[Newspaper cutting, source unknown]
An interesting gathering took place recently at 133, Chadwick-road, Camberwell, the residence of Mr. John Whitworth, who has recently retired after over 40 years service in the South Metropolitan Gas Company, and who had expressed a wish to gather his friends once more around him. After refreshments had been served, the real business of the evening commenced, when Mr. Coggin, who might have been likened to Napoleon surrounded by his old guard, and whom all rejoiced to see in such good health, handed to Mr. Whitworth a handsome gold hunting watch, with the following inscription: "Presented to Mr. J. Whitworth by his brother officers in the South Metropolitan Gas Company as a mark of respect and esteem on his retirement. March 1903." This was accompanied by a silver card basket.
Mr. Coggin expressed the feeling of himself and brother officers in a few well chosen words, and was followed by Mr. Trill, another old veteran — whose beaming countenance is often seen at Brixton — rising to sing "Tis forty years, my old friend John." He was ably accompanied upon the piano by Mr. Fred M'Leod. The health of the host was then proposed, and, of course, pledged with the usual honours. Mr. Whitworth briefly acknowledged the toast. Several other old friends then expressed their good wishes, and all their remarks might have been summed up by a little alteration of Leigh Hunt's phrase, "We pray thee, then, look upon him as one that loves his fellow men."
Mr. WHITWORTH has been for many years a collector of curios, and examples of antiquities from all quarters of the globe abound in his residence. The archaeological societies missed a grand opportunity in not enrolling him amongst their members. His museum, I hope, will not be dispersed, but on the contrary, it is to be trusted he may consider it proper at some future time to bequeath it to the Borough of Camberwell Museum, to be called the "Whitworth Collection."
[Editor: m.s. addition states "Oct 3 1902"]