Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,459 pages of information and 233,880 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

A. Romary and Co

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April 1933.
June 1933.
December 1933.
December 1934.

of Church Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent. Telephone: Tunbridge Wells 1241. Cables: "Romary, Tunbridge Wells"

The family bakery of Alfred Romary was responsible for the wafer biscuit exported from the Kent spa town of Tunbridge Wells and sent out to Macy’s of New York, food stores in Belgium and Paris, and up to London for sale in Harrods, Fortnum and Mason, Morel Brothers, Cobbett and Son, and Jacksons of Piccadilly - all purveyors of fine foods.

1862 Alfred Romary set up in business at 26 Church Road, Tunbridge Wells. Initially he was classified as a ‘Water cake maker’, but it was his wafers that made his name famous around the globe.

1876 Queen Victoria visited Alfred’s shop just before Christmas, and liked the wafers so much that she granted the company a Warrant of Appointment to Her Majesty, and subsequent monarchs continued the custom. Framed letters proudly displayed on the shop walls were orders for biscuits from the Queens of Yugoslavia, Spain and Romania.

1926 A. Romary and Co became a limited company when W. A. P. Lane bought it.

1929 Listed Exhibitor - British Industries Fair. Manufacturers of the famous "Tunbridge Wells" Biscuit Specialities. "Tunbridge Wells" Ginger Nuts; "Tunbridge Wells" Water Biscuits; "Tunbridge Wells" Wafers, etc. (Stand No. L.47) [1]

The company was sold onto Freeman’s Norwich Hollow Biscuits prior to 1932.

1935 Rowntree's purchased the company and built a new factory in Tunbridge Wells, although some baking continued to be carried out at Romary’s bakery in Church Road.

1957 Rowntree's stopped making the Tunbridge Wells Wafers locally - a result of wartime and post-war rationing.

1963 Production restarted at Rowntree’s factory in Glasgow (because the Queen liked the biscuits, apparently), and continued until 1981.

1981 A final batch of biscuits was made for the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer.

1988 Rowntree's was acquired by Nestle.

See Also


Sources of Information

  • [1] Baking for Britain