Plaistow Wharf

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“As a cooper and shipowner, Lyle was involved in transporting sugar for many years. In 1865, he added sugar refining to his business interests through his purchase, with four partners, of the Glebe Sugar Refinery. After the death of the principal partner, John Kerr, in 1872, Lyle sold his shares and looked for a site for a new refinery. In 1883 Abram Lyle & Sons started melting sugar at Plaistow Refinery, just 1.5 miles from Henry Tate & Sons' Thames Refinery. Lyle knew that the sugar cane refining process produced a treacly syrup that usually went to waste – but that could be refined to make a delicious preserve and sweetener for cooking. "Goldie" was made from the very start, in small but increasing quantities. The syrup was poured into wooden casks and sold to employees and local customers. Word spread even faster than the syrup, and, in a few short months, they were selling a tonne a week. Wooden casks soon gave way to large Lyle's Golden Syrup dispensers that were placed on the shelves of grocery stores. Lyle's Golden Syrup was first filled into tins in 1885. Today more than a million tins leave Plaistow each month. Abram Lyle died in 1891, leaving his sons to carry on the business at Plaistow.”

"In 1921, the rival firms of Henry Tate & Sons and Abram Lyle & Sons merged to form Tate & Lyle, between them refining around 50% of the country’s sugar. The merger allowed the new company to become a coherent force on the sugar market in anticipation of competition from foreign sugar returning to its pre-war strength. Moreover, despite the competition between them, the two firms were very complementary. Located in Liverpool, Tate was very well placed for the market in the North, while in London, despite competition over granulated sugar, each firm maintained its speciality: Tate’s sugar cubes and Lyle’s Golden Syrup. Over the years following the merger, the intense competition of the two London refineries mellowed into friendly rivalry between employees known as the ‘Tateses’ and the ‘Lyleses’. At the same time, expansion for the new company continued apace in both beet and sugar cane, and through the acquisition of smaller UK refiners."




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Located in




Used Raw Materials

Sugar Cane


From To Owner
1881 1921 Abram Lyle and Sons
1921 2010 Tate and Lyle


From To Industry
1881 The date "{{{to_date}}}" was not understood.The date "{{{to_date}}}" was not understood. Sugar Industry