June 2013


Did you by any chance ever work for Unigate Creameries at their Halesworth Depot up at the Railway Station? It’s a long time since it closed – 1968 in fact – but it was once an important part of the town’s life and economy and it’s at risk of being forgotten.

While he was preparing his exhibition on the History of Dairying in Halesworth, Mike Fordham, Curator of the Halesworth and District Museum, came to wonder if there was anyone still living in the area who had worked there and could contribute any memories of life and work at the Depot. It started life at the beginning of the last century as a business run by Mr John Wells, who sold out to the Dairy Supply Company in 1918, which in turn became United Dairies. Until 1933, it was in Angel Yard, behind the Angel Hotel, and in that year moved up to a new building beside the station. At its busiest it had a staff of 56 and handled 40,000 gallons a day.

Mike’s exhibition, which takes the story of milk, butter and cheese production in the area through from mediaeval times to the closure of the Unigate plant can be seen at the Museum until the end of September. Also new for this season is a display of toys and comics of yesteryear, which should bring back memories for several generations. The Museum (at the Railway Station) is open Tuesday to Saturday 10.00  – 12.30.

If you can add anything to the story of the Halesworth Dairy, do come and tell us about it or give Mike Fordham a ring on 01986 873030.