TV Cream

Bric-a-Brac: Y is for...


Yes, OK, it's the later incarnation, but the point holds.

The world of tinned meat has made few lasting inroads into popular culture, but Yeoman’s range of stewing steak, chilli con carne and hotpots available at the flick of a tin-opener made a lasting impression on the populace with its solemn quality promise. “No lumps of fat or gristle – guaranteed!” Proclaimed an authoritative voice, while a big hand rubber stamped the deal over the screen – which makes it legally binding, doesn’t it? When stout Yeoman changed their name to the flimsy Tyne Brand during the 1980s, they did at least keep the slogan going for a while, up until the point when the lack of gristle in food ceased to be a sign of quality and became more of a minimum legal requirement.



  1. Richard Davies

    October 14, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    Spam is the tinned meat that probably made the most impact, thanks to Monty Python & it being adopted as some WWW jargon.

    I can’t think of much else apart from Jasper Carrot’s “Nutter On The Bus” skit where a tin of Corn Beef plays an important role.

  2. Arthur Nibble

    October 15, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    What about the ad with Roy Kinnear as a butcher placating a posh, fussy character with a tin of Fray Bentos?

    • Joanne Gray

      May 18, 2017 at 12:47 am

      I thought that was Bernard Cribbins?

  3. Glenn A

    October 18, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    Tyne Brand actually were around when Yeoman were at their peak in the seventies, I lived about half a mile from their tinned pies factory in North Shields. I’m not sure if Fray Bentos bought Tyne Brand out as the factory closed in 1976 and production was moved elsewhere.

  4. Mark Bennett

    October 19, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    Are we absolutely sure it was Yeoman > Tyne Brand? Only I remember it the other way around, with an ad featuring an old bloke tapping the now *YEOMAN* tin with the end of his knife and repeating the ‘no gristle and fat’ brand promise. He was holding his knife and fork like pens, in that way that old people often do, y’know…

  5. TV Cream

    October 20, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    Actually Mark, it appears to be one of those labyrinthine tales British business thrives on. The name changed back and forth as various companies passed ownership of Tyne Brand (which had been going since the turn of the century) back and forth like a hot, badly-filled pie.

    We think the ad you’re referring to came from the early ’70s, when the company was owned by Spillers, who gradually became less interested in making tinned mince and more interested in making dog food (we merely present these facts, without comment). It was then bought by Mars, who already did tinned mince (and of course instant mash) under their Yeoman imprimatur. Eventually (some time around 1982), they replaced the Yeoman tinned meat labelling with Tyne Brand (a brand that had a fair bit more history behind it, after all), while keeping Yeoman’s ‘fat and gristle’ strapline.

    As for old geezers with cutlery, there was of course the pre-gristle ’70s campaign wherein a down-to-Earth bloke subjected Tyne Brand pie fillings to the “fork test”, which emphasised its succulent meaty chunks, as opposed to rival brands “you need a spoon” to eat. Maybe he was called upon soon after to reassure consumers the renamed Yeoman was still as chunky as ever.

  6. Richard Davies

    October 20, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    There are a few brands & products that have been passed around parent companies due to mergers, takeovers, buy-outs etc.

  7. Bobriot

    May 13, 2015 at 10:49 pm

    Advert for Tyne brand sold at oobidoo.

  8. Glenn A

    September 23, 2017 at 11:56 am

    Fray Bentos still do a roaring trade with their £ 1 tinned pies. I couldn’t help raising a smile when a man in front of me in Morrisons bought four. Probably not haute cuisine, but a filling meal for someone who is hard up.

    • Richard16378

      September 23, 2017 at 12:44 pm

      I wondered who still buys Fray Bentos pies in the age of ready meals, same with Vesta meals.

  9. Glenn Aylett

    July 6, 2020 at 7:21 pm

    Tyne Brand was set up in the early years of the twentieth century in North Shields to make tinned fish and tinned pies and was a major employer in the town until it closed in 1976. The company was owned by Harold Thompson, rumoured to be the richest man in the town at one time, until he sold out to Spillers in 1967 and the company switched to making pet foods. The remains of Tyne Brand’s factory in North Shields still exist.

  10. Surrey Colin

    October 10, 2020 at 12:40 am

    Yeoman DID change their name to Tyne Brand and in new adverts they made a point of saying its only the name that has changed the quality remains the same…. No lumps of fat or gristle GUARANTEED !

  11. Adrian

    August 11, 2022 at 2:23 pm

    Bowyers is another defunct company which made meat products.

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