Doreen Lofthouse had a simple sales technique. She would not leave until she had secured an order of Fisherman’s Friend. Thus she almost singlehandedly grew Lofthouse of Fleetwood from a single pharmacy in the Lancashire fishing port of Fleetwood into a multimillion-dollar business that exports the throat-kicking lozenge to more than 120 countries.

She was born in the town and, having left school at 15 with no qualifications, went to work in the pharmacy as a shop girl. After marrying the proprietor’s younger son, Alan, Doreen foresaw a much wider market than the local fishermen who had bought the packages for generations to fortify them when they sailed their trawlers into the freezing North Atlantic on the hunt for cod.

Start your free trial to read the full story

Subscribe to Air Mail to access every article
and search our entire Arts Intel Report.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here.