Stocking fillers and some sweet aromas recall
PUBLISHED: 15:07 13 December 2016
From the book Romance of a Business House
There was a time when factories or work-places were called business houses and these pictures from a book written by Herbert Leeds and handed out to customers, workers and friends, by the chocolate makers Caleys many years ago.
It was called the Romance of a Business House and it told the story of the city centre factory which closed 20 years ago – people still miss the sweet smell of chocolate which wafted over the city when the wind was blowing in the right direction.
The chances are that each Christmas thousands of people in Norwich and Norfolk would be munching into Caleys chocolate, pulling one of their crackers or delving into a hand-made Santa stocking.
Caleys was also one of the those forward-thinking companies which looked after the welfare of their workers all those years ago.
One of the photographs shows the sports pavilion at the Elms – described as a large estate situated in a pleasant Norwich suburb where there were “artistically” designed dwellings for employees.
Herbert’s report went on:
“A flourishing recreation association exists in connection with the works and its activities include cricket, tennis, bowls, swimming and badminton and during the winter a handsome and spacious pavilion is nightly used for dancing, whist drives, concerts and other social purposes.
“Each Christmas a monster party is organised by the association for the children of employees and in the summer an outing takes place for the employees and a horticultural show and sports meeting are also held,” wrote Herbert.
And he said of the factory in Norwich: “The buildings stand upon one of the highest part of the city where pure breezes from a wide sweep of countryside circulate freely.”
In those days Caleys had branch factories at London, Ipswich and Banham in Norfolk. Also permanent showrooms at Africa House, Kingsway, London and at Manchester, Liverpool, Dublin and Belfast.
Now that’s what you call a “Business House” – or should it be houses!
Norfolk 1890 edited by Philip Trolley and published by the Norfolk Industrial Archaeology Society is on sale at £18.99 from Jarrold, City Books and from Norfolk Museums Service.
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