As a Victorian pioneer of healthy eating, Thomas Allinson was truly ahead of his time. He believed that wholemeal flour was vital to a balanced diet. Such ideas seemed radical in his lifetime, but are now commonly accepted.
Today, the natural quality of our milled flour meets the same high standards set by Thomas Allinson in 1892. Our range may have expanded to match the variety of your baking, but our commitment to the ideals of our founder remains as strong as ever.
Thomas Richard Allinson born in Lancashire.
Dr Allinson establishes a practice in London and advocates healthy eating
Dr Allinson writes a book 'The Advantage of Wholemeal Bread'
The Government finally accepts his theories on nutrition and demand for wholemeal bread increases. The General Medical Council offer to reinstate him. He turns them down.
Allinson graduates from medical school in Edinburgh. Dr Allinson adopts Naturopathy.
Dr Allinson writes a book 'A System of Hygienic Medicine'.
Dr Allinson buys a stone grinding mill in North London and establishes 'The Natural Food Company'. He opens his first bakery, producing wholemeal bread. He is struck off the medical register for his ‘radical thinking’.
Dr Allinson passes away, leaving a thriving bakery and a legacy of high-quality, nutritious bread-making.
The history of Allinson
The story begins with a Victorian doctor named Thomas Richard Allinson. Born in 1858 near Manchester, he qualified in medicine at the age of just 21.
From the start he took a keen interest in nutrition and, only a few years into his career, adopted Naturopathy. This form of medicine avoids drugs and encourages the consumption of natural foods. His ideas also became known as ‘hygienic’ or ‘Allinsonian’ medicine.
Dr Allinson went on to establish a practice in London, through which he promoted healthy eating. He placed particular emphasis on vegetarianism and the benefits of wholemeal flour in bread.
However, in those days such views were extremely radical and were to set him on a collision course with the medical establishment. The Royal College of Physicians doubted his theories and resented his publicising them. In 1892 matters came to a head and he was struck off the medical register. But he wouldn’t let that stop him pursuing his interest. After all, he didn’t need to be a doctor to make bread.
Ever since the industrial revolution nearly all flour was produced using roller mills. This refined the flour to such a degree that valuable nutrients and fibre were lost. Convinced of the value of whole wheat, Allinson purchased his own stone-grinding flour mill in Bethnal Green, London. He then set up The Natural Food Company under the slogan ‘Health without medicine’, and began baking bread his way.
The Allinson brand
The nutritional value of wholemeal bread was finally accepted by the Government during the First World War, when Allinson was in his 50s. He was even offered reinstatement to the General Medical Council. However he turned it down. After all, he’d found a new outlet for his ideas on nutrition.
With official acceptance that wholemeal was good for the nation’s health, demand for Allinson’s flours increased dramatically, and his company continued to expand after his death in 1918. Further Allinson flour mills were soon opened in Newport, Monmouthshire and Castleford, Yorkshire.
His legacy, the Allinson brand, became a byword for wholesome high-quality flour, which in turn produces wholesome, tasty and nutritious bread. This still remains so to this day.