Lavery's was established in 1924 by Mr I. H. Lavery who formally had been the manager at Outram's Southport Cakes Ltd. During 1925 the building was extended and similar to Outrams, it specialised in the making of Slab cake, Eccles cakes, Christmas puddings and Swiss rolls. Over 2000 people were employed at this factory with 70% of the workforce, women. Business increased and in the early 1930s Laverys built the factory which would be later belong to Elkes & Fox Biscuits Ltd., and for a short period Laverys made biscuits there. About 1935 Elkes and Fox acquired the factory and they specialised in the making of a large variety of biscuits and provided employment for several hundred people. In 1961 they changed their name to Elkes Biscuits Ltd.
Elkes and Fox Staff, c1950s/early 60s.
Back row left - right: Tony Eccles, Bob Gibbons, Doris Roughly, Harry Parr, Bert Stubbs, Jim Lyon, Harry Pennington, Vic Finch, unknown 9.
Front row left - right: Harry Rowe, Peg Baxendale, Mary Trowler, Edie Harrison, Janie Waring, Nellie Prescot, Molly Gibbons, unknown 17, Mary Fazackerly, Tommy Hardman.
(Photo courtesy - Margaret Gibson).
Elkes & Fox staff, c1950/early 60s.
Back row (all standing) left - right: Bill Pennington, Bob Gibbons, Harry Roe, Victor Finch, Tommy Hardman, Harry Parr, Tony Eccles, Janie Waring, unknown 9, Harry Whysall, Harry Whittaker (man behind), Mary Fazackerly .
Front row left - right: unknown 13, Edie Harrison, Nelly Gibbons, Peggie Baxendale, Mary Trowler, Annie Disley, Doris Roughly, unknown 20, Brenda Spencer (nee Wilding).
(Photo courtesy - Margaret Gibson).
The following story is part of Eric Lavery's memories.
(Eric was the son of Isaac Herbert Lavery and on the death of Isaac in 1949, Eric Lavery became Chairman and Managing Director of I H Lavery & Co. Ltd.)
"On 10th March 1924 the company was incorporated as Lancashire Confectionary Ltd. However it turned out that a company registered in this name already existed, they objected and a new name had to be found. Mr. Rawsthorne suggested Mann & Lavery or Lavery & Mann. However Mr. Mann had not yet given his notice to the Appley Bridge Glue Works, and was afraid that he might find himself out on a limb if his name appeared publicly in connection with a new company. He did not want to move until the new factory was erected and the new business was functioning. The name adopted therefore was I.H.Lavery & Co. Ltd., which of course suited Father well, as it established, better than anything else could, and without explanation, who was the boss. This change was made by Special Resolution on 30th May 1924.
The first object of the company as detailed in the Memorandum of Association was to acquire the secret process for white-of-egg substitute, the terms by which this was done were expressed in an Agreement which provided (in essence) for a Royalty of a farthing per lb. each, to be paid to Father and Mr. Mann for all the substitute made by the company, either for use in its own products, or in Ovalex sold by the trade. They also received 100 Founders shares each for the sum of £5, these were shilling shares which entitled the owners to receive half of any dividends paid out on the ordinary shares in excess of 20%. The balance of the capital was provided by 6,990 Ordinary shares of £1 each. The rest of the Memorandum, and the Articles were typical of those drawn up for private companies before the 1929 Companies Act, giving the directors wide powers, and wide scope for development.
Mellor Riding, the contractor, standing in the steel skeleton of Lavery's factory, 1924.
(Photo courtesy - David Lavery)
A site was purchased in Red Cat Lane alongside the railway, adjacent in fact to Burscough Bridge station; later a wicket gate gave access to the platform, The first part of the factory consisted of a single bay 25 ft. wide by 100 ft. long. It was a light steel structure with single brick panels and asbestos tiled roof, it looks rather impressive, and of course it was much larger than was necessary for exploiting the “secret process", it was Father's intention from the start to compete with Outrams in the Slab Cake market."
(Photo and information courtesy - David Lavery, Grandson of Isaac Herbert Lavery and son of Eric Lavery)
During the 1940s and 1950s Lavery's business grew and trade developed on a national basis, but by 1963 the number of workers were greatly reduced. This was the first time that the firm had reorganised its business on such a scale and at the same time three quarters of their factory was up for sale. In 1964 the firm closed down and the premises were later taken over by Westbrooks Ltd.