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Milling and Grain magazine were recently the guests of G R Wright and Sons Ltd at their mill in Ponders End, near the town of Enfield in North East London. The Wright family have occupied the site at Ponders End for over 150 years. However, the Doomsday Book shows a mill on the site as far back as 1087.
n the approach to Wright’s mill along the Lea Valley Road, you would be forgiven for thinking that the mill occupied its very own island; a trick of the eye that owes much to the presence of the various roads and the River Lea itself, that for so many years provided the power that established this location as an idyll for centuries of milling. The small conurbation of buildings on the site almost provide a visual historical account of the evolution of the mill, from the very old miller’s house, right up to the brand new 12,000 square foot packaging warehouse. Each building on the busy site represents a stage in the growth of the company, providing visual proof of how the Wright family have anticipated and adapted to change successfully, throughout the duration of their occupation of the site at Ponders End. 44 | March 2016 - Milling and Grain
by Andrew Wilkinson, Milling and Grain Milling
We started in the wheat silo where incoming grain is received, cleaned, conditioned and blended for milling using Bühler plant, including Bühler MYFB damping equipment. The company uses UK grown Solstice breadmaking wheat traceable to the point of origin under the Red Tractor and TASCC assurance schemes. Wrights are very well located with much of the UK’s wheat grown in nearby East Anglia and Kent, which is where the company sources much of its grain. In addition Wrights also use a large proportion of Canadian grain because of its unique quality, which works very well for the craft and artisan bakers in the country. Having easy access to the Tilbury docks is also has a distinct cost and logistical advantages. The company produces a range of flours from all UK wheat based with differing blends of UK and Canadian up to 100 percent Canadian flour. All wheat is tested in the company’s laboratory following the receipt of a traceability certificate or passport that identifies the source of the grain. The grain is tested using Perten NIR, hagberg falling number, and sieve tests. All bread making wheat also is tested for SDS protein quality to ensure that everything meets Wright’s own very high standards. Milling takes place on two milling plants, which are set up for the particular flour types they produce. Both plants have been subject to many upgrades over the 150 years the company has been in operation. In 1976 B Mill was built using all new Simon equipment – J rolls and HA sifters but has been subject to several upgrades most recently using Satake SRMA rollermills and SPSA sifters that together can produce 2,000 tonnes of flour per week. Plant control is now in the safe hands an `Interlution` Scada system, providing operators with live graphic