Coming to England
When margarine was first introduced into Denmark, manufacture was taken up by a then unknown man, Otto Monsted, interested in Danish dairy work. He eventually came to England and, in 1889, commenced making margarine in an old hat factory at Godley, near Hyde, Cheshire.
Beginning at Southall
The demand for margarine became so great that a new factory was planned. In 1893, a site was purchased in Southall adjacent to the Great Western Railway, within a short distance from London. 48 Acres from the Earl of Jersey, 20 Acres from the G.W.R. The Grand Junction Canal was nearby, a public footpath ( Church Path ) came through part, and a 20 yard extention to the what was known as the Wooden Bridge had to be constructed. Plans were submitted by the Architects, Bird & Whitenburgs of Manchester, and the first contract, valued at over £300,000 went to the local contractors A. & B. Hanson, of Featherstone Road. The brickwork was of wire cut local stock bricks, with Rhuabor red glazed bricks, and embellishments brought all the way from Wales. The road entrance was through two beautifully made pairs of iron gates. On each side on the outside of the gates were the entrance to the Time-keeper’s Office, and General Offices. The outside boundary walls were two feet high, with Rhuabor coping, and topped with ornamental iron railings. Each side of the road was planted with lime trees. The Church Path which I mentioned earlier, was fenced on either side and asphalted. As required by law, the road was closed one day a year, to indicate that it was private.
It was constructed with ornamental overhanging cornice and other facets, all made to match the red bricks. On the left-hand side, the entrance to the offices, and on the right-hand, the entrance to the factory, although the factory was actually on the other side of the road.
Through the door was the Time-keeper’s office and clocking-in hall and Time Clocks. Leading from this were the Cloakrooms. Still on the right-hand side, off a wide road, were lavatories and a mess room for men, which was used until the Institute was built, and again during the War, when the Institute was used as a hospital, and later became a Gymnasium.
Next came the laundry and ladies’ toilets. Due to so many women being employed during the War, a large temporary building was erected for their cloakrooms and canteen. A First-Aid Station completed that side. Three doors on the left-hand side, two into the factory and one to the Laboratory, which was through a marble hall on the first floor.