The Spillers business originated in Bridgwater, Somerset, where Joel Spiller established his first flour mill in 1829. Within a few years, he had expanded into other areas of England and Wales. He and his business partner, Samuel Browne, opened their first Cardiff mill at the West Dock in 1854.
In 1889 the Cardiff milling business was merged with William Baker and Sons of Bristol to form Spillers and Bakers Ltd and, by the early 1890s, the company was operating from several separate premises – mainly in Collingdon Road. After several further name changes, the Spillers milling business was acquired in 1979 by Dalgety who later sold it on to the Kerry Group. By then, though, the Cardiff operation had ceased.
The large building depicted in both D1093/2/23 and D1093/2/30 proudly displays the company name on its roof parapet, along with the date, 1893. Still known as ‘Spillers and Bakers’, it was converted into apartments during the late twentieth century redevelopment of Cardiff Bay. The smaller building in the foreground of D1093/2/23 is British Railways’ Tyndall Street Goods Depot. Originally built around 1877 for the London and North Western Railway Company, in the late twentieth century it was incorporated into a hotel.
Their location close to the docks provided opportunities for the company to source grain from overseas as well as British outlets and, for some time, Spillers and Bakers had its own fleet of ships.
D1093/2/24 depicts a new mill designed by Oscar Faber and erected in the 1930s at the north eastern end of Roath Dock. It was constructed of reinforced concrete, partly to minimise the fire risk and had silos into which grain could be discharged directly from vessels moored at the dockside. This mill was demolished in the 1990s.
David Webb, Glamorgan Archives Volunteer
- Mary Traynor Collection [D1093/2/23-24; D1093/2/30]
- Cardiff Borough, building regulation plans, plan for LNWR goods warehouse, 1874 [BC/S/1/857.2]
- Williams, Stewart, Cardiff Yesterday, vol. 11, image 30
- Various Cardiff directories, 1893 -1937