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British Industrial History

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W. Vernon and Sons

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of West Float, Birkenhead

Flour mill

1836 Established in by John Vernon

1862 Partnership dissolved. '...the partnership hitherto existing as W. Vernon and Co., as Millers and Corn Dealers, at Fole, in the parish of Checkley, in the county of Stafford, has been this day dissolved by mutual consent, and that in future such businesses will be carried on by John Vernon alone...William Vernon, John Vernon.'[1]

1864 Succeeded by William Vernon (son)

1882 Joined by John Herbert Vernon (eldest son of W. Vernon)

1885 Joined by William Allen Vernon (second son)

1888 Joined by Thomas Thornycroft Vernon (third son)

1905 Built the Millenium Mills in the Victoria Dock

1912 Principals: William Vernon, John Herbert Vernon, William Allen Vernon, and Thomas Thornycroft Vernon. Premises: Birkenhead Mills erected in 1898, and London Mills, Victoria Dock, in 1905.

1920 Vernon and Sons was taken over by Spillers at which time the Millennium Mills was acquired.

Millennium Mills was designed and built by millers William Vernon and Sons of West Float, Birkenhead in 1905 with construction overseen by W. A. Vernon, the principal's son. The mills were extensive, featuring two plants, equipped by Henry Simon Ltd, that had a capacity of 100 sacks per hour. W. A. Vernon described the mills in a single word as "palatial". Vernon and Sons named the mill after their most successful product, a flour variety which they called "Millennium Flour" after winning the "The Miller Challenge Cup" at the 1899 International Bakers Exhibition. The flour had been selected from "the best wheats of the world" and was put through a carefully designed industrial process. The victory gained Vernon and Sons "world-wide fame" and dominance in the English flour market. Millennium Flour was aimed at the rising 20th-century masses, proving particularly popular in the mining districts, where it was known to make "beautiful white bread sandwiches". The erection of Millennium Mills at the Royal Victoria Dock meant that this new flour could be brought to the Southern England market.

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