Rannochs

(in Elmswell)

The big white building in New Road was pulled down in the summer of 2005. Many villagers remember it from the days when Rannochs used it as an office, with a poultry and egg-packing business (which later moved to Haughley Park). The business had been started by a Mr Williams going round with a basket collecting eggs from local farmers, and building up from there. The name is a curiosity (there never was a Mr Rannoch!): two brothers Williams had a wine business in Finsbury Park Road, and when one of them started the eggs they chose the names of two Scottish mountains - Kinloch for the wine section, Rannoch for the poultry.

Prior to Williams' time, Charles Hood's Farm was here.

When I came in 1988 it was Anderson's, and later New Road Engineering. The house was demolished at the beginning of July, 2005, to make way for more housing.


1. New Road, 1925
(Paul Peachey Coll. No. 46) .. Full size


2. Rannochs, 2001

Chimneys changed

3. Works outing at Rannochs

Now there are trees in front of the house, 1950s?

George Russell: Mr Flowers started an egg collection round also, using a barn at the Oak Public House; as the business grew it moved on to Hoods Farm, New Road and later became Rannochs.

May Fox: There was once a butchers shop where Rannochs was, two brothers, Hoods farm, slaughtered on the premises. Rannochs started with a Mr Williams going round with a basket (before she started work) collecting eggs from local farmers, and he built up an eggs-and-poultry firm. His brother had a wine business in Finsbury Pk Rd. Apparently the two named their businesses after two mountains in Scotland: Kinloch was the wine and Rannoch the poultry.
Leaving school at 14, May worked at Rannochs in accounts till the day in 1948 when her son was born - she literally did the men's wages then dashed off to hospital!
Her husband Des also worked at Rannochs, working his way up from lorry boy, and finishing as a production manager and welfare officer. He used to organise the outings at Rannoch's: they would go to Yarmouth perhaps in several coaches, or up to London.

Jill Jacob: Left Beyton school just before 15, and went to work in the office at John Rannochs (New Road, where Andersons was later); eggs and poultry. The office was in the main house. They moved to Haughley Park, and she carried on working there until mid-1970.

Jean Folkard: now Haughley Park, then in New Road (where Andersons was), poultry, own farms and killed here and sent to M&S etc; used to do eggs and liquid egg,not now.

Dick Burch: Until the late 1950s John Rannoch’s used to be in New Road, where Anderson Engineering was until quite recently. There were over a hundred workers there in Rannoch’s time and there were lots of their lorries going off with chicken meat, game, rabbits and hares down to Smithfield’s or to the new supermarkets and of course lots of eggs were sent off. I believe there are some 700 working at Rannoch’s now, over at Haughley Park. However the big employer in the village is still the Elmswell Bacon Factory. It was set up as a co operative just before the first World War, and in the 1950s I reckon some 200 people worked there, a good number of them coming from Elmswell.

Further on, half way down New Road on the right, was Hoods Farm. From the early 1930s Alfred Williams developed a chicken and egg station here, as well as dealing in game, and this developed into his John Rannoch’s Ltd. In the late 1950s Mr Williams moved over to Haughley Park in order to expand his business there. So the packing station buildings were used by Anderson Engineering from the mid ‘60s until it too moved, in their case up to the Station Industrial Estate in about 2002.