Maplewood Court’s sweet celebration for former Trebor employees
Memories of working at one of Maidstone’s most well-known factories were relived with a special event at our Maplewood Court Care Home to celebrate former employees of Trebor Sharp.
When resident Beryl Cassar moved into Maplewood Court, she discovered five of her new friends had worked at the factory. It gave her daughter, Clare, the idea of creating a trip down memory lane.
Together with General Manager Jo Mazza, they organised an afternoon full of memorabilia from the Maidstone Museum. Tales of the factory and related songs came from Matthew Crampton, author of ‘The Trebor Story’ and former employee, Tarrina Miller, who gave a talk on her time as a product developer, creating new sweets at the St Peter’s Street premises.
The factory produced confectionary for eighty years until its closure in 1991. 97 year old resident, Reginald Leonard-Wright, worked there as an engineer and said it was a happy time for him. “I very much enjoyed it,” he said. “I met my wife there. I used to get carrier bags of sweets that were ‘seconds’ or weren’t wrapped properly, for 10 shillings!”
Working at Trebor Sharp was also sweet for Iris Cook, 95, who met her husband there. She worked alongside two of her sisters and her mum. “I can remember the advertising line that said ‘Sharps – the word for toffee!” she recalled. “We used to have to weigh the sweets we made so there was accountability. We had a ration of four toffees each, but I always used to give mine away!”
Another of Maplewood Court’s residents was secretary to the firm’s sales director. “I’ll never forget the smell of Extra Strong Mints,” said Eunice. “The scent of peppermint was everywhere.”
The event at Maplewood Court was a huge success and drew the attention of ITV Meridian. Reporter, Megan Samri, conducted a taste-test of Extra Strong Mints versus Softmints among the former employees. Softmints won the contest hands-down.
“Reminiscence is so important,” said home manager, Jo Mazza. “Recreating their memories really brings the residents to life. They feel happy and connected to the past.
“We’re really grateful to Clare for coming up with the idea for this event. Our residents have helped to provide more archive material for the local council and have had lots of fun remembering their younger working years. We’ve all enjoyed thinking about delicious sweets!”