THERE was a new upper crust in Rossendale in 1966, with the arrival of G Brazil and Co into a brand new factory.

Fifty years ago, the cooked meat, sausage and pie maker moved into Holme Works at Townsendfold, a £250,000 facility, built by Connolly Bros, who were near neighbours.

First established as a corner shop in 1922, Brazil's had a wide spread of factories four decades on, serving home and continental markets, and had tested the market for 18 months before its expansion into the Valley.

The firm's move created business for a host of East Lancashire businesses, including Lord's Austin dealership, which maintained its fleet of delivery vehicles, the Co-op Laundry, which cleaned workers' overalls and Glenhill Brunshaw joinery, in Burnley, which carried out the shop fitting.

Brazil's, which planned to employ 400 people at peak production, made 4,000 pies an hour - and a year's production would have stretched from Rawtenstall to the heart of America.

It had also installed the very latest machinery, capable of making 4,000lb of beef and pork sausages an hour - laid end to end they would have reached Australia in 12 months.

The bakery department used three tons of flour a day and 15,000 gallons of water, while meat was cooked in giant 600 gallon copper steam cookers.

To mark its move into East Lancashire Brazil's introduced a new meat and a meat and potato pie into its range, which sold on local market stalls and grocer's and butcher's shops.

Factory manager at the works was Louis Walker and sales manager Ray Collins.

Said Louis: " When we decided to extend our business to Lancashire, we were not at all sure how we would be received; we were under no illusion about the northern public's insistence on high quality standards at a fair price."

Do you remember Brazil's, do you have any photographs or stories about the firm, which had stringent cleaning and hygiene procedures and ensured machinery was cleaned twice a day and at the end of the day's production?