Remember When: SO FAR AHEAD OF THEIR TYNE; World-Famous Brands Have North East Connections

Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England), December 3, 2008 | Go to article overview

Remember When: SO FAR AHEAD OF THEIR TYNE; World-Famous Brands Have North East Connections


Byline: RAY MARSHALL

GEORDIELAND is famous for creating iconic brands such as Newcastle Brown Ale, Rington's Tea and Be-Ro Flour, but many other everyday essentials also have Tyneside connections.

Take Domestos, for instance. It was first produced in a Byker workshop in 1929 by Wilfred Handley, an industrial chemist, in a bid to improve public health. He also invented Stergene.

Now available in blue plastic containers, it was originally sold by door-to-door salesmen.

Housewives would bring out their refillable stoneware jars to stock up.

It must have been a careful operation, given the strength of the product.

In the 1950s it introduced public awareness campaigns to educate consumers about the prevention of typhoid, dysentery, gastroenteritis and other illnesses.

It was acquired by Lever Brothers in 1961.

Lucozade is another product that was originally linked to illness.

It has transcended that tag and its products are now connected with sporting fitness and giving the body energy.

Lucozade was created by chemist William Owen in a shop in Barras Bridge, Newcastle, in 1927.

He already had a mineral water factory and had previously experimented with providing a source of energy for those who are sick.

It was made available in hospitals throughout Britain under the name Glucozade before being changed to Lucozade in 1929.

Fairy soap is another iconic Geordie product.

Thomas Hedley began his working life with the chemical firm of John Greene and Son, in Gateshead.

In 1840, at the age of 38, he rejoined the firm and later bought out his partner Greene.

Soon Hedley's products were winning an increasing share of a growing market.

Chemicals and soap-making were closely bound along the banks of the Tyne and while many firms moved south to Teesside, Hedley stayed loyal to his Geordie roots.

The Fairy soap brand became a Victorian household favourite and the firm prospered, until the Wall Street Crash of the late 1920s.

As the slump deepened, the firm ran into serious trouble before the American company Procter and Gamble came to the rescue.

Andrews Liver Salt dates back to 1894, when provision importer Mr Scott and commission Turner decided there was a future for the healthgiving properties of their tonic.

The name Andrews was adopted for the product as the Scott/Turner offices was close to St Andrew's Church, in Newgate Street, Newcastle.

The trademark Andrews Liver Salt was registered in 1909 and the product was soon exported all over the world.

Born on this day

1820: Thomas Beecham. …

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