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The Halifax town of Yorkshire
is known as "Toffee Town" because of the vast quantities of toffee made there. William Holt, well known for his BBC broadcasts on industrial subjects, told listeners of the way in which Halifax got its nickname. It sounded like a story- book romance.
Many years ago a Yorkshire mother made some toffee from an old English recipe in her posses- sion. She boiled the toffee in the family jam pan and her husband, who kept a small pastrycook's shop, put it in the window. His customers bought and liked it Father sug- gested an improvement to Mother, who altered the recipe accordingly.
Father believed In the value of ad- vertising and put a notice in the shop window asking ,the public to come in on Saturday and taste a free sample of toffee. Hundreds of people, came and long before clos- ing time there was no toffee left On Monday another advertisement said: "On Saturday last you were eating our toffee at our expense.
Next Saturday pay us another visit and eat it at your own expense.
Father duly sold out of toffee on Saturday and soon people for miles around were calling his place "The Toffee Shop." Trade increased so much that the progressive couple opened a stall in the market place, boiled their toffee at home, poured it into trays, packed them into a tin travelling trunk and pushed
this to market on a hand cart.
The next step was the purchase of a horse and cart Shortly after this they began to manufacture toffee in a warehouse. In a few years Father had built a small fac- tory. He was % far-sighted man who believed in the value of ad-
vertising and in 1904, when he1 went to America to sell his toffee, i
journalists hailed him as, the "The Toffee King."
When Holt visited Toffee Town,! which now .exporta its products all over the world, he saw the two early recipes framed and hanging on the wall in the eldest son's xfftce. He also saw the historic Jam pan in which the first toffee was made.
.Huge copper pans have taken the place of the family Jam pan. They are as big as washooilers and bing- ed so that a batch of toffee can be
poured out onto the water-cooled plates. The toffee is 'pa*s?d through "levellers" and cut into 18 inch square sheets which then, go through rollers and are cut Into cubes or oblongs. These are broken apart and separated by a shaker, in a cool, air-conditioned space where the toffee will not stick, and deftly twist the ends. Some .* machines
fold and tuck in the paper ends and heat seal the wrapper, working at the rate of six hundred pieces of toffee a minute.
In ^another part ot the factory Holt saw women toffee . packers slipping a toothsome assortment of toffees into pretty coloured .tins lined with lace paper, the packings varying according to the taste pf the country to which the toffee is to be sent
He visited the. scientific labora- tories and then went into a warm room where packs of toffee lay cn the shelves. This is where the fac-
tory manufactureres its* own wea- ther and creates, temperatura varying from the tropical to the Arctic enabling the scientists to find,out exactly.how* the toffee will keep in every part of the world.
In exporting assorted toffees, the firm has to be careful to comply with the laws and customs of dif- ferent countries and in its library has bookcases filled with volumes in many languages, containing the
regulations ; on- food and drink in
all the countries of the world.
Holt, greatly-., impressed by the efficiency and organisation of this family toffee'business, said of its founder, "He travelled the world for toffee and took his wares into many countries, from Borne«? to Nigeria, from Burma to. Morocco. His sons are up against the diffi- culties of our own days but they are following, in their father's foot-, steps."
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