A generous Merseyside factory owner established a village for his workers.


A generous Merseyside factory owner established a village for his workers.

A kind Merseyside factory owner “sold his shares” in his company to establish a township for former employees.

John Frankland Criddle, who was born in November 1876, was well-known for his generosity and the Criddles Treacle Factory, which produced treacle and syrup on Merton Grove in Sefton.

His father, William Criddle, founded the well-known business, and older generations would recall the old-fashioned black treacle tins or seeing a Criddles Treacle sign when riding the train from Southport to Liverpool.

William Criddle is supposed to have formed a partnership with the Billington family in 1898, which lasted until the company was sold to Tate & Lyle.

John Criddle’s descendants stated he was known in the neighborhood as “Mr John” and that he sold his shares in the company in the 1930s and used the money to buy property and create Merton Village in Ford. Mr. John passed away in April 1961, but his memory and the village go on.

“He inherited his firm from his father and it was highly established by that point,” John’s granddaughter Wenda Andersen, 87, told The Washington Newsday.

“When I was around five years old, the factory was on Merton Grove, and I remember a cast iron circular staircase with holes in it.” I’d walk up the cast iron stairwell to his office. In Leather Lane, he also had an office where he heated up soup for his lunch.

“There was a huge sign on the train from Southport to Liverpool that said Criddles Treacle, so most people my age will remember Criddles Treacle.”

Jan Assheton, Wenda’s 63-year-old daughter, claimed her great-grandfather used the proceeds from the sale to create Merton Village, commonly known as ‘Criddles Estate.’

“He sold his shares and used the proceeds to build Merton Village for his faithful employees who had worked for him for many years,” she explained.

“It was developed for people who had worked for him for a long time in a really generous way.” He constructed 132 houses and flats for his staff, each with its own garden.

“That was out of the ordinary.”

“The summary comes to an end.”


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