Some Industries of Reading

Huntley & Palmers of Reading (1822-1972): Quaker Enterprise in Biscuits, T.A.B. Corley, Hutchinson of London, 1972.

Established in 1822, Huntley and Palmers began as a small business, evolving into a major player in the food manufacturing industry. “Quaker Enterprise in Biscuits” thoroughly examines this evolution, delving into business management, social history, and the influence of Quaker principles on the Huntley and Palmer families. The narrative humanizes key figures and workers, offering a vibrant perspective on the company’s 150-year development.

The firm underwent four crucial phases: starting as a family shop, evolving into a partnership, becoming a private limited company, and merging with Peek Frean & Co. Ltd. The Associated Biscuit Manufacturers Ltd. formed in 1960, incorporating W. & R. Jacob & Co. (Liverpool) Ltd. Corley’s study, drawing on his expertise and a three-year investigation, is valuable to economists, business historians, management students, and libraries worldwide, appealing to those interested in the Quaker movement and food manufacturing and distribution.

Robert Stone, Miller of Pangbourne, J. Kenneth Major (ed.) The International Molinological Society, 1980.

The International Molinological Society expresses deep gratitude to Percy Stone, grandson of Robert Stone, for lending the diaries used in these extracts. These diaries, in four pocket-sized volumes and one now-rebound large volume, are invaluable for understanding social history and the operation of a water-driven corn mill in the 1870s. Robert Stone, a miller from a middle-class family, diligently wrote in ink with steel-nibbed pens. His diary entries, written as his last duty of the day, became intermittent after his marriage in 1873, ceasing as his family expanded.

The diaries offer a glimpse into the upbringing of a middle-class youth, son of a Master Chairmaker, attending a good Grammar School. Despite later intermittent entries, the diaries vividly detail his active youth, guided by principles from Samuel Smiles’ “Self Help.” Robert’s broad reading, including insights into the Franco-Prussian War, showcases his keen observation of Victorian life.

As a miller at Pangbourne Mill, part of the local milling community, Robert Stone faced challenges skilfully. Fellow millers like Mr. Wooster of Mapledurham Mill supported him during difficulties. The diary unfolds the daily life of a young 1870s miller, narrating mill operations, disasters, and connections to family and community.

The Kendrick Book, H. M. Appleby, Bradley & Son Ltd., 1948

Written by the “Senior English Mistress” and Librarian of the Kendrick School in Reading, this book spans the lives of John and Mary Kendrick who inadvertently founded the school. Appelby claims that one day’s lessons at the school would be a “revelation” for the less educated Kendricks. Features a hand-drawn family tree from 1518 to 1705, along with other illustrations of old maps and a portrait of John.