Dullia and Robert Singleton set up Singletons Dairy in 1934; however, Robert Singleton’s ancestors had been dairy farming in the Goosnargh area of Lancashire for almost two hundred years prior to this. A rich heritage stretches back to the reign of George II, where a record was made of Thomas Singleton – a Yeoman in Goosnargh in 1745. Over the following century and a half, his descendants continued to work as Dairymen farming at White Hill Farm, Goosnargh. Duillia Rhodes entered Robert’s life and they married in 1908. Grandma Singleton, as she was to become known, also came from a rich ancestry of dairy farmers. The newly married couple began their life together farming at Moss Side Farm, Chipping where Duillia began her cheesemaking journey. In 1927 they moved to Crombleholme Fold Farm, Goosnargh and shortly after in 1934 they created Singletons Dairy Ltd. The rest as the saying goes … is history!
Dullia Singleton was born in Lancashire in 1879. At the age of 25, Dullia enrolled in the County Council Dairy School in Hutton where she completed a course of Dairy Instruction and earned her certificate for Milking, Butter Making and Cheese Making. A few years later in 1921, after marrying Robert Singleton, Dullia began her cheese making adventures in a lean-to shed alongside her husband’s farm.
By 1934 and with a staff of six, Dullia and Robert set up Singletons Dairy Ltd and began creating fine traditional Lancashire cheese made to Duillia’s special three-day curd recipe. Sadly, in 1939 with the breakout of World War II, the Singleton family were forced to cease trading when their cheese production license was revoked so that all surplus milk could be sent to the British Armed Forces as milk powder.
After the war, cheese production on the farm gradually restarted. By 1961, Dullia’s grandson Alan had taken the reins at Singletons Dairy from his father and moved to Longridge Dairy on Mill Farm. There he returned to making the classics in the same way Grandma Singleton had done the previous century. Business boomed. People were more interested in deliciously creamy handcrafted cheese than ever before.
Another strong woman took the helm of Singletons Cheese in 1985 as Tilly Carefoot joined her father, Alan Riding, to drive the brand forward. Under Tilly’s leadership Singletons cheese is now exported to over 30 countries around the globe and has been awarded the Queen’s Award for Export twice.