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The Pest Detectives: The Definitive Guide to Rentokil by Rob Gray

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An eye for talent

Despite the obvious hardships, wartime was a period of rapid development for Rentokil, with annual profits leaping to £18,000 by the end of the conflict (roughly £700,000 today). In 1944, Eades showed she had a good eye for talent by recruiting Dr Norman Hickin, who became a key figure in driving the business forward.

Prior to joining Rentokil, Hickin had been at Dunlop Rubber Company for a number of years, most recently working on an important project to develop self-sealing aircraft fuel tanks, designed to reduce the risk of planes exploding when hit by enemy fire. However, when it came to the subject of flight, Hickin was in truth much more an expert on winged insects than he was on fighters and bombers. After graduating ...

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