Bringing the authentic source of sweet satisfaction to your family through generations
Henry Tate’s Thames Refinery opened its doors in 1878, by the docks in East London, well placed for the supply of raw sugar.
Work at the factory was all done by gas lighting, supplied by steam boilers. The electric motor did not appear in Thames until 1905.
The refinery in 1894 employed around 2,000 people and occupied 36,000 sqm.
A Thames Refinery employee, Hamilton, was known for being always cheerful.
Sugar was moved within the refinery by horse-drawn carts up until 1954.
Looked upon as a good employer, Thames attracted several generations of families. Pictured here, is Miss Morgan.
The refinery celebrating the nearby King George V dock opening in July 1921. That same year, Tate and Lyle merged businesses.
Before the 1930s, sugar was weighed by the grocer for each customer. Tate & Lyle Sugars started printing their logo on paper packets. The creation of a recognizable brand was a major innovation.
The refinery stayed opened during the war, and hosted 123 workers and their families who lost their homes to bombing.
The delivery of a crane in March 1950 was part of a big transition from bagged to bulk raw sugar, reducing man hours by 70%.
With the Equal Pay campaign, women were able to get time in lieu like the men.
By 1981, most of the factories around the docks had closed. Tate & Lyle Sugars was one of the few that remained.
A factory line of the caster sugar packing, which gradually became more mechanised.
An aerial view of the Thames factory, which remains the largest sugar refinery in Europe.
Ten years ago, the refinery was honored by a visit from Her Majesty The Queen.
140 years on, in the same factory, we're still as passionate about making great quality sugar.