Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Wright's Biscuits

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of South Shields

1790 L. Wright and Son began making Wright's ship biscuits

1898 After a fire new buildings were constructed at Tyne Dock.

1933 New company incorporated: L. Wright and Sons (1933) Ltd. New management took over the business[1]

1936 Public company incorporated as Wright's Biscuits Ltd to acquire the previous company but no shares offered to the public

WWII Production was day and night for the Army. Around 300 employees, mostly women, worked in shifts.

1959 Acquired the outstanding shares of their subsidiary R. Middlemass[2]

1960 Acquired the outstanding shares of their subsidiary Wright's Cakes[3]

By 1961 had one of the largest grocery chains in the country and was one of the developing supermarket chains; acquired 19 shops from Northern Dairies[4]

1962 Unwilling to invest in a national daily van sales organisation for cakes, the company sold its Birkenhead cake factory to J. Lyons and Co and ran down the Wright's Cakes business[5]. The company had a large stake in the Newcastle based Moores Stores[6]

1962 Had 750 retail outlets including 31 self-service stores[7]

1963 Acquired Edwin Gowers, multiple grocers of Sheffield[8]

1964 Acquired Kemps Biscuits from Scribbans and Co[9]

1970 Edinburgh factory was closed. Continued deterioration in profits led to Wrights omitting the interim dividend[10]. Distribution was concentrated in one centre in Sheffield[11]

1972 Both Wrights and Moores Stores were acquired by Cavenham Foods[12]

1972 The biscuit making parts of the business were sold to United Biscuits

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times, Nov 17, 1936
  2. The Times, May 15, 1959
  3. The Times, Feb 13, 1960
  4. The Times, Sep 02, 1961
  5. The Times, Aug 30, 1962
  6. The Times, Sep 14, 1962
  7. The Times Oct 04, 1962
  8. The Times Oct 31, 1963
  9. The Times Oct 22, 1965
  10. The Times, May 11, 1970
  11. The Times, Oct 27, 1970
  12. The Times, Jan 21, 1972