Easterton Jam Factory

Once upon a time, Easterton was famed for its jam factory. As already reported on this blog, the jam business grew out of the fruit farming of Sam Saunders and the enthusiasm of one of his employees, Samuel Moore who started making jam at his cottage, Woodbine Cottage on what is now Sam Moore’s Lane in Easterton.

The factory grew, and remained independent for years, eventually becoming a part of a larger organisation, which decided that jam, was not their core business and the factory was closed

It seems to be the way of the blog, that one entry leads to new information or even artefacts coming to the museum. We have just received labels that were not deemed worth anything when the factory closed. By museum standards, these labels are modern for they can only have been produced in the final years of operation. They are modern sticky labels on a long roll of backing paper and presumably were overprinted with further information when used.

Easterton Jam Factory labels from the 1980s - now at Market Lavington Museum

The labels tell us of a Wiltshire product and the trade name of Samuel Moore Foods of Easterton survives. We imagine that these labels went onto catering tins of jam – twelve and a half kilograms is a big container. Hidden away, almost, at the bottom right of the label is a small logo of the firm which finally closed the factory.

Samuel Moore Foods was owned by the Hazelwood group at the time

The main logo would seem to show The Royal Oak in Easterton

 The main image on the logo looks to be based on the Royal Oak pub in Easterton, which can also be seen in the 2009 photo below.

The Royal Oak, Easterton, in 2009

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3 Responses to “Easterton Jam Factory”

  1. Brian jackson Says:

    As a former employee of the factory for nearly eight years I can shed some light on to the label, it was from the old “bulk” line or line 3 as it was called by the production staff of which I was one, the label was as you say on a roll and before being used would have been stamped with the product name along with a best before date. Using a stamp and ink pad rather than a printer, the lable was then stuck to a White bucket which would then be filled before being passed to the next stage where a silver foil/plastic roll would be pulled over the top of the bucket and a hot plate pulled down onto it, this melted the rim of the bucket and sealed the air out. This was then passed to a trimming stage where the excess foil was trimmed from the bucket and the seal would be checked for air tight. A lid was then placed upon the bucket and after a quick wipe down would be stacked on a pallet, 32 on a single pallet which would then be moved to a chill area for cooling, the line could produce around 50-60 pallets per shift. 7 of the factorys 21 boiling kettles produced product for ” bulk ” with the other 14 pans being for the jars line. When the factory closed I was working as a grade three boiler looking after pans 1-7 of the jar line with another boiler looking after pans 8-14 . Amongst all the hard work there was always lots of fun and jollyness. Everyone was happy and the jam was always produced to a very high standard. Indeed, even on the day the factory closed for the last time , we dropped the last batch at exactly the same time as if it were a normal day and even cleaned down as though we were starting again the next day. I have never lost my appitite for a good plate of jam sandwiches !!

    • Louise Says:

      Hi there, I’m researching some of my family and I heard that a distant relative ran a wholesale company who sold the jam’s from this factory – I’ve no idea how true this story is! He died in 1994 I believe a John Saunders, whose father was Charles Saunders. They many not have lived in Easterton I’m not sure. Have you heard of them?

      Louise

  2. John Money Says:

    Assuming that the logo is of the Royal Oak, then the cottage to the left is Lilac Cottage/Little Thatch.

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