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Walkers

www.walkers.co.uk   Walkers Logo

He was called Henry Walker and he was a very successful pork butcher who moved from Mansfield to Leicester in the 1880's to take over an established business in the high street. Mr Walker and his son offered quality meat and the business prospered, eventually moving to Cheapside in 1912.

But when the Second World War came meat was severely rationed and even in 1948 Walker's shops were sold out by 10am every day. The factory was working at half-capacity. Mr Walker pondered over how he could make better use of his premises and his eager work force.

The company's managing director, R.E Gerrard, considered moving into ice-cream but there could be hygiene problems from manufacturing meat and dairy products so close together. Then he hit on potato crisps, enormously popular with the public, subject to rationing.

And so, the first Walkers production line burst into action in the empty upper storey of Walker's Oxford Street factory in Leicester. During these early days the potatoes were sliced up by hand and cooked in an ordinary fish and chip frier. Mr Gerrard himself was the first cook!

From this humble start, the public's love affair with crisps and Walkers began and crisp manufacture was here to stay.

Today, Walkers is Britain's favourite crisp and the biggest crisp manufacturer, employing over 4,000 people in 15 locations.