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Book: The Story of Terry's

The Story of Terry’s by Van Wilson
Where Chocolate Was A Way of Life.
The first published history of Terry’s and the people who worked there.

The fascinating history of York’s famous chocolate maker Terry’s is to be told in the first published history of the iconic brand.

More than 50 people who worked at the factory were interviewed for the book entitled The Story of Terry’s by Van Wilson. New background research and fantastic archive photographs are also in the book, which has been created with the help of York Castle Museum, Grantside Developments, the Sheldon Memorial Trust and the Noel Terry Charitable Trust.

Van Wilson, author, said: “It has been a privilege to be involved in this project and to get the chance to speak to so many interesting people about their time at Terry’s..
They talk of their work, their friendships, their love for the company and their sadness at its demise. Through their thoughts it becomes clear that Terry’s was very much more than a workplace, it was a community and played a very important part in York’s recent social history. This book will hopefully act as an important account of this as well as a fascinating insight into one of the country’s biggest chocolate brands.”

The book began as a series of interviews commissioned by York Castle Museum, who look after a large proportion of the Terry’s archive. The interviews were carried our by Van and Mike Race. The accounts by the former workers proved to be of such historical value that it was decided to turn them into a book. Grantside Developments, who plan to develop the Terry’s site, helped fund the project.

The launch of the book will be marked by a special evening at York Castle Museum. There will be a display of some of the archive material and members of the Terry family will be attending, including Anthony Terry, who was the last of the family line to work at the factory.

The book is full of interesting tales by the former workers, such as an interview with Max Drucquer who started working there in 1953. He said: “It truly was one great big happy family. I don’t think you will get many people saying they hated it at Terry’s. Everyone was approachable. Very few people stood on their dignity.”

Evelyn Hudson spoke about her father’s time at Terry’s. She said: “When Sir Francis [Terry] was knighted in 1936, they put all the work numbers in a drum, and 12 got picked out to go to London with him, for the weekend. My Dad was one of the lucky ones, they had a marvellous weekend, stayed at the Savoy and went to Drury Lane on Saturday night to see a show.”

Interviews with Peter Terry are also included. In one excerpt he said:
We concentrated on the quality side. Our prices were slightly higher than other people’s but I hope the products were worth it. Our Motto was ‘Terry’s for Quality’. We had a marvellous chemist who was always working on new products and new innovations. He brought a box of these new chocolates to Sir Francis [Terry] and thought “He’ll like these. This is something unique.” And Sir Francis tasted one and they were thrown out of the window.

The Story of Terry's is published by York Oral History Society and costs £9.95.
Available at Barbican Bookshop, Borders, Fossgate Books and other good York bookshops.

See also..
Our illustration of Terry's Clock Tower
Our page about Terry's York

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