Local News

McDougalls picks up the pace for pancake day

McDougall Millers Andover
L-R Willie McPhee, John Bailey, Andy Tobin and Ian Henderson

Andover’s McDougalls flour mill have released some fun facts about Pancake Day (today).

The Premier Foods brand Mcdougalls have seen an increase in production and supply at their Mylen Road mill.

• Increased production in the build up to pancake day means 500,000 more bags of flour, weighing 750 tonnes, the same weight as a Eurostar train

• Production increases by 40% the week before, enough for 15 million pancakes

• McDougalls flour has been helping make pancakes and inspiring wholesome family baking across generations since 1864

At Premier Foods’ McDougalls flour mill, no time is busier for the millers than the build-up to pancake day.

McDougalls relies on the skills of well-trained colleagues to make sure the mill is meeting standards and producing excellent, quality grade flour for all the pancake flippers, with production increasing the week before pancake day by 40% and producing enough flour to make 15 million pancakes.

The tradition of making pancakes began as a way of using up rich foods such as milk, sugar and eggs before the fasting season of Lent and McDougalls has helped hold this tradition together with their flour since 1864.

The mill produces around 46,000 tonnes of flour each year with ten lorry loads leaving the mill each day on their supply journeys. Production at the mill has stepped up a gear from twenty-four hours, five days a week to seven days a week, allowing for an extra 500,000 household bags of flour, the same weight as a Eurostar train.

Andy Tobin is a 60-year-old Mill Process Technician with 39 years’ service as a miller. He says the Andover mill has been a massive part of his life and always enjoys the build up to pancake day.

He always makes his own pancakes at home, opting for the traditional taste of lemon and a sprinkle of sugar, to the delight of his 15 grandchildren.

Andy has passed down his skills as a miller to not only colleagues but members of his family who have also worked at the site. It has become a central and important part of his family’s well-being, with three of his brothers, his sister and his daughter having all worked at the mill. The family connection to the mill runs deeply, starting with his father who introduced Andy to the business, his future wife-to-be worked alongside him when he first started, and his two young grandsons refer to the mill as ‘the castle in the sky’.

McDougalls Andover mill makes self-raising and plain triple X flour via traditional milling methods and machinery, whereas a lot of mills nowadays use automated methods, Andover relies on the skills of well-trained colleagues such as Andy to keep this vital process alive.

McDougalls has been providing consumers with high quality flours for baking since the company was founded by the McDougall Brothers, Alexander, Isaac, Arthur and John, along with James Thomas, in 1864.

McDougalls is now owned by Premier Foods which manufactures some of Britain’s best loved brands including Oxo, Mr Kipling and Batchelors.

About the author

David Harber

David Harber is the founder and Managing Director of Love Andover, including the Love Andover Observer newspaper and 95.9FM Andover Radio. He is a fellow at the Royal Society of Arts and a card carrying member of the Nation Union of Journalists.