Tuesday, May 16, 2006

'Cette sauce de haute qualite ...'

When I was a kid my auntie lived in one of the 'yards' opposite the HP Sauce factory and just down a bit from the Ansells Brewery in Aston. We used to go and visit her on Sunday afternoons when my Uncle Donald was living there. The memory of that combination of malt, hops and vinegar smells coming from the brewery and the sauce factory is something that has remained with me all of my life. Later on, after my aunt had pegged it, we used to park the old motor by HP whilst the 'old man' had a couple of brown & mild's at Aston Cross before we trekked through Aston Park and down the hill to the match. Ansells and HP were on a hill and stood out as a landmark to people in Aston and beyond... and if you couldn't see them, you could sure as hell smell them until you got to Saltley where the smell of the gasworks (and St Andrews, we used to say) took over.

Well, the old fellah's dead, Ansells became Allied Breweries, which became Carlsberg Tetley and their beer (mild?) is now brewed in Burton I think. Now HP Sauce has been taken over by Heinz, who have announced they are to close the factory and move production of 'our sauce' to Holland. The Heinz spokesperson said, "Heinz's strategy is to invest and maintain a network of world class manufacturing facilities. We recognise the impact this could have on our employees and the community, and we are committed to helping them through this difficult period." Cobblers!

Well, that's it. I was going to say they can shove their sauce up their bottle, I'm switching to Daddies from now on.... but someone told me last night that Daddies is owned by.... HP Foods. So, I'll bloody well do without!