Scarborough connection with famous cleaning products

How many of us have used a Harpic product at some point in the house? Probably most of us.

Although I am by no means a 'domestic goddess' when it comes to cleaning products, I was fascinated to hear of the local connection with the Harpic range.

Harry Pickup was born in 1857 and went to school at St Mary's School, Castle Road.

When he left school, he was an apprentice with the company WW Lathbury, Sussex Street, Scarborough.

He worked there for many years, along with his father and brother.

Harry later went onto marry Florence Emily Allinson and had four children (two of which sadly died).

Harry started his own business as a heating and constructional engineer, had a workshop in Brook Street, a small foundry in Falsgrave, a shop in Newborough and employed 20 people.

They produced cast iron gates, fences, gas lamps and railings and later installed household water supplies and heating systems.

They also manufactured all the ironwork in the construction of Marine Drive.

During the Great War, the business moved to Roscoe Street, and the Brook Street premises was vacated.

After the 1914-1918 war, Harry changed his industry to printing machinery and quarry machinery and did general engineering.

He also acquired the patent for the Lockanlift manhole cover, now in place all over the world.

Harry's son, also called Harry, pictures above right, was sent to the United States to study methods in plumbing and heating.

When he returned, he had a formula for a cleaning product that was soon to become nationally famous.

He gave it the brand name Harpic, derived from his own and his father's name.

This was later sold to Reckitt's – the famous sales slogan for the lavatory cleaner was 'Clean around the bend.'

Harry junior also had three children and died in 1975.

By strange coincidence, the company also has a connection with Boulton and Paul, mentioned in recent Dear Faith aviation articles.