Monday, 7 April 2014


Moving on from my previous post 'You Bet Your Sweet BIPPY', replacing the double P with a double B, and it’s a hop, skip and a jump over to North West England, once the home of J.Bibby & Sons Ltd.

The company was perhaps best known for creating the cooking product TREX in the 1930s, a dairy-free alternative to butter made with refined oils (which is still being sold today).

James Bibby, and his son, Joseph sold flour from their mill near Lancaster during the 1850s, and by 1877 they invented a compound animal meal which they called Bibby’s Excelsior Calf Meal. The business prospered, so by the late 1880’s the Bibby’s started a new mill in Liverpool because of the City’s major rail and sea links, and they even launched their own schooner to ferry their animal feeds from port to port.

From the early 1890s, J. Bibby & Sons extended into soap production and oilseed crushing, and were producing massive tonnages, and employing thousands - by 1940 some 5,000 people worked for the company who were then based in King Edward Street, Liverpool 3.

Their cleaning products were branded with classic 1950s names: GLEE, a soap powder, ARABY, a beauty soap, CLOZONE, a cleaning soap, and their BIBBY soap flakes, pale soap and carbolic.

The Bibby name did not survive the 1960s, as the company was acquired by Princes Foods, and their atom age products disappeared from our shelves forever - but TREX lives on...

Tubby Trex, Bibby's TREX mascot, as seen on the back cover of  the pamphlet TREX Cookery , 3rd Impression, 1954

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