Marriages flour of Chelmsford
PUBLISHED: 17:28 09 April 2010 | UPDATED: 17:01 20 February 2013
W & H Marriage and Sons Ltd, Chelmsford
ITS heartening to discover an independent family business in Essex still thriving after centuries of producing superior quality goods. Hannah Marriage joined the family firm last August to work alongside her father, George. It all began in Chelmsford in 1824. My great, great, great grandfather, William, along with his twin brother Henry came from a family whod farmed in the area since 1650 and they bought two water mills and one windmill, explains Hannah. The wheat was harvested by horse-drawn ploughs and ground at mills using stones powered by wind or water.
In 1836 Marriages introduced steam engines into the process and in 1891 a more modern mechanised process of roller milling began at Moulsham Mill. Built in 1899, Chelmer Mill is still the base for Marriages today situated conveniently next to the railway and now with its own laboratory for checking the quality of the wheat. The processes may have been updated over the years, but the initial ethos of the company remains as true in 2010 as it was in the 19th century; providing customers with outstanding quality and service.
The product range has grown too. Marriages now offers seven bread flours, three of which are organic, and six cake and pastry flours, four of which are organic. The company began producing organic flour back in 1986, so were way ahead of the trend when it came to customers looking for quality flours with no additives. If youre looking for flour for homebaking you can pick up a 1.5kg back from farm shops and health food stores, quality supermarkets or online. Marriages also supply independent bakery stores and commercial bakers. A by product of the flour milling process is animal feed which Marriages also sells.
Marriages flour has gained recognition from several top food writers and chefs with Delia Smiths food editor having made bread with Marriages most popular seller Marriages Very Strong White Flour and reported the results to be extremely good.
Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall, recently wrote about Marriages flours in his latest book, with his personal preference being the stone-ground wholemeal varieties. Hannah explains: They are rather special, ground using the traditional horizontal French burr stones which give them a deliciously nutty flavour.
Several of the Marriage family members still work at the mill in Chelmsford. Hannahs uncle Peter runs the mill alongside her father George Marriage and her 5th cousin James works on the sales side. Other family members also take an active role on the board of directors. Hannah concludes: I love making cakes and cookies using our flours at home and especially bread by hand, I find it so relaxing.
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Marriages also have two country stores offering flour and animal feed:
W&H Marriage & Sons Ltd
W&H Marriage & Sons Ltd
Units C1 / C2 Cowdray Centre