Our history

Gilbert Thompson (Leeds) Limited is a a fourth generation family company. Please see the company timeline below:

1892 – Gilbert Thompson born

1905 – Gilbert (age 13) starts working as errand boy in the fruit and vegetable trade

1909 – Gilbert buys his own cart and starts selling fruit and veg on his own round

1914 – Gilbert has to stop whilst he serves in the First World War

1932 – Gilbert Thompson opens his own premises in George Street, Leeds, part of Kirkgate Market at the time. He is joined by his son Clifford.

1939 – Clifford has to leave to fight in the Second World War (front of tank)

1946 – On Clifford’s return from the war the company is formally registered as a limited company – Gilbert Thompson (Leeds) Limited. Clifford takes over the running of the company although Gilbert remains involved until 1957

1961 – Clifford is joined in the business by his son David.

1963 – David leaves to travel the world – rejoining the company in 1965. See link for details of his travels: David’s Travels (extract from Fruit Trades Journal February 12, 1966)

1967 – The company moves to the new Leeds Wholesale Market on Ponefract Lane

1975 – Clifford’s other son, Michael comes down to help for one week. He never left.

1992 – David’s son Daniel joins the company and starts the flower division of the business

1999 – An eventful year! The company merges with Jackson Swaby Limited and buys a share of the Yorkshire Produce Centre. David’s other son, Richard, joins the family business.

2000 – The company starts trading from the new premises in April 2000

2003 – The company acquires the remaining share of the Yorkshire Produce Centre

Gilbert and his son, Clifford at the original George Street site in Leeds.
Gilbert and his son, Clifford at the original George Street site in Leeds.

1939 - Clifford has to leave to fight in the Second World War (front of tank).
1939 - Clifford has to leave to fight in the Second World War (front of tank).

David Thompson, Gilbert's grandson, at the George Street site.
David Thompson, Gilbert's grandson, at the George Street site.

David Thompson at the Wholesale Market on Pontefract Lane
David Thompson at the Wholesale Market on Pontefract Lane