Douglas Process Engineering

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Derek Hill contributes:

Following the closure of the Douglas Pump factory, we moved into the ground floor of an office block called ‘Telford House’ mainly occupied by civil servants. We had a reception area, an office each for Lew Morris, me and our secretary. Lew dealt with estimating and sales of spares etc. and was my number two, dealing with administration when I was away on a sales/design trip. We had a drawing office large enough for up to six draughtsmen. There was also a separate enclosed area suitable for testing customer products on Shredders or Flaking rolls. Pascall Jeavons was appointed at Peterborough to promote sales throughout the world.


We supplied a ‘Granola’ plant to Telford Foods. Manufacture was subcontracted to a local sheet metal company which produced high standard fabrications. We also supplied a granola plant and a corn flake plant to a French consortium of Farmers.

1985 approximately

Ray Blakely, who was the food technologist at Nabisco, left them to set up his own cereal plant in Manchester and we had an agreement with him that we could use his plant to demonstrate our equipment to prospective customers from overseas. Telford Foods also purchased a shredding line for producing a shredded product from extruded pellets.

Douglas Process Engineering continued until 1986. I was spending a lot of time giving presentations to prospective customers and trade associations both in this country and abroad. It was decided that the administration and drawing office be transferred to Peterborough and I should continue working from home.

Pascal, now working from Werner Lehara in Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA, arranged appointments for me to visit the following breakfast cereal companies and give a presentation of our equipment. The companies were:

General Foods,
General Mills,
Weetabix (USA)
Ralston Purina
I was very well received and was taken into Kelloggs’ laboratory, which was indeed an honour.

We received orders from all of them initially for laboratory test units which led to plant orders. Kelloggs ordered a special laboratory cooker with sampling facility whilst the cooker was at full pressure.

Another breakthrough was the supply and installation of an extruder fed cornflake plant for a French co-operative of farmers. General Mills ordered a large shredding line and cookers, and Ralston Purina ordered similar equipment.

Following an Interpack Exhibition, we received an enquiry for a corn flake plant from Calbee Japan. This was installed during 1989. Commissioning trials stated early in December and the customer requested that I was present for these. I was set to retire on 31st December 1989 and I requested that my wife, Betty, travelled with me. The trials went well generally, except for the flaking rolls, which had to be replaced. Before we returned home, I received a fax asking that I call at Dallas on the way home to give a presentation to another prospective customer. Coming home via the USA meant that this trip had taken us around the world.

From research conducted by the Baker Perkins Historical society

Any contributions will be gratefully accepted

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Last modified: Sunday, 20 January 2019