NOSTALGIA: Memories of a Portchester factory

Workers at the factory in the 1930s. David Peters's original picture.
Workers at the factory in the 1930s. David Peters's original picture.

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Recent stories here about the old Midland Cattle Products factory at Wicor Mill, Portchester, prompted David Wilson to get in touch.

The first picture, of some of the workers captured in the 1930s, was sent in by David Peters.

Office staff from Midland Cattle Products, Wicor, Portchester, 1958/59. PPP-170206-170333001

Office staff from Midland Cattle Products, Wicor, Portchester, 1958/59. PPP-170206-170333001

The stories and picturs mentioned a Mr Bott as well as the name of a Mr Peters.

Mr Wilson says: ‘I suspect that the Mr Peters who provided you with the 1930s’ photo is a relative of Mr R Peters who worked with Mr Bott.’

The second picture, right, showed office staff there in the 1950s.

Mr Wilson said both pictures ‘instantly brought back fond memories of life at Wicor and the company that provided welcome employment for many years to the village and neighbouring surrounds’.

A 1943 plan of the Midland Cattle Products factory at Wicor Mill, Portchester.

A 1943 plan of the Midland Cattle Products factory at Wicor Mill, Portchester.

He adds that Midland Cattle Products was not just an employer ‘but a very loyal and caring one’.

And he continues: ‘My late grandfather was James Robert who was the foreman at Wicor Mill and he had worked with Mr Bott from 1914 and was also a friend of Mr Peters.

‘The house at the bottom of Wicor Mill Lane, nearest to the factory and the roof of which is referred to in your photo, was named Peveril and I was born in the house.

‘The house next door was named Almfred and was the home, for a short while, of Leslie Holmes who provides interesting information to your newspaper from time to time.

The George at Finchdean  Picture: costen.co.uk

The George at Finchdean Picture: costen.co.uk

‘Mr Holmes’ late father, Mr A Holmes, was unfortunately killed during the Second World War when both houses were damaged by a bomb blast.’

Mr Wilson says both houses, Victorian semi-detached cottages, were bought by Midland Cattle Products Limited in 1924.

• It looks as though this wonderful picture of Finchdean (featuring The George, of course) was taken from the air. That’s unlikely because you can’t detect any movement at all in the image which may have been shot when there were few motorised vehicles around.

The skeletal trees tell us it’s winter as does the Lavants stream which rises and floods after periods of prolonged rain. Picture: costen.co.uk.