John Garton Junior
“It was always a mystery to the family as to why the old man got rid of
the HP Sauce.” said Mr John Garton.
“The subject of HP Sauce was forbidden at home. The old man would never
have a bottle in the house.
“But during my schooldays I was referred to as ‘HP’ far more often than
my own name. Almost everybody in Nottingham seemed to know about my
father and HP and Daddies Favourite Sauces.
“But at home the subject was absolutely forbidden . ‘Why was HP Sauce
sold?’ I asked many times – only to incur my father’s wrath.
“The only conclusion I finally came to was that my father must have
dined and wined too well one day and sold out . If HP Sauce was ever
mentioned he seemed very upset.
“But we now know that Moore came along with the intention of robbing the
old man of HP sauce and did so.”
The secret ingredients of the original HP were written by Mr Garton in
his 1894 The Grocer Diary.
They included garlic, shallots, ground mace, tomato puree, cayenne
pepper, ground ginder, raisns, flour, salt – as well as vinegar.
“My father was slow with his payments for the vinegar he needed to make
HP Sauce and because of this he was forced to sell not only his sauces,
but also his name.
“He was a kind, proud gentleman. Obviously no match for Samson Moore.
“Mr Garton cites as evidence the 1899 document his father had to sign
which transferred his business and which also deprived him of any rights
to carry on any trade connected with sauces and chutney.
Along with HP Sauce and Daddies Favourite went other less famous brand
names such as Nottingham Relish, Sandon Sauce, Worcestershire Sauce
(although not the original), Banquet Sauce, Yorkshire Sauce and Garton’s
Co’s Indian Chutney.
Beck and call
“He was at their beck and call,” said Mr garton junior. “He had to go
over to teach them how to make it and his expenses were limited to no
more than £1 a day.”
From the date of that agreement on May 25, 1899 – the HP success story
gathered pace. And Mr Garton concedes that the Midland Vinegar Company
did a brilliant job in promoting the product.
Afterwards his father initially struggled, but eventually made a new
name for himself in the provision trade dealing
chiefly in Stilton cheese before he died, aged 80, in 1942.
The sauce, now under the giant umbrella of Imperial Foods, is famous not
only in Britain, but in many countries throughout the world.
“My father could never have marketed HP like the Midland Vinegar Company
did. They built it up to what it is today and I still eat it myself.
“But to insult the old man who invented it….......”
Mr Garton wrote to the authors Landen and Daniel, sending them a copy of
the original 1899 agreement. He received an acknowledgement from the
publishers, but had no reply from the authors.
But now. More than 85 years after he gave up the secrets behind what was
to become a legend, Frederick Gibson Garton’s part in events has at
least been placed on record. And that is all Mr Garton Junior wanted.
(Article, graphics and photographs are the
Copyright of the Northcliffe Newspapers Group)