Thursday, 25 August 2011
T. Wall & Sons Advert
An advert on the back of an old Hyde map.
Walls as a meat product company has ceased to be - It's just the name of the product now.
In 1786, Richard Wall opened a butcher's stall in St James's Market, London. Selling meat and meat products, he gained a reputation for being a fine pork butcher. In 1812, Richard received the first Royal Appointment to George, Prince of Wales as "Purveyor of Pork," continuing to serve him through his later reign as King George IV.
In 1817, Thomas Wall was born, followed by a daughter Eleanor, in 1824. Richard's business boomed, and in 1834 he moved to new premises at 113 Jermyn Street. However, shortly afterwards Richard Wall died leaving his widow, Ann, and 19 year old son to run the business. Trading as Ann Wall and Son, Ann also died very shortly after the death of her husband.
Thomas Wall took sole charge of the business, plus the care of his 14 year old sister. After the birth of his son Thomas Wall II in 1846, Thomas Wall incorporated the business as "Thomas Wall and Son Ltd." Thomas Wall II served his apprenticeship and joined the company board in 1870, and after second son Frederick had followed the same path, the company name was changed in 1878 to "Thomas Wall & Sons Ltd." Throughout this period, the business maintained its high level standards and resultant recognition, gaining a series of Royal Appointments from Queen Victoria, King Edward VII, King George IV and King George V.
The business had always faced a problem in the summer, when sales of meat, meat pies and sausages fell, and the company was forced to lay-off staff. Now led by Thomas Wall II, he proposed developing a line of ice cream in 1913 to avoid the lay offs. But the onset of World War I put the plan on hold due to shortages. Thomas Wall II decided to retire, and so sold the business in 1920 to Mac Fisheries, which itself was acquired in 1922 jointly by Lever Brothers and Margarine Unie, the founder companies of Unilever.
Now under the direction of Maxwell Holt, ice cream production commenced in 1922 at a factory in Acton, London. As ice cream grew in significance, Unilever split the company into two, T Wall and Son (Ice Cream) Ltd and T Wall and Son (Meats) Ltd. In 1959, Wall's doubled capacity by opening a purpose built ice cream factory in Gloucester, England. In 1981 Unilever merged T Wall and Son (Ice Cream) Ltd with Birds Eye Foods Ltd to form Birds Eye Wall's Ltd. Following a review of production facilities, the Gloucester factory was expanded and updated, and the Acton factory was closed ("Project Phoenix" 1983).
After the purchase of sausage and pate producer Mattessons in the early 1980s, Unilever merged the two companies to form Mattessons Wall's.
Following a review, in 1994 Unilever sold off Mattessons Wall's, the ownership to the Mattessons brand, and a licence to sell meat products within the UK under the Wall's brand to Kerry Foods.