A look back at Britain’s oldest brands
Many of the brands we know and love in Britain today are hundreds of years old and come from humble beginnings.
Today we’re taking a look back at some of Britain’s oldest brands – are any of your favourites on our list?
Cadbury is one of Britain’s most beloved brands, and one of its oldest, too! John Cadbury was a merchant who sold tea, coffee and hot chocolate, and founded his own company in Birmingham in 1824. In 1866, John Cadbury’s sons revolutionised the way we enjoy chocolate by introducing improved cocoa into Britain.
Britain is a nation of tea lovers, so it’s no surprise one of our oldest brands is Twinings tea. Established in 1706 by tea merchant Thomas Twining, his tearoom at No. 216 Strand is still open today. The logo we know and love was created in 1787, and is one of the most popular names in tea in the world.
Lyle’s Golden Syrup
The green and gold packaging is virtually unchanged since Lyle’s Golden Syrup first came to market in 1885. Founded by Scottish businessman Abram Lyle, the original design and packaging have helped it reach iconic status around the country.
Lloyds Banking Group
While today we recognise Lloyds TSB as one of the biggest banks in the world, it started with humble beginnings. In 1765 an iron producer named Sampson Lloyd II partnered with button maker John Taylor to set up a private banking business in Birmingham. The first branch office opened in 1864 in Oldbury, expanding around the country throughout the 19th and 20th century.
Marks & Spencer
No list would of Britain’s oldest brands would be complete without mention of M&S, arguably the nation’s favourite department store and certainly one of the high street’s most recognisable names. Founded in 1884 in Leeds by Polish refugee Michael Marks, the original market stall’s slogan was ‘Don’t ask the price, it’s a penny’. In 1894, Marks joined forces with Thomas Spencer, and the two opened their first shop in a covered arcade in Leeds in 1904.
Boots was founded in Nottingham in 1849 by John Boot. It was originally a herbal medicine shop, but slowly expanded, becoming Boot and Co. in 1883. By 1890 there were 10 stores – twenty years later by the start of the First World War, there were more than 500 stores in England, Scotland and Wales.
The Fox family founded Fox’s in 1853 as a small Victorian bakehouse in West Yorkshire. The biscuit manufacturer sold biscuits at fairs throughout the north of England, and today is still popular with people around the country. Their product line has expanded some since its early days – today there are more than 20 different product offerings to choose from, including the iconic party rings.
Do you still use any of Britain’s oldest brands? Share your memories in the comments below!
Rachel - Silversurfers Assistant Editor
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