DAWS CREAMERIES – DAIRY CREST
Daws Creameries came into existence on October 1st 1934 managed by Jack Pengelly. Milk from farms was organised by the Milk Marketing Board and collected and delivered to the factory by GWR lorries.
When Frank Bater first arrived they had 9 employees who knew nothing about milk and milk production. It was his job to train these staff to use a separator and use the cream for homogenised cream to make can cream. The products were sold to Lipton’s, Maypole and International Stores. Mr Pengelly went back to Ambrosia and came back with Tom and Flo Squance, Reg Boundy and Bill Ruston who were willing to move to Totnes. After six months with the factory Frank Bater was made foreman. At this time they dealt with 300 gallons of milk per day.
In 1936 the firm was taken over by Cow and Gate. During the 1940s, clotted cream and bottling milk saw the firm take on more staff.
By 1959 there was a staff of 200+ with a factory through-put of 60,000 gallons per day. October of that year saw a silver jubilee celebrated with a dinner at the Seymour Hotel attended by 200 people. Mr J J Pengelly (manager), dairy foreman Mr. W F Bater and Mr W Burden had been with the company since its inception. In 1959 Cow and Gate and United Dairies united to become Unigate and in 2000 the company was taken over by Dairy Crest until its closure in 2007.
Jack Pengelly retired in 1966 and Ron Wheeler became manager. Frank Bater became assistant manager, and in 1973 the bottling plant extended to the old Totnes Town football ground.
When Frank Bater retired in 1979 the staff numbered 186.