The VÊTRA factory from 1955 to today.

The current building of the VETRA factory in Sarthe in France has its own history.

Built in the 1850s by the marquis of the castle (we have not yet found the exact date), it was first used as a flour mill.

A flour mill or mill is a large establishment where cereal flours are prepared for delivery to the trade. The building was also used to wash and store potatoes, with an installation of which some vestiges can still be seen in the courtyard today.

Usine VETRA 1920

The buildings in 1920.

Become then a factory of slippers then a simple farm passing from owners in owners site to the sale of the Marquis, the factory is used as housing to a family of the Lude which invests the places to invest its money in 1933 in order to preserve its capital, preferring the real estate to the banks, foreseeing the war with Germany.

Usine en 1933
Arriere usine 1933
The building in 1933, before the war.

This family remained in the building until the war when it was requisitioned by the German army to house Russian prisoners, then by the French resistance fighters (FFI) who made it their headquarters.

Small anecdote: the FFL (another group of French resistance fighters) will be housed by Edouard BEERENS in his family home in the center.

After the war, in 1954 and 1955 Edouard Beerens looked for new buildings for the family factory.

Installed since 1940 in the former greengrocer's store, the space has been exploited to the maximum. Janine, the daughter of the founder, remembers that she had her office in the former shopkeeper's bathroom and that she couldn't even close the door !

The next day, Edouard, Janine and M. Maretheu visited the buildings.

Visite de l'usine
Edouard Beerens on the left and Mr. Maretheu on the right, Janine takes the photo of the very first visit of the plant during the winter of 1955.

A factory that has had many lives

Very thick walls to resist the thrust of the grain against the walls, a height of more than 12 meters, a roof that is already a hundred years old, a huge plot of land.

The chimney fell down during the war, the floors were transformed into cells to accommodate the prisoners, then into a room for the FFI, the mice are the only tenants of the premises.

Edouard Beerens is not afraid of the big works in prospect and immediately sees the possibility of enlarging the building thanks to the large surface area of the land.

The deal was concluded on August 27, 1955.

Achat de l'usine

VETRA set up in 1956, the offices followed in 1957.

Usine VETRA aujourd'hui