Soap stars from the past had the city in a lather

Doudney's Soap Works, Commercial Road, Mile End, Portsmouth, 1932, and, inset, a Doudney's soap wagon crosses Guildhall Square, Portsmouth, in about 1905
Doudney's Soap Works, Commercial Road, Mile End, Portsmouth, 1932, and, inset, a Doudney's soap wagon crosses Guildhall Square, Portsmouth, in about 1905

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John Doudney started his business as a tallow chandler in 1776.

After his death in 1834 the business was carried on by his sons George Ebenezer and Edward Phillip.

A Doudney's soap wagon crosses Guildhall Square, Portsmouth, in about 1905

A Doudney's soap wagon crosses Guildhall Square, Portsmouth, in about 1905

They installed new steam-powered machinery to take the tallow business a step further into candle production.

The business, as seen here, was at 333 Commercial Road, Mile End.

But by the end of the century the brothers had acquired the two next-door properties, numbers 335 and 337.

They also turned their attention to making soap and the company’s Dolphin brand became a big seller.

The second picture shows one of the firm’s horse-drawn vans crossing Guildhall Square about 1905.

The business closed about 1930 and eventually the premises were demolished.

But there was another soap-making company in the city.

Tilleys were situated in Prospect Row, near Gunwharf Gate.