Our Talks

From Kit Kats to Colonialism: A Rowntree Research Journey
(24th October 2023)

Dr Emma Robertson, author of ‘Chocolate, Women and Empire’, shares her research on the colonial contexts of the Rowntree Company’s growth.

West Indian Estates Dover Jamaica

Workers and buildings at Rowntree & Co’s Dover Estate, Jamaica, 1900. From an original held at the Borthwick Institute for Archives,
University of York.


York’s Factory Women (8th March 2023)

Our volunteer, Laura, has been researching the history of Rowntree’s female employees at the Haxby Road factory in the 20th century, exploring policies and attitudes towards social welfare. This has highlighted fascinating information about the women’s working lives and the issues they faced, some of which are still relevant today. This important research has enabled us to share these women’s experiences and make comparisons to modern day social issues.

Factory workers sorting sweets

Factory workers sorting sweets, 1948. From an original held at the Borthwick Institute for Archives, University of York.


New Rowntree Histories (22nd June 2022)

We held a ‘New Rowntree Histories’ event at Clements Hall as part of the 2022 York Festival of Ideas, which was livestreamed by Pilot Theatre. This event revealed some fascinating, surprising, and thought-provoking stories of Rowntree’s which have not yet been told, using research into understudied areas of the Rowntree archives.

1950s Rowntree's education aid1950s Rowntree’s education aid © Alamy

Support Us

Our work is enabled by grant funding from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, and the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust. If you would like to make a financial donation to further support our work, it is easy to pay online (with or without Gift Aid) by clicking the link below. You can get in touch with us about other ways of giving via info@rowntreesociety.org.uk