Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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H. P. Sauce

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A Selection of Adverts that appeared in the 1910 Practical Advertising published by Mather and Crowther.


January 1929. HP sauce.
May 1931. Garton's
April 1933.
June 1933. HP Salad Cream.
November 1933.
December 1933.
March 1939.
September 1940.
November 1950.
November 1953.
February 1954.
April 1954.
June 1954.
October 1954.
December 1954.

of Aston Road, Birmingham. Telephone: East 426. Cables: "Midland, Birmingham". (1929)

Frederick Gibson Garton of Radcliffe Road, West Bridgford, Nottinghamshire invented H. P. Sauce.

Garton owned a store that was a small co-operative collective where fairly priced foodstuffs were available, and from which he sold his sauce.

1875 Edwin Samson Moore, a representative for Pink’s Pickles of Portsmouth, founded the Midland Vinegar Co at Tower Road, Aston Cross.

Moore visited Garton to collect a debt, and noticed the sauce-making activities. He purchased the recipe and brand for a £150 plus the cancellation of the debt.

1901 Tower Road became the registered offices of the manufacture of "F. G. Garton's Sauce" as it was then known.

1903 It was re-labelled HP Sauce. Garton had always wanted to call the sauce HP because he claimed to have heard that it was available in a restaurant in the Houses of Parliament.

c1904 HP Sauce was exported worldwide as salesmen were sent around the British Empire.

1917 The label of HP Sauce bottles started carrying a section in French.

1921 Moore retired.

1924 The British Share Holders Trust bought the Midland Vinegar Company, and subsequently floated it as HP Sauce Ltd.

1928 Moore died.

1929 Listed Exhibitor. Manufacturers of H.P. Sauce, "Midland" Vinegar, Garton's Tomato Ketchup, "H.P." Pickle, Garton's Worcestershire Sauce, Garton's and other Pickles, Gravy Browning and Baker's Yeast. (Stand No. L.59) [1]

1930 Company merged with Lea and Perrins.

1960-70s HP Sauce became known as "Wilson's Gravy" after Harold Wilson, the Labour Prime Minister. The name arose after Wilson's wife, Mary, gave an interview to the Sunday Times in which she claimed "If Harold has a fault, it is that he will drown everything with HP Sauce".

1967 Acquired by Imperial Tobacco Co

1975 When Wilson addressed a banquet to celebrate 100 years since the formation of the Midlands Vinegar Company, he admitted that it was not HP Sauce that he was partial to, but was in fact Lea and Perrins Worcestershire Sauce.

HP Sauce was then owned by Danone of France.

2005 June Heinz purchased the parent company, HP Foods, from Danone.

See Also


Sources of Information

  • [1] Ciao
  • Trademarked. A History of Well-Known Brands - from Aertex to Wright's Coal Tar by David Newton. Pub: Sutton Publishing 2008 ISBN 978-0-7509-4590-5
  • [2] Wikipedia