Sunday, February 14, 2010

Crosse & Blackwell

Crosse & Blackwell is a well established British food brand dating back to 1706. The company started out as a maker of preserves and later added canned foods to its now famous range.

The company's original name was West and Wyatt, until Edmund Crosse and Thomas Blackwell bought it in 1830.
Edmund Crosse and Thomas Blackwell first met when they apprenticed at the same family firm in 1819. They shared an enthusiasm for their employer's taste in pickles, sauces and condiments, which they prepared for wealthy and fashionable households of the city.

In 1830 they joined forces and bought the business from their employer. They sought recipes from the greatest chefs of the days and the firm received the first in an unbroken succession of royal appointments in 1837.
Nestlé bought Crosse & Blackwell in 1950, extended the product range into more food categories, and made the brand a global one.

Premier Foods acquired Crosse & Blackwell in 2002.

In 2004, Crosse & Blackwell became part of The JM Smucker Company of America. They say Crosse & Blackwell products reflect a sampling of England’s great culinary influences: unique products with the finest ingredients, exotic recipes, and robust flavor.

-submitted by Paul Green

Charrington Gardner Lockett (London) Ltd.

Charrington Gardner Locket (London) Ltd. were coal and coke merchants. Formed in 1731, the company was headed by five generations of men named John Charrington.

The John Charrington who was born in 1856 was trained with F. Green & Co., Shipbrokers. He became the Chairman of Charringtons and of the Association of Private Owners of Railway Rolling Stock. He also held the position of Honorary Secretary, Treasurer, and, finally, Chairman of the Society of Coal Merchants, London, from 1895-1915 and was Justice of the Peace for Hertfordshire.

By the beginning of the 20th century, Charringtons had expanded their coal selling operations into coal transport. Included in their fleet were ships named The Lady Charrington and The John Charrington. Charringtons railroad cars and coal delivery trucks became a common sight in Britain.

By the 1960s, Charringtons also was involved in mechanical engineering, designing a barge that moved the American Wind Symphony Orchestra along the Thames through London.

The company seems to exist today as Charringtons Solid Fuel, but I believe that it is owned by a larger conglomerate that keeps the familiar Charrington's name for marketing reasons.

-submitted by Paul Green

Sunday, February 7, 2010

D. Gurteen & Sons Ltd.

D. Gurteen & Sons Ltd. was established in Haverhill in 1784, firstly as weavers, and then as manufacturers of men's outerwear. The company is still situated on the same site, which covers some four acres in the centre of the town.

Although manufacturing has ceased in Haverhill, the business is still in men's clothing and is in the hands of the sixth and seventh generation of the family.

Gurteen clothes are found throughout the United Kingdom in over 1000 independent menswear retailers, including many of the leading stores groups.

-submitted by Paul Green