One of the most amazing parts of being involved in an Oral History Project is the generosity of people in sharing their Rowntree’s stories and objects. Last week I was lucky enough to visit a lady who had a rather special collection of plaster chocolates! During her childhood, her father worked for Rowntree’s in the building department and in the course of his work visited many parts of the factory. This is a story about being in the right place at the right time.
These lovely little fake chocolates were originally destined for the factory incinerator; however, thankfully they were saved by her father who brought them home for his two girls for their little toy shop. Phew! Over the years they have been played with, painted over and bartered with, yet the detail on the chocolates remains incredible. The fruit shaped ones look delicious and there is a selection of nut shaped chocolates which we have not seen previously. Some of the smaller sweets have the Rowntree’s logo and name clearly visible. But what were they used for?
Today they are a rather attractive collection of familiar designs reminiscent of the chocolates in Black Magic, Daily Milk as well as fruit pastilles and gums. Whether they were used as either prototype designs or dummy display models is difficult to determine and we hope to establish their function during the course of our project. If anyone has any information which may help our research please do get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org