The toffee which has lasted as long as our Queen
PUBLISHED: 12:35 04 June 2012
This is the story of the tin of Coronation toffee which has survived for six decades.
Myra Hawtree could celebrate the Diamond Jubilee by unwrapping a toffee... on second thoughts it may not taste too good.
There can’t be many toffees still around that were handed out to the boys and girls of Norwich to celebrate the Coronation of our Queen in June of 1953.
But four of them have survived in a dear little tin which was presented to schoolchildren in the city almost 60 years ago.
“I think I must have originally saved the toffees as being special, but probably never expected to actually keep them quite this long,” said Myra Hawtree.
“I dread to think what the toffees would be like now – but at least they have survived the years,” she added.
Not only are the sweets still inside, but there is also the message from Norwich City Council which says:
“This small gift comes to you on the occasion of the CORONATION OF H.M. QUEEN ELIZABETH II and with it the good wishes of the NORWICH CITY COUNCIL in the hope that it will add to your enjoyment of what should be a happy as well as a historic occasion.”
The souvenir tin was filled with Mackintosh’s Toffee de Luxe made in England by John Mackintosh & Sons Ltd, Halifax.
But of course, Mackintosh also played a leading role in Norwich life at the time – employing thousands of people at their big chocolate factory.
They took over Caley’s which enabled the firm to expand its range of confectionary to include the likes of Quality Street and Rolo.
The Luftwaffe destroyed the factory during the 1942 blitz, but a new factory rose from the ashes, and it was opened in the mid-1950s by the Duchess of Kent.
So, you could say the toffees in the tin did have a local flavour to them.
Sixty years ago, Myra, now living in Sprowston, was Myra Berry, a pupil at the Blyth Girls’ Grammar School, and she thinks all the children in the city were given a tin of toffees for the Coronation.
“I can vaguely remember going to a big bonfire on St James’s Hill at the time and a song called ‘We’ll be good Elizabethans, good and true Elizabethans – or something like that. It think it was to inspire us for the future!” she added.
In 2004, Myra was honoured at the Lord Mayor’s Civic Awards ceremony for her long-standing service to sport as an athletics official. She clocked up more than 40 years of commitment to the Norwich and District Netball League, supporting 40 clubs and 500 members.
But she is also well known for being one of Norwich City’s most passionate and loyal fans, having supported them through thick and thin for almost 60 years. She was there during the famous 1959 cup run and she was still there when they were promoted to the Premiership.
Her first away trip to watch her beloved Canaries was the famous FA Cup fourth round win over Arsenal at Highbury in 1954. How would she describe recent events at Carrow Road? “At the moment, we are in dreamland. It has been an amazing time with Paul Lambert. We have seen some fantastic games,” she said.
Myra also travels the world following the national side and is now preparing to head over to Kiev to see England perform in the European Championships.
“I have been all over the world watching England and have been to some incredible places and met some wonderful people,” she added.
No wonder she never got round to eating the toffees – she never had the time!