Sunday, 13 February 2011

From the archives: Shippams of Chichester

This post features one of my very favourite clocks. I also really enjoyed the comments, especially those from members of the Shippams family.

Shippams are famous for their jars of paste, and most of us have probably tasted it in a sandwich at some time. However, only those who paid attention to the label will be aware that the firm was founded in Chicheser in the eighteenth century.

The Shippams were prominent grocers and later butchers in the town. In 1892, they expanded by building a factory behind the butcher's shop to manufacture canned goods and potted meats.

The famous metal-lidded glass jar was launched in 1905. Now sterilised, the products had the long shelf life which remains central to their appeal. A later innovation was television advertising: they were among the first companies to use this new medium, in 1955 (see their 1955 'guide to opera' advert here).

Today, Shippams are no longer a family firm and their Chichester factory moved out of the town centre in 2002, but they still have a visible presence within the city walls. This clock in East Street features a fine wishbone; a 1954 company film declared that 'a feature of the factory which always appeals to visitors is the great pile of wishbones. There must be a quarter of a million of them, and twelve hundred new bones come in every day, so anyone who calls can take away a good luck token.'


Anonymous said...

Does anybody remember the Shippams Wishbone figures? I have one with a label attached reading "Sq. Ldr Plonk (Wishbones by Shippams of Chichester)".
Possibly produced during or just after the war, maybe there are other figures?

Anonymous said...

My mother recently passed away and having been clearing out her belongings I came across a box which contains various wishbone figures including Winston Churchill and Colonel Blimp, I'm not sure if they're worth anything, can't say I like them very much.