcohol fuel A and B classes. Most competitors will come from out-of-state.

(Battle’s Beach is now known as “Dockside”)