Welcome to the Mornflake story Welcome to the Mornflake story

Our family has been milling oats in South Cheshire since 1675, making us Britain’s 4th oldest family-owned company. Today, 15 generations later, we are still independent and just as passionate about providing you with a great tasting, great value breakfast using the finest quality oats.

Explore Our Heritage

Our Timeline

From father to son, between brothers and sisters, the company has remained in the Lea family hands for generations. Navigate right to left to see our journey through the ages...

1666

The Great Fire swept through the centre of London

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1675

Nine years later, William Lea starts milling oats for animal feed at Swettenham Mill, Cheshire using water to turn the mill stones to roll the oats

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1687

British mathematician and physicist, Sir Isaac Newton discovers gravity

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1690

John Lea takes over the mill in Cheshire

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1847

The nation’s love of chocolate begins as the first chocolate bar is made and launched to the public

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1859

Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace write the Theory of Evolution

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1903

The Wright brothers invent the first aeroplane

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1905

Albert Einstein writes the Theory of Special Relativity

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1914

World War I begins

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1915

Mornflake Shire Horses, Flossy, Metal & Bonnie are photographed pulling a ‘binder’ to cut oats on EJ Mottram Oak Farm, Cheshire

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1922

Business speeds up as oats are delivered to farms in motor cars instead of horse and cart

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1939

World War II begins

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1941

Mornflake makes oats a British household staple as Philip Lea, is called back from the RAF as a reserved occupation by the Ministry

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1943

Mornflake invents the steam stabilisation of oats so they can be stored in a cupboard so they have a longer shelf life

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1944

The Mornflake brand is officially born as Philip Lea’s accountant, E Redge Baynham, creates the iconic logo with his own hand

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1945

Available in a store near you! The first retail packs of our oats come off the line!

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1952

Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II

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1956

Mornflake launches its first marketing campaign, expanding the range and exhibiting at shows

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1958

Mornflake exports to the first overseas customer

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1960

Mornflake hits the big screen with first TV advert!

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1964

Mornflake wins its first Gold medal in the International Monde Selection Awards for outstanding quality and continues to win every year thereafter!

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1969

Neil Armstrong lands on the moon

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1980

Mornflake invents the iconic Chocolatey Squares cereal format

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1988

Professor Stephen Hawking publishes ‘A Brief History of Time’

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1990

Mornflake invents Crisp cereal!

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1990

Mornflake now exports to over 60 countries and receives The Queen’s Award for Enterprise for outstanding achievement in International Trade

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1995

Hale Bopp comet was discovered

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1996

Philip Lea is elected as an Honorary Fellow for exceptional services to The Royal Agricultural Society of The Commonwealth

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2001

Winning streak! Mornflake scoops Monde Selection Special Award for 37 consecutive years of Gold medals

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2004

Mornflake starts sponsoring Crewe Alexandra Football Club

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2004

Facebook was created

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2007

John Lea is awarded a Certificate of Associateship with The Royal Agricultural Societies in England

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2009

Mornflake enters the Guinness Book of Records for the largest bowl of porridge!

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2010

Mornflake export cereal to 62 countries

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2011

Royal Wedding of Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

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2011

Mornflake launch first modern day windmill in Scotland, generating 10% of our company electricity through sustainable, non-carbon sources

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2012

London hosts the Olympic Games

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2012

Mornflake scoops Best Show Garden at RHS Tatton

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2012

Toot toot! Oatis, our much-loved vintage van joins the team!

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2013

Heart of the matter – our oat range is endorsed by Heart UK for its cholesterol lowering beta-glucan properties

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2014

Cemented in national history - Mornflake is named by the BBC as the fourth oldest family owned British company

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2014

Mornflake invents ‘Breakfast on Tap’ with Superfast Cereal Pots – a ready to eat bowl of cereal after just a splash of cold water!

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2015

Mornflake launches Gluten Free range of oats

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1666 Present

Listen to our Story

“Steady State” by Simon Jeffes
Performed by the Penguin Café Orchestra
On the album “Concert Program” released on the Zopf Label,
Copyright Editions Penguin Café Limited

The Three Horses

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The picture of the three horses has featured on Mornflake packs for generations and is a wonderful portrayal of how farming used to be. The original painting was painted from a black and white photograph taken during the First World War. The photograph was taken at The Oak Farm Alsager, Cheshire which was farmed at the time by Mr. E.J. Morris.

The three horses are pulling a 'binder' to cut the oats. The horse on the left was called 'Flossy' and the other two had the wonderful names of 'Metal' and 'Bonnie'. The gentlemen on the 'binder' was a Mr. Harry Mottram and the name of the field that he was cutting at the time was 'The Block Meadow'. 'The Oak Farm' no longer exists as a farm today but has been divided up and the farmhouse sold. At the time of the sale, it extended to some 300 acres and was farmed by Mr. Morris until he passed away in 1952. Flossy, Metal & Bonnie were a prominent feature on our packs for over 5 decades and are still on many of our export packs sold around the world.

Images from the Archive

Take a trip down memory lane with us by taking a look at our Mornflake family album!

Cereal Cards

Collections of Cereal Cards that have been distributed within Mornflake Cereal packs over the years...

  • Boats
  • British Uniforms
  • Cricket
  • Our England
  • Planes 1
  • Planes 2
  • Trains (B&W)
  • Trains (COL)