By the 1930s, the company had moved to Dalston and was manufacturing and supplying human and veterinary preparations and surgical instruments. In 1949 Willows, Francis, Butler & Thompson Ltd. merged with Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Co. Ltd. to form Willows Francis Ltd, which went on to become a major manufacturer of ethical drugs and anaesthetics and exporter of anaesthetics, veterinary and medical specialties and pharmaceutical chemicals. These were produced at the Dalston factory and at a second plant in Epsom, Surrey.
Willows Francis Ltd. was acquired by Guinness Peat in 1979. In 1990 the company was sold on to American Home Products Corporation Inc. and relocated to Crawley where it worked closely with another subsidiary, Fort Dodge Laboratories, the second largest veterinary company in the United States. The Willows Francis trading name was finally abolished in the late 1990s.
by Mark Matlach