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Ships’ biscuits were a bit of all Wright

wrights display

wrights display

FEW memories are sweeter than those of Wright’s Biscuits in Shields.

It was an institution in the town in its day and, if you remember it and its delicious teatime treats, well, you may be able to contribute to a permanent record.

The old company is the subject of a new display at South Shields Museum until March.

It includes a selection of Wright’s tins, including rare early examples from the 1930s, through to the 1950s.

And if anyone would like to share their recollections of Wright’s, assistant keeper of history Adam Bell, would be delighted to hear from you.

“I’m keen to talk to townsfolk and record their memories,” said Adam. “There may also be more tins and memorabilia out there, of which the museum doesn’t have examples.”

Wright’s Biscuits was set up at Holborn in South Shields in 1790 to supply ships’ biscuits to the many vessels in the Tyne.

During the 19th century, as the number of sailing ships in the river declined in favour of steamships, the demand for ships’ biscuits fell.

Wright’s turned instead, to fancy biscuits.

Following a disastrous fire at the factory in 1898, substantial new premises were built at Tyne Dock.

During the Second World War, the factory remained open day and night, making biscuits for the Army. Some 300 employees, mainly women, worked shifts around the clock.

Wright’s had several claims to fame, among them celebrated children’s illustrator Mabel Lucie Attwell as the designer of Wright’s famous logo – a curly-haired boy called Mischief. Children could join the Mischief Club, members of which received a special badge.

Wright’s closed in 1973, but re-opened two years later under the name of Lowe’s – but this time making dog biscuits. It finally closed in 1983, and the buildings, including the famous chimney which dominated the Tyne Dock area, were demolished.

n If anyone has something they’d consider donating, or if they want to share memories, they can get in touch with Adam at the museum, tel 456 8740 or e-mail adam.bell@twmuseums.org.uk

 

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