Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,153 pages of information and 233,681 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Melbray Group

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of Copthall Court, London, EC2.

Food manufacturers and caterers, later precision and heavy engineers, and makers of paper and packaging.

1955 Under a scheme of reorganisation, John Jacks Ltd changed its name to Melbray Group which would be a holding company. A new company called John Jacks took over the snack bar and catering side of the previous business[1]

1957 Acquired Commercial X-Rays Ltd[2]

1959 Acquired a majority interest in R A Brand (Holdings); the 2 companies had the same chairman[3]

1960 Acquired production and distribution business Quartons (Holdings), which would complement Melbray's food business[4]

1961 The remainder of Brands was acquired[5]

1961 Incorporated R. G. Whitaker, maker of dry cleaning equipment, into the laundry equipment makers Manlove, Alliott and Co[6]

1962 Acquired British Watch Cases[7]

By the time of the 1962 report, the group also included:[8]

1962 Acquired Knight and Forster, colour printers of Leeds, as well as an animal feed miller[9] and Thomas Preston, paper bag and carton manufacturer[10]

1963 Acquired Hayward's Food Products[11]

By the time of the 1963 report, Melbray also owned: [12]

1963 Acquired Thomas Robinson, Sons and Co, provision merchants of Hull[13] and Harry Peck and Co makers of paste, tongue and canned meat[14]

By 1964 also owned: [15]

By 1965 also owned Dobson and Crowther as well as many new subsidiaries formed from existing subsidiaries[16]

1967 Centralisation of the control of the businesses into 3 divisions - Preston-Brand for print and packaging, Melbray Foods and Melbray Engineering[17]. Disposed of some unprofitable food businesses; acquired Aviation Engineering and Maintenance[18]

1968 Acquired James Barnes, print and packaging[19]. Acquired Compressed Paper Packaging. Acquired Netonia and Tarbox and Walter Tarbox and Co, which were complementary to the existing watch cases business[20]

1969 Acquired D. and J. Tullis of Clydebank. [21]

1970 Sold Hayward-Peck and Melbray (pie and cooked meats) to Brooke Bond Oxo[22] in order to release funds for the engineering side of the business.

1971 Profits collapsed due to various reasons. Consolidated Sykes International[23]

1972 Acquired by Tremletts[24]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times Sep 07, 1955
  2. The Times, Nov 09, 1957
  3. The Times, May 07, 1959
  4. The Times, Aug 29, 1960
  5. The Times Feb 28, 1961
  6. The Times (London, England), Tuesday, Nov 14, 1961
  7. The Times Mar 30, 1962
  8. The Times, Aug 01, 1962
  9. The Times , Oct 09, 1962
  10. The Times Oct 19, 1962
  11. The Times May 09, 1963
  12. The Times, Jul 31, 1963
  13. The Times, Oct 16, 1963
  14. The Times, Nov 04, 1963
  15. The Times, Jul 24, 1964
  16. The Times, Jul 30, 1965
  17. The Times Jul 04, 1967
  18. The Times, Nov 30, 1967
  19. The Times, Apr 03, 1968
  20. The Times Dec 18, 1968
  21. The Times, Jun 12, 1969
  22. The Times, Apr 11, 1970
  23. The Times Jul 31, 1971
  24. The Times, May 25, 1972