Sunday, June 3, 2012
Royal Biscuit Tins
Whenever you have a royal event then biscuit manufacturers get the tins painted up for the occasion. The Diamond Jubilee follows in this tradition. Advertisement (left) is from this week's glossy leaflet from The Co-operative that arrived with the free newspaper. Sure enough they were on the shelves in the shop. Bit tempted by a McVities. Oh how we like McVities. I wonder if they were made at their factory over in Levenshulme?
Wind the clock back 59 years to the Coronation and you have CWS biscuits manufactured at both their Cardiff or Crumpsall works. A collectors item and that's without you seeing the reverse side with an image of a dashing Duke of Edinburgh.
Royal biscuits date back to at least Queen Victoria with Huntley & Palmer making the Osborne in 1860 named after the big royal house on the Isle of Wight. There may have been Jubilee biscuit tins in her time.
Carr's made "Coronation Biscuits" with a vanilla flavour for Edward VII in 1902, and Huntley & Palmer produced "Royal Sovereign" filled with apricot jam for George V in 1912.
Note the decent interval of a year from the death of the last monarch to baking biscuits for the new one. When it came to Edward VIII the souvenirs for the forthcoming Coronation were in the shops in 1936. As we know it didn't take place, and George VI got the crowning in 1937, and the biscuit tins were in the stores. The CWS got the production lines rolling for commemoratives too.
There was a Silver Jubilee for George V in 1935. Those on unemployment benefit, and there would be many without a job received a little extra shilling, and 2/6d for under 14 dependents to mark the occasion. There has been no mention of a little extra for this year's event. However biscuits featured in the parties. "A gift of 30,500 caskets of biscuits has been made by Sir Alexander Grant for distribution at Jubille celebrations throughout Edinburgh" - Manchester Guardian 20th April 1935.
From the Coronation in 1953 the souvenir bandwagon has increased for each wedding, and now the third jubilee even more....
Now if heritage biscuit tins are for you then may I suggest you check out British Biscuit Tins with a searchable database and colour photographs.
The other good link is the Facebook page of the Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising. It is a trove of nostalgia. They have an exhibition ‘Jubilee, Jubilee’ which runs to 31st August 2012. Should you be in Notting Hill, London I recommend a visit, you won't be disappointed seeing the cornucopia of artifacts.