Tay Wharf

From London's Ghost Acres

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1880 to 1997


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Located in



Marmalade, Jam

Used Raw Materials

Fruit, Sugar

|1880 |1920 |Keiller & Sons |-

|1920 |1960 |Crosse and Blackwell |-

|1960 |1997 |Nestlé |-

|1880 |1997 |Food Industry |-


"The Keiller & Sons jam factory occupied Tay Wharf from 1880 until 1997. Fruit arrived at the factory by ship, while sugar was supplied by the Tate & Lyle refinery almost next door. The firm was taken over in 1920 by Crosse and Blackwell and is now a subsidiary of Nestlé. The entrance, which dates from 1900, is a rather strange, tunnel-like affair. It may be that it was designed in this way so that dockers could be inspected as they left – just in case they were carrying something that did not belong to them. Tay Wharf is now used by scrap iron and steel exporters"

“James Keiller & Sons, maker of marmalade and other confectionery, came to Silvertown from Scotland about 1880 and built a large factory at Tay Wharf. This firm was taken over in 1920 by Crosse and Blackwell and is now a subsidiary of the Nestlé Co. (fn. 83)”

“In 1924 Dames Keiller & Son (originator of the famous Dundee marmalade) came under the wing of Crosse & Blackwell, but continued to trade under their own name. Keiller's factory had been opened in 1878 at Tay Wharf Silvertown, the site being selected no doubt for its proximity to the river, its rail links and adjacent sugar refinery opened in 1876 by Henry Tate. The factory was destroyed by fire in 1889 and rebuilt in 1890 (hence the date on the cornerstone above the East Gate). Keiller's continued to produce all types of preserves, chocolates and confectionery (including many spices and herbs) until WW2. During the first daylight raid on London (September 7 1940) the factory was almost completely destroyed by bombing. The preserve boiling house was least damaged and as a result of the destruction the chocolate and confectionery trade was transferred to Dundee whilst preserves manufacture restarted after a period of months. In 1956 preserve manufacture too transferred to Dundee and Crosse & Blackwell moved its pickle and sauce production from Bermondsey. The production of tomato ketchup and salad cream followed in 1957/8.”