MEMORIES of a Chester-le-Street confectionery landmark came flooding back to two care home residents during National Cupcake Week.
Brenda Clifford, 80, and Lilian Maxwell, 84, worked together in the 1950s at Horner’s Sweet Factory – known as “five acres of sweetness”.
They now live at Pelton Grange Care Home, in Pelton, Chester-le-Street, where baking cupcakes sparked recollections from their years at the factory.
The pair helped make world-renowned Dainty Dinah sweets, including mixed toffees, fruit, nougat, rich and Bond Street assortments, malted milk and branded brazils.
Founded in Chester-le-Street in 1911, Horner’s Sweet Factory and Dainty Dinah were major names in the worldwide confectionery industry.
The company, which employed 2,000 people in the town in its heyday, eventually ceased production in 1961 and the factory was demolished in 1989.
However, Dainty Dinah collectables are still much sought after – including coloured tins, blotters, calendars, colouring books, teapots and more.
When taking part in the National Cupcake Week activity, they shared old stories and memories from the days when the factory was still around.
Lilian said: “I worked at the factory for about five years, before I got married.
“Brenda and I were both cooks so making and decorating cupcakes brought back memories of when we worked together.”
Chris Hogan-Hind, home manager at Pelton Grange Care Home, said: “When Brenda and Lilian were whisking the cupcake mixture, they both started sharing memories from their days at Horner’s Sweet Factory.
“It was a major employer back in the day but it’s still quite a coincidence that we should have two of the factory’s cooks at the care home, who worked together making Dainty Dinah sweets.
“It was wonderful to hear them discussing old times at the factory from the 1950s.”