Plenty of bottle: Fletcher’s Sauce of Selby

Fletcher’s was best known for its Tit-Bits and Tiger bottled sauces. Fletchers sauce was sold in Britain into the 1990s.

Joshua Percy Fletcher (1879 – 1960) was the son of a prosperous coal merchant in Silsden, West Yorkshire. He was a drysalter (pickle manufacturer) by 1901.

Fletcher initially produced sauce at the Airedale Works in Shipley. He also had a glass bottle manufacturing plant in Leeds.

Fletchers (Shipley) Ltd was registered in 1907 with a share capital of £20,000.

By 1911 J P Fletcher described his principal occupation as sauce manufacturing.

Fletcher’s acquired the rights to produce the popular Tit-Bits sauce from Stamp, Bointon, Jnr & Co in 1913.

The sauce and bottling works were transferred to a model garden factory at Selby near York in 1915.

An employee profit-sharing scheme was introduced in 1917. This followed a larger scheme of employee welfare work, such as the encouragement of gardening and other outside interests.

Millions of bottles of Tiger Indian Sauce were sold each year by 1922. A brown sauce, it was so-named due to its spicy nature, influenced by the spices of the Indian subcontinent.

Arthur Lambert Foster (born 1880) was managing director by 1931, with J P Fletcher assuming the role of chairman.

HP Sauce of Birmingham acquired Fletcher’s Sauce Co Ltd in 1947. HP was motivated by the opportunity to increase its presence in the North of England, particularly Yorkshire. The management of A L Foster and Tom Byass Fletcher (1912 – 1994) continued.

J P Fletcher left a net estate of £93,324 in 1960.

As late as the 1970s, Fletcher’s was a leading brown sauce in the East and West Ridings of Yorkshire.

HP sold the Selby site to Hazlewood Foods in 1982, and transferred the production of Fletcher’s sauces (to which they retained the rights) to their Birmingham site. Hazlewood manufactured pickles and cooking sauces at Selby.

Tiger Sauce was discontinued in the 1980s, and Tit Bit sauce was discontinued in the early 1990s.

Hazlewood was acquired by Greencore in 2000, who continue to operate a factory at Selby.


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