Retro: Pork pie days remembered

Cecil Herbert "Chappy" Goddard and William Frederick "Billy" Warren delivering pork pies in about 1914

Cecil Herbert "Chappy" Goddard and William Frederick "Billy" Warren delivering pork pies in about 1914

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Irchester has been remembering the closure of the Parsons pork pie factory 50 years ago.

Jon Paul Carr, of Irchester Historical Society, has written about the factory’s history.

Billy Warren worked for Parsons for 50 years, his wife Elsie May for 44 years

Billy Warren worked for Parsons for 50 years, his wife Elsie May for 44 years

He said: “During the Napoleonic wars a village baker called Mr Darnell started making pork pies.

“He had a daughter, Frances, who married Thomas Parsons in Irchester Church in 1836.

“Thomas went on to develop the business as a bakers, butchers, provision merchants, grocers, beer retailer, farmers, coal and salt merchants in the High Street.

“In the early 1850s, when the Midland Railway came through the parish, the firm expanded by supplying pork pies to the railway navvies.

“In due course they became known for not only their pork pies, but sausages and meat pastries.

“Thomas’s son, Edward, took over the running of the business when his father died in 1888.

“Edward renamed the company Edward Parsons & Son Ltd in 1911. In 1922 Edward Parsons died and his son Frank took over.

“In the 1920s they developed a depot in London to supply large stores such as Fortnum & Mason and Harrods.

“After the Second World War, Frank’s two sons, Ted and Dick, became involved with the business. In 1952, Parsons built Parsons Hall as a staff canteen and also for use as a village hall.

“They also developed the bowling club. In 1964 the business was sold to Bowyers of Bristol and it closed a year later in January 1965.”