Factory Index




Including the Hindley Green Factory (Greater Manchester)

The Rannoch Road Factory was situated in a residential neighbourhood, much to the annoyance to homeowners, on the north bank of the river Thames, just south of Hammersmith Bridge, and a mile or so from Cadby Hall. With its riverside wharf and industrial buildings it was ideally situated to take deliveries of tea, coffee, cocoa, timber and other materials which had been transported by barge from London Docks. From here it was just a short distance to Cadby Hall. It is not known when the property was first used by Lyons other than its description in the Statement of Accounts of 1928 where it is described as a 'construction and engineering works'. Here much of the work carried out for teashops, restaurants, hotels and offices would be fabricated and assembled. The freezer boxes for the ice-cream trade were all made here from balsa wood. During its history jam , mincemeat, suet, canned fruit, puree and frozen food have all been produced there. At one time it had extensive kitchens for the frozen food business. Rannoch Road is best remembered, however, as the Soft Drinks factory. Soft drinks were first made here just before the Second World War when the sale of cordials and fruit juices took off dramatically. Many own-label products for the supermarket trade were made and bottled here and for a time Lyons were market leaders in the juice market. Adjacent to the factory was the sugar manufacturer, Manbre, and Lyons took their syrup supplies through a pipe linking the two factories. An alliance was formed with Schweppes and production of their brands were bottled on the Lyons assembly lines. As the business grew so did the deliveries to, and from, the factory. It was a common sight to see a half mile of lorries waiting in line along the approach roads. This was not good news for residents.

By march 1970 the Soft Drinks Division, already the largest manufacturer of fruit concentrates in the UK, increased their capacity by 25 million bottles a year when they bought KC Developments (Liverpool) Ltd. Not only did they obtain KC's trademarks and production facility but they also acquired a cooking oil brand which Soft Drinks added to their private label products. Built in 1963 the Hindley Green (Greater Manchester), single-story, factory covered 140,000 square feet and had four bottling lines; three for concentrates and one for cooking oil. At the time of the purchase two new lines were being installed, one each for oil and concentrate. The factory was staffed by 54 people and the products were similar to those made at Rannoch Road. Hindley Green made it possible for Lyons to increase their production of soft drinks substantially particularly to supply the large Manchester area.

When Allied Breweries Ltd took over Lyons in 1978 their soft drinks business was merged with Britvic, the Allied Breweries soft drink business. Rannoch Road closed in 1988.



© Peter Bird 2002


A part of the line at the Hindley Green plant (Greater Manchester)