search tips advanced search
  Home     Themes     Timeline     Partners     Send an e-postcard  
Theme Sections
The Founding Fathers
The Early Years
Jobs in the Factory
Pay and Conditions
Rules and Regulations
Perks of the Job
The Demise of the First Generation
Strikes and Grievances
The War Years
1945 Onwards
More Themes
The Wider Picture
Biscuit Tins
Reading Town
Huntley & Palmers Timeline
  Themes Homepage > The War Years > Serpell's fire, 1904
Serpell's fire, 1904
Serpell's fire, 1904
View larger image
(Estimated download time 12 secs with a 56k modem)
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 > The War Years > Serpell's fire, 1904
    Working in partnership with New Opportunities Fund logo
  Copyright Info | Sitemap | About H&P Collection | Contact Us | Links Reading Museum Service logoSoPSE logo