A friend to all Fleetwood folk for more than 150 years

Doreen Lofthouse with husband Tony Lofthouse (left) and son Duncan, outside the Fleetwood base in 1990.
Doreen Lofthouse with husband Tony Lofthouse (left) and son Duncan, outside the Fleetwood base in 1990.

It’s a little sweet... But it packs a big punch.

And the Fisherman’s Friend is also a proud part of Fleetwood’s history, from its humble beginnings to thriving business today – it has really helped put the port on the map.

Aerial view taken in 2009, showing Fisherman's Friend base in Fleetwood

Aerial view taken in 2009, showing Fisherman's Friend base in Fleetwood

It all began in the mid 1860s, when Fleetwood pharmacist James Lofthouse developed a menthol and eucalyptus liquid to act as a cough cure for the deep sea trawler fleet.

Fishermen would take the mixture with them on freezing trips to the North Atlantic – providing them with relief from problems caused by prolonged exposure to the hostile, stormy conditions. But because it was difficult to take liquid in glass bottles on stormy seas, Mr Lofthouse came up with a lozenge fishermen could take instead.

In the late 60s, the Lofthouse family realised the huge potential of Fishermen’s Friend, as letters from holidaymakers showed there was big demand for the product. They started selling them to shops in surrounding towns in the North West from their van.

As the demand increased, packaging of Fisherman’s Friend moved to a newly-converted tram house and in 1974, the product started to be exported to Belgium and Norway.

Pic shows Doreen Lofthouse with the  Eros statue about to go aloft in Fleetwood

Pic shows Doreen Lofthouse with the Eros statue about to go aloft in Fleetwood

The aniseed flavour was launched in 1977 and the product began producing its sugar-free mints in 1979.

In 1983, it was given the royal seal of approval when it was awarded the Queen’s Award For Exports.

By 2000, the Fisherman’s Friend had expanded from 34,700sq ft in 1980, to 600,000sq ft.

Without seeking publicity or praise, the Lofthouse family has quietly helped and ploughed millions into community projects in Fleetwood for many years. In 1999, Doreen Lofthouse – now head of the empire – saw one of her dreams come true when a 17ft replica of the Eros state in London, she gifted to the town, was installed at the Nautical College roundabout on Amounderness Way.

The Fisherman's Friends illuminated tram makes its way up Lord Street

The Fisherman's Friends illuminated tram makes its way up Lord Street

Mrs Lofthouse became only the third person to receive the freedom of the borough, in 2003.