Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Robertson and Woodcock

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Trebor Terrace built in 1894.
Robert Roberson on left and William Baglin Woodcock on right.
The art deco factory in ForestGate

of Trebor Works, Katherine Road, London, E7. Telephone: Grangwood 0172 (4 lines). Cables: "Treborchoc, London"

1907 The company was founded when William Baglin Woodcock (a sugar boiler), Robert Robertson (a grocer), Sydney Herbert Marks (a salesman) and Thomas Henry King (a grocer) each invested £100 in a partnership to manufacture and market high quality boiled sweets. They were hand made by craftsman and soon became highly popular.

The company started in Shaftsbury Road, Forest Gate, at the junction with Katherine Road. The first sugar boiling was carried out behind the house in Trebor Terrace, which was named by the original builder Robert Cooper, who in 1894 reversed the letters of his first name to make the name 'Trebor'.

The sweets were originally made under the brand name 'Boleyn' but, immediately after the end of WWI, this was changed to Trebor after the house name.

Trebor Terrace still exists at the same location and the original factory is now luxury apartments.

By 1920 the firm had become one of Britain’s most innovative production companies, by going "electric" which brought an end to their hand-production process.

They brought in mechanisation and production techniques from Germany which allowed increased production and output.

The firm was one of the first to produce their confectionery from compressed compounded powders, which removed the need for the messy and time consuming process of boiling sugar.

1930 the Trebor Factory in Forest Gate was re-built in a distinctive "art-deco" style, making it a prominent and well known landmark in London’s east end.

1935 Launched the Refreshers sweet.

1937 Produced new Extra Strong Mints.

1937 A larger factory was built in Forest Gate, to enable the company to keep up with demand.

1939 Announced they would build a factory in Chesterfield on a five-acre site. Makers of Trebor and Boleyn pure sweets. 30-40 people would be employed initially increasing later to 300..[1]

WWII National sugar rationing curtailed production

1944 The Forest Gate factory's warehouse was severely damaged by enemy action.

Post-WWII, the Trebor factory in Forest Gate was painted white, with a huge “Trebor Quality Sweets” branding displayed in green on its exterior.

1947 Listed Exhibitor - British Industries Fair. Manufacturers of Confectionery: "Trebor" Quality Sweets, Toffees, Caramels, Barley sugars, Crystal Mints, Hard and Fruit Centred Boiled Sweets, "Trebor" Extra Strong Peppermints, "Trebor" Peerless Peppermints, Count Lines, Sole Agents "Manler" Christmas Crackers. (Earls Court, 1st Floor, Stand No. 581) [2]

1950 Robertson and Woodcock, Brimington Road, Chesterfield, manufacturing confectioners.[3]. Built a new headquarters at Clayhall in Ilford

The company bought up many other smaller confectionery companies.

1960 Robertson and Woodcock Limited, Trebor Works, Woodford Green, Essex.[4]

1961 Acquired Edward Sharp and Sons

1962 Robertson and Woodcock Ltd., Trebor Works, Katherine Road, Forest Gate, London.[5]

1962 The chairman is S. J. Marks.[6]

1968 Robertson and Woodcock changed its name to Trebor Sharps

1969 Acquired Clarnico

1978 Name of the company was changed to Trebor Group

1981 the Trebor factory in Forest Gate was closed (later converted into flats).

1986 Trebor acquired Maynards

1989 Acquired by Cadbury Schweppes

Became part of Trebor Bassett Holdings

See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald - Friday 28 July 1939
  2. 1947 British Industries Fair p234
  3. Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald - Friday 03 March 1950
  4. The London Gazette Publication date:8 July 1960 Issue:42087 Page:4734
  5. The London Gazette Publication date:9 March 1962 Issue:42617 Page:1944
  6. Daily Mirror - Friday 04 May 1962
  • [1] Trebor in Forest Gate