A newly published book tells the story behind the multi-award winning Barton Grange group run by the Topping family.
Barton Grange: A Topping Tale, written by Ian Topping, and local author Carole Knight, begins in the early 1900s when Ian’s great-grandparents started growing fruit and vegetables on their Longton farm.
From those humble beginnings the business grew to what it is today, employing more than 400 people.
At the centre of the story is Ada, Ian’s grandmother, who took on the manor house at Barton and converted it into Barton Grange Hotel. While her tennis, dancing and piano playing-obsessed husband pottered with his market gardening business, Ada set about making the hotel ‘the place to be’. She developed the hotel business almost single-handedly, until able to share some of the burden with her son, Eddie, Ian’s dad.
Ian, who stepped down from managing Barton Grange Hotel two years ago, said: “I wrote a history of Barton Grange running to about 10,000 words when I was at college and always said I’d complete it. We wanted to do it for dad, so he had it all written down. It’s a testament to everything that he and my grandparents have done.”