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So many sweet memories

PUBLISHED: 16:00 13 January 2010 | UPDATED: 07:25 02 July 2010

The glory days of Loot! Do you remember what it tasted like?

The glory days of Loot! Do you remember what it tasted like?

Derek James

Photographs which illustrate the work going on inside the chocolate factory which once employed more than 2,000 men and women in the heart of Norwich.

Photographs which illustrate the work going on inside the chocolate factory which once employed more than 2,000 men and women in the heart of Norwich.

Old pictures looking at life inside the Caley, Mackintosh, Rowntree/Mackintosh and Nestle factory - now demolished to make way for Chapelfield - pop up from time to time but I have not seen these before.

They were among the sweet memories on display when the Norfolk Record Office appealed for Evening News readers to step forward and help it compile a history of the works.

It was an outstanding success with more than 75 people turning out to put names to faces on pictures and come up with more information of their own.

Since Albert Caley turned his attention from drinking chocolate to eating chocolate in 1886 the company made a vast range of confectionary - some more successful than others.

I suppose Loot! was one of the also-rans.

I remember it - it was advertised on the television in 1960 - but I don't remember what it tasted like.

So I asked former Lord Mayor Michael Banham who worked at the factory for many years, if he did.

“Oh yes,” he said, “It was very chewy. Difficult to describe the actual flavour but very chewy.”

Another one of my favourite Norwich bars was Caramac until one day I did a terrible thing. I ate no less then three bars and was violently ill - I never touched Caramac again.

The other picture are rather more unusual. We tend to forget that the company also employed talented artists and designers to make sure their products looked as attractive as possible.

More than a century ago much of Caley's clever and eye-catching advertising material was designed by a young Alfred Munnings, who went on to become the controversial and colourful Sir Alfred Munnings, of the East Anglia's greatest artists.

No-wonder Caley's was so popular…and long may it continue to be so. It's good to see the chocolate still in the shops and the Guildhall café flying the Caley flag.

Did You Know?

On this day in Norfolk of 1808 the village of Cley was badly flooded.

On this day in Norwich of 1927 the city was mourning the death of popular shoe baron Arthur Sexton - a man who supported many good causes.

On this day in 1931 a cat was blamed for causing a fire which gutted Hopton Hall, the home of Great Yarmouth doctor Edward Peers. Puss knocked over a lamp. The family fled and villagers helped them to get furniture and belongings out of the hall, part of which dated back to the Domesday.

On this day in 1957 actor Humphrey Bogart died. His wife Lauren Bacall placed a gold whistle in his coffin with the inscription: “If you need anything, just whistle.” A line from their first film together, To Have And have Not.

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