Borwick’s on a Southdown bus

Worthing's old Town Hall
Worthing's old Town Hall

Worthing’s old Town Hall, which stood at the northern end of South Street from 1835 until 1966, was featured on these pages on May 22, 2014, in the Buildings of Old Worthing series – but I have only recently acquired the attractive and animated postcard reproduced above.

There is no publisher credit on the back, but the look of the card suggests it may have been published by Loader’s Photo Stores of 24 Chapel Road, which produced many hundreds of local-view postcards between 1911 and 1925.

There is no postmark to guide us as to the card’s date, but the vehicles and the clothes suggest the early 1920s – and there are two other clues that indicate a date around then.

The first is the large banner fixed to the front of the Town Hall encouraging local people to invest in 6% Worthing Corporation Loan.

Public money was very tight after the First World War – as indeed after the Second – and so Worthing was turning to private investors to help pay for improvements in the town.

The other clue is the sign “Antiques” displayed on the shop on the right of the photograph.

Between around 1903 and the early 1920s this was one of the two premises in the centre of Worthing of the antique-dealer Arthur Godden (grandfather of the distinguished “chinaman”, Geoffrey Godden, who died on May 10 last year).

At some point in the 1920s, Arthur Godden built a new shop on the north side of Ann Street – and the premises behind the town hall then became surplus to requirements.

Borwick’s Baking Powder

On the side of the Southdown bus on the right of the picture can be seen an advertisement for Borwick’s Baking Powder (“the best in the world”) – a famous British brand that is still sold today.

The www.letslookagain.com website offers a brief history of Borwick’s and its many changes of ownership.

George Borwick (1807–1889) was given his baking powder formula by his brother-in-law, Robert Hudson, a chemist who had introduced the first successful commercial soap powder in 1837.

Borwick’s Baking Powder first went on sale in 1842, and was soon in great demand as there were apparently no other reliable raising agents available in those days.

George Borwick died in 1889, but the firm remained in the family until it was sold in 1955 to H. J. Green & Co of Brighton, the manufacturers of sponge mixes, which was then itself taken over the Pillsbury Company of Minneapolis in 1984.

Pillsbury was acquired by Grand Metropolitan in 1989, and Green’s was sold to Dalgety the following year.

In 1998, Dalgety sold its various food ingredients businesses, including Green’s, to Kerry Group of Ireland – which today manufactures Borwick’s Baking Powder at a factory in Rotherham.