Coulton’s Bakery, Windmill Avenue
In 1901, Thomas Coulton (1870 – 1936) had a small grocery shop at 22 Wigan Road with a bakery at the rear owned by William Fryer. Thomas had served his apprenticeship with Ainsdale baker Robert T. Duerden but had been born in Halsall/Rufford.
The bakery was taken over by Thomas Coulton and the new factory was built in 1903 on Windmill Avenue. By 1911, Coulton, the Managing Director of the bakery, had moved his family into the large family home Blairgowrie, Ruff Lane, later to become the Nurses Home.
Thomas travelled to the United States in the early 1920s to look at the mechanical processes used there in bakeries and his son Wilfred also travelled to North America in the 1920s as the Bakery Manager visiting factories in the Chicago area. Wilfred is recorded as travelling to the USA quite a few times in the early 1920s. On one journey he appears to have travelled with a Mr Warburton.
Bakery factories in Canada were visited by Wilfred in 1921, the Harrison Wholesale Bread Baker factory in Montreal, and the Ideal Bread Company in Toronto, Ontario.
The Ormskirk Bakery business thrived and modern methods of production were brought into the factory. Local deliveries, domestic and commercial, meant that the Coulton Vans became familiar sights around the area, with the business expanding to a factory in the Southport area, where Thomas Coulton lived in the later years of his life.
Thomas Coulton took a keen interest in local civic matters and he sat on several committees at the Workhouse in Wigan Road during the 1920s.
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