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  Themes Homepage > Jobs in the Factory > Serpell's fire, 1904
   
Serpell's fire, 1904
 
   
Serpell's fire, 1904
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Brief Description: Great Fire at Serpell's Biscuit Factory, attended by Huntley & Palmers fire brigade
Subject Date: 23 July 1904
 
Full Description: Serpell's began in 1851 initially making ships' biscuits at Plymouth. In 1899 Serpell's purchased a larger factory in South Street, Reading and transferred production to the town. In July 1904 the Huntley & Palmers Fire Brigade attended a major fire at Serpell's new factory. The Berkshire Chronicle reported that: "A fire, the like of which has not been seen in Reading for some years, broke out between half-past 12 and one o'clock on Saturday morning, as the result of which the biscuit manufactory of Messrs. H.O. Serpell and Co., has been almost completely destroyed". Relations between Serpell's and Huntley & Palmers had always been cordial, and in 1950s Serpell's carried out a small amount of production for Huntley & Palmers while their Huyton factory was built. In 1959 Serpell's company went into liquidation. Huntley & Palmers might have been expected to take over Serpell's but neither the factory buildings, machinery nor its market for biscuits would have fitted into Huntley & Palmers business.
 
Collection: Reading Museum Service
Place: South Street, Reading, Berkshire
Dimensions: Height: 8.8cm, Width: 14.2cm
Subject: social history, environment <buildings>, events, fire services, trade <food mfr>, street scene, event, fire at Serpell's factory
Content Type: postcard
Location: Reading Museum Service
Local Ref: REDMG : 1996.197.103
Unique ID: rm-rm-1996_197_103~1_953-i-00-000.tif
IPR: Reading Borough Council (Reading Museum Service)
 
 
  Themes Homepage > Jobs in the Factory > Serpell's fire, 1904
 
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