In Memory of Spalding Factory

The place and some of the people.


Spalding was originally built in 1925 as the third Anglo-Scottish Beet Sugar Corporation factory; the first factory being Colwick (Nottingham) and the second Kidderminster. Subsequently three more Anglo-Scottish factories were built:- Cupar, Felsted and Poppleton (York).
Spalding was originally designed to process 500 tons/day of beet, and in its first campaign of 1926/27 it sliced a total of 50,000 tons of beet.
For Spalding’s second campaign of 1927/28 its capacity was increased to 1,000 tons of beet/day and it in fact averaged 772 tons of beet/day.
By 1930/31 Spalding was the largest factory in the group, processing some 150,000 tons of beet/campaign.
In 1934/35, Spalding had a very long campaign of 140 days, with 235,400 tons of beet processed.
In 1936 Spalding became part of the newly formed British Sugar Corporation.
An interesting off-seasonal operation carried out in 1948 was the slicing and drying of some 235,000 tons of potatoes, subsequently bagged.
In the mid-sixties a large scale reconstruction of the factory took place, bringing its capacity up to 4,500 tons/day average slice.
By the end of its operational life in 1988/89, further improvements had brought its performance up to a peak of:-
594,000 tonnes of beet processed at an average of 5,029 tonnes/day.
Sugar production of 86,209 tonnes in total, at an average of 729 tonnes/day.
Total dried animal feed production of 50,876 tonnes, at an average of 430 tonnes/day.
Closure of the manufacturing unit was on the 3rd February 1989, and total closure of the site in October 1994.

P L Griffiths
Factory Manager, King’s Lynn and Spalding
Many thanks to David Pell, Rob Lyon and Colin Cropley in compiling this historical album.