Peter Murray

wpbb920153_19_06The Trebor Story

by Matthew Crampton, Muddler Books, 2012. £12.08. On sale in bookshops or at

Review by Ben Derbyshire

Matthew Crampton is a historian, a modern day wassailer, and a person who communicates infectious enthusiasm for diverse obsessions such as the music hall, and, in this case, the alchemists who turned raw sugar from east London’s Silvertown refinery into delicious sweets and in so doing transformed an East End micro-business into an international giant.

I suspect we will be hearing more from Mr Crampton at The London Society, and look forward to the full range of his storytelling and musical accomplishment on these subjects and others in the near future. Excuse the spoiler, but in his own words: “Trebor is a story of Britain’s industrial past. Its founders rode a wave of new technology, explored fresh ways of working and pioneered new sales techniques and export activities. They coped with two world wars. They coped with the ensuing peace. They coped with times of plenty and times of poverty. And when it became hard for a private company to compete with global competitors, they sold the business, as decently as they could and much more decently than they needed.”

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