The Joe Lyons Story – Food for Thought

Speaker: Neville Lyons
Date: Thursday 18th May 2017
Time: 14:30

BCS, 5 Southampton St, London WC2E 7HA


About the seminar

The Lyons Teashops, the Corner Houses and, of course, the Nippy waitresses have become part of social history. But this is only part of the story....

The power point presentation, with archival photos, stretches from 1887 to 1990s, from the time when Joseph Lyons, a born entrepreneur, but with no previous experience of the catering industry, co-founded a company to sort out the indifferent catering at national exhibition halls of the late Victorian era. From small beginnings, the company progressed into catering for the general public and was to become the first ‘food empire’ in the world.

We shall hear about all the main activities throughout the history of the company, including those that are not so well known, such as catering for the British Empire Exhibition at Wembley, for 15,000 guests at Royal Garden Parties, for management of a wartime ordnance project and the in-house development of the first ever business computer, LEO.

The talk includes amusing anecdotes and many surprises along the way.

2017 marks a double anniversary for Joe Lyons. He was born some 170 years ago and died 100 years ago so the talk is particularly appropriate.

About the speaker

The speaker is Neville Lyons. There is a family relationship in that his grandfather and Sir Joseph Lyons (knighted in 1911) were first cousins. Although Neville was not personally involved with the company business, this relationship was a driving force towards the research that led to the talk.

Click to see a podcast of this event.