D A Fyfe & Co Ltd, Patent Forage Works, locally known as the Chaff Factory was situated on the A120 road at Takeley, a quarter of a mile east of the Four Ashes crossroads on the south side of the road.
The making of forage was a patent process of cooking by means of steam heating chopped wheat straw, which was then added to dry chaff made of barley, oats, clover straw and hay, with molasses added, being a type of treacle.
The finished product was called Nosy Forage. It was bagged in ½ hundredweight sacks, mostly with the firm's name D A Fyfe on them before being delivered by lorry or rail to customers, mainly in the London area. Among these were United Dairies, Breweries and LMS Railways who all used a lot of horses in the 1930s.
The company was about the biggest employer in the local area. About fifty or more men were working there in its peak from 1935 to 1939.
Bill Marshall's detailed report on the Chaff Factory contains lists of workers, maps, photographs and the reminiscences of workers still living in the area.
The site today shows hardly any sign of having been a forage works. New industrial buildings have been erected selling carpets and frozen fish. A few rusty remains at the back of the site can be seen from the Flitch Way path.