9th December: Nici Matlow – 90 Years of Swizzels-Matlow
A producer of such famed sweets as Fizzers, New Refreshers, Lipsticks and Whistles, the Swizzel Matlow factory squeezes between the railway and the Peak Forest Canal, in New Mills. The story of the company, starts in an East London factory in 1928 when the Matlow Brothers began producing jellies and chews. 1933 saw the two brothers joining forces with local rival David Dee, his company Swizzels, specialising in the manufacture of fizzy sweets in compressed tablet form. During World War II the constant threat from the Blitz forced the hand of the company, moving to New Mills as a short term measure into a former textile mill that previously made wicks for miners' lamps in 1940. They began to produce lines of sweets that are still eaten, including Parma Violets, which sold for a halfpenny when they were launched in 1946, and the first chew lolly, the Drumstick, created by accident.
In 2020 the 'temporary' measure of 1940 will be 80 years of age.
If the promise of mince pies is insufficient to tempt members and visitors to the December meeting, then certainly the sweet history of Swizzels Matlow as told by Director Nicki Matlow must do so. An early Christmas treat of an evening.