April 04, 2014

04/04/14: Uncovering the history of English roller flour milling and beyond


As history rolls on, it’s often the case that obscure inventions, people, associations or indeed publications are overlooked as having been a fundamental catalyst in shaping the world we now live in.
At a recent LSEMS (London South East Millers Society) meeting held on 11th March 2014, at the prestigious HQ of nabim (National Association of British & Irish Millers) A presentation was given by Rob Shorland-Ball.
Having been funded by English Heritage to chronicle and archive in detail the history of roller flour milling in the UK, the full story of “The Roller Flour Milling Revolution in the UK – c1820s to the present day” was born.
During this highly factual and engaging presentation Mr Shorland-Ball.highlighted 4 key factors, which enabled and facilitated the speed in which the Roller Flour Milling Revolution gained pace and subsequently shaped our eating habits of today.
These 4 key facilitators were:
·     Henry Gustav Simon – of German origin, but no doubt the father of roller milling in the UK. He set up the first automatic roller flour mill for McDougall Bros, Manchester in 1881 - who were one of the strands of what became Ranks Hovis McDougall, at one time the leading milling organisation in the British Isles. Premier Foods have just sold their controlling interest in the milling and baking successors but have retained one mill ( at Andover) and the McDougall brand, which thus lives on. Simon’s compact design with multiple rollers increased output over traditional stone mills by over 200%.
·     Steam Power – In the early 1800s steam began successfully to surpass water and wind as the main power source for flour milling and increased production and efficiency across the roller flour milling industry
·     nabim – as an association, nabim brought the modern day millers together, shared knowledge, training and facilitated association trips abroad to exhibitions and to view other working practices.
·     Milling magazine (Now GFMTGrain & Feed Milling Technology) Started in 1891, the Milling magazine was the voice of nabim and that of the Miller and of course the milling machine manufacturers. Without this medium of national communication the Roller Flour Milling Revolution would not have gained the momentum it did so quickly.
Today, April 3rd 2014, the staff and editor of the current Milling magazine are pleased to welcome Mr Shorland-Ball to their HQ in Cheltenham in England.
123 years on the Milling magazine (GFMT) is the longest running magazine in this market, going from strength to strength it is now published in English, Spanish, Arabic and Turkish with over 45,000 global readers, throughout the flour and feed milling industries.
Current Editor, Roger Gilbert on meeting with Mr Rob Shorland-Ball has agreed to publish in the upcoming issues extracts from the story of the Roller Flour Milling Revolution.
Just as the Milling magazine shaped history in the 1890’ it is repeating its own history in 2014, where we are helping shape international conferences and are the facilitator in bring people together at many global milling events.

Click HERE to subscribe and catch up on the next issue of GFMT.

The Global Miller
This blog is maintained by The Global Miller staff and is supported by the magazine GFMT which is published by Perendale Publishers Limited.

1 comment:

  1. Correction to Simon key facilitator • . . . . for McDougall Bros who were one of the strands of what became Ranks Hovis McDougall, at one time the leading milling organisation in the British Isles.
    Premier Foods have just sold their controlling interest in the milling and baking successors but have retained one mill ( at Andover) and the McDougall brand, which thus lives on.

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