• Belfast Between The Wars

BELFAST BISCUIT FACTORY: PROGRESS OF MARSH’S NEW BUSINESS, AN ENTERPRISING CONCERN

Northern Whig, Tuesday 20th November 1928


A “Northern Whig” representative who had an opportunity of visiting the biscuit and cake factory of Messrs. Marsh & Co. (1928), Ltd., in the Springfield Road, Belfast, yesterday was greatly impressed by the enterprise which has characterised the firm since it took possession of the building in August. Previous to being taken over by Messrs. March & Co. (1928) the building had been used as a cotton mill, and a comprehensive scheme of reconstruction was necessary to suit it for its new purpose.


The very latest and most efficient plant was installed, and, with an expert staff, the production of cakes and biscuits commenced on October 1, since when remarkable progress has been made. It is the resolved intention of the firm to supply the very finest goods by using the highest quality ingredients obtainable. The flour used is the best that England and Country Down produce.


NO UNNECESSARY HANDLING


At the present time the various departments of the factory, from the process of the mixing of ingredients to the packing of the finished goods, present a hive of industry. A feature of the well-organised system which is in operation is the convenient arrangement of the machinery in the graduated processes which prevents unnecessary handling of the dough. The flour passes from the room in which it is stored into large mixers, and after undergoing process in these the dough is removed to rolling-pin machines, whence, after treatment, it is conveyed to cutting machines. On the latter machines the biscuits take shape, novel patterns being cut out and embossed, whence they drop on to trays. The biscuits are subsequently put into huge gas ovens. These ovens are fitted with gas-burners, and are the most up-to-date type.


In other departments girls are employed in preparing table delicacies such as iced and chocolate covered biscuits. The making of water-tight tin boxes is also an interesting process, the tin being shaped at several machines in such a manner as to obviate the use of solder.


EFFICIENT PACKING SYSTEM


The system of packing is very efficient. Biscuits and cakes of particular sorts are carefully weighed and packed in wrappers in half-pounds. Before packing the tins are weighed and the weight marked on the outside of the receptacle. After packing the tins are labelled according to the sorts of biscuits or cakes which they contain. The biscuits are made in many patterns, some tins which were packed yesterday containing fifteen different sorts placed in layers. After packing the goods are trucked a short distance to a lift to the delivery vehicles.


Evidence that the firm, which has taken over the business conducted for many years in Donegall Street, is pursuing its aim to supply the finest goods was to be had all over the factory.


Click here to see photographs of the factory taken in 1931 via National Museums NI's website.