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Camp Coffee

Camp Coffee and its Links with Carluke

Robert Paterson and his wife, Agnes Campbell, seem to have moved to 133 Crawforddyke Street, Carluke around 1860. The Valuation Roll of 1868-1869 states Paterson registered in 1860. The 1861 Census lists the family and a son, Walter, was born in Carluke on 23rd July, 1861.

Robert is listed in this 1861 Census as a vinegar merchant and commission agent but in the Valuation Roll as a vinegar and pickle merchant. His sons, Andrew, born 13/8/1842 and John Campbell, born 19/11/1844 do not seem to be living at Carluke at this time.

On 5th Sep. 1862 at precisely midnight, their daughter Annie was born at Douglashall, a 5 roomed house in Carnwath Road (Crawforddyke Street).

On the 1868-69 Valuation Roll, Robert is described as vinegar and pickle merchant and the proprietor of a dwelling house, offices, garden and grounds. In the notes about the Southern Necropolis, it is stated that Campbell joined his father in 1868 when he would have been 16. This is when the firm began to diversify into sauces, ketchups and fruit wines.

In the 1871 Census, the family had moved to 4 Pollock Villas, a 7 roomed house in Eastwood, Pollokshaws. Robert, the son now 22, was a clerk with brush making trade. Campbell was 19 and a shop man in the vinegar trade. It is interesting that Susan, 17, and Elizabeth, 15, were listed as scholars- an unusual thing for girls in the late 19th century. Janet was 6 but her birth is registered as being in Eastwood though the family were in Carluke in 1865.

It was in 1876 that the firm was requested by the Gordon Highlanders to invent a drink which could be brewed easily in a military field kitchen.

So the old story that Camp’s Coffee was invented in Carluke in the outhouses at Douglashall is wrong. However, the Paterson family did live in Carluke. The only mystery is why did a vinegar merchant move from Glasgow to Carluke and then back again!


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Created before 2012