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Britvic, Unilever, Robinsons and Colman’s: A history of Carrow Works factories as companies consider moving from Norwich

PUBLISHED: 11:04 03 October 2017 | UPDATED: 15:19 03 October 2017

Exhibits from the Colman's Mustard shop and museum. Photo: Bill Smith

Exhibits from the Colman's Mustard shop and museum. Photo: Bill Smith

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The Carrow Works site which is home to squash maker Britvic and Unilever’s Colman’s Mustard factory has a long history of food and drink production in the city.

Exhibits from the Colman's Mustard shop and museum. Photo: Bill SmithExhibits from the Colman's Mustard shop and museum. Photo: Bill Smith

The news both companies are considering leaving the factories could spell the end for the site after more than a century.

Colman’s has been in and around Norwich ever since Jeremiah Colman started his mustard and flour business in 1814 in Stoke Holy Cross and in 1858 his great-nephew Jeremiah James Colman brought the company to Carrow.

MORE: More than 200 jobs at risk as Britvic proposes to close Norwich factory

Exhibits from the Colman's Mustard shop and museum. Photo: Bill SmithExhibits from the Colman's Mustard shop and museum. Photo: Bill Smith

The site was bought from Norfolk Railway and has been the location of production ever since.

In 1903 the company bought rival mustard maker Keen Robinson & Company which also owned a barley water business.

Robinson’s production was moved to Norwich in 1925 and has remained there since – with additional lines such as Fruit Shoot being added over time.

Exhibits from the Colman's Mustard shop and museum. Photo: Bill SmithExhibits from the Colman's Mustard shop and museum. Photo: Bill Smith

Later, in 1938, Colman’s merged with Reckitt and Sons to become households conglomerate Reckitt and Colman.

In 1995 the mustard, and condiment, side of the business was sold to Unilever – bringing the Dutch giant to Norfolk.


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