Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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R. F. Brookes

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of Emscote Road, Warwick

Maker of meat pies under the trade name of 'Fleur de Lys'

1954 Small bakery in Shrubland Street, Leamington Spa.

1957 New factory Parkes Street, Warwick.

1957 Incorporated.

1962 Purchased Emscote Flour Mills.

1963 Share issue. Rowland Fletcher Brookes is Chairman and MD. Elizabeth Josephine Adamson is Production Director. [1]

1964 Acquired by Avana Group

1973 Advertisement. R. F. Brookes, Church Hill Road, Thurmaston.[2]

1963 Editorial.[3]

The firm is R. F Brookes Ltd. which makes Fleur de Lys pies and details of the flotation appear in Page 11. The move is the latest step in the success story of Mr. Brookes, former bank clerk. R.A.F. officer and publican since his product was introduced to a very limited market ten years ago.

His first pies were made by his former wife— now Mrs. G. M. Douglas. and one of four directors of the new company in the kitchen of the public house which he then ran at Lowsonford.

But let Mr. Brookes tell his story: "I was manager of the Fleur de Lys Inn at Lowsonford when a local farmer, Mr. Jack Jones came in one night and asked if I wanted some mushrooms. "I said 'Yes.' and we later found that he had left a basket containing 7lb. It was then that my former wife, using items from our larder, produced the first of our chicken-and-mushroom pies. "There was no mysterious recipe: she did not read a cookery book; but her mixture proved an immediate success. and we have used it ever since." In the early stages the pies were made for sale over the bar counter; but by 1955 requests for supplies were being made by other public-houses in the area, and Mr Brookes was soon running a substantial business. Extra kitchens were built in the public house. but within two years they were inadequate to the demand, and production moved to the British Legion club In Park Street. Warwick. This in turn failed to stand the pace, and by 1957 the firm as R. P. Brookes Ltd. was being run from Shrubland Street. Leamington.

Soon after the first pies had been made at Lowsonford Mrs. E. J Adamson, sister of Mrs. Douglas, returned from Canada to help, and she has been actively engaged in the business ever since and is at present production director.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Birmingham Daily Post - Friday 29 March 1963
  2. Leicester Chronicle - Friday 27 April 1973
  3. Birmingham Daily Post - Friday 29 March 1963