Harry Rutherford's
Festival of Britain Mural

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.[4] 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.



Dave Williams said...

I remember a school visit to Wall's ice cream factory in the early 1950s. What sticks in my memory is being told that the workers on the production line were allowed to eat as much ice cream as they wanted for free - and to a 9 or 10 year old it was my idea of heaven!

Hydonian said...

ha ha Dave. I always wanted to work at Swizzles Matlow on the understanding I could eat as many as I wanted !

Anonymous said...

Most confectionaery manufacturers had that policy, certainly cadbury's did. It was a bit of a con as after the first week the majority of workers could not face eating the product being surrounded by it all the time.
Dave KAG

Lizzy said...

I spent all my student holidays working in the pork pie dept at Walls loved every minute of it. Always had a drink on a Friday lunchtime in the pub, wouldn't be allowed these days I suppose and my one and only experience of going through a picket line when they were on strike! We also had a bomb threat one day and one of the slaughter house workers came out with a pig on a piece of string!!!

celtbard_2000 said...

My father worked in the Personnel Department and he used to bring home ice cream every Friday.

Anonymous said...

My Father worked for a time @ Wall's Hyde back in the '60s. After what he saw there he wouldn't have their products in the house!

Anonymous said...

I worked in the canteen in the early 70's when Mr Jerzenbeck was the manager. The Link boys were always sending Foxy down to complain about the "bacon butties" they had in the mornings in the tea bars. One of the butchers (George) was fond of the ox tail that was cooked for lunch some days. We worked hard but we had lots of fun, there will never be a workplace quite like Walls ever again, and I'm sure many will agree with me.

Tom said...

The name 'Foxy' bought back a few memories for me of a blond haired lad from Hattersley... As Hyde and Hattersley lads did not always see eye to eye I think Foxy was one of a few who helped to get both groups seeing the best in each other.. I have not see him in years but I will always remember his laugh..

POMMFan said...

Does anyone have any pics of Wall's ice cream vehicles - anything from a small van to an artic?
I have pics of both Acton & Gloucester loading bays, but NONE from Hyde.

Any info or pics greatly appreciated.

Does anyone remember Susan Pickersgill?


Anonymous said...

I agree I worked on sausage floor luved it