Former factory site, Needler’s Way, Sculcoates Lane, HU5 1DB
In the 1880s, Frederick Needler (from Skirlaugh near Hull) started producing sweets from premises on Anne Street in Hull city centre, selling them from a horse drawn cart. By the early 1900s, as mass production became possible, the business had expanded into a large factory in Bournemouth Street. Needler’s production rose to 650 tonnes of chocolate and 1,500 tonnes of sweets a year, but the company began to struggle during the 1930s depression. Then, in 1938, Needler’s chemists found a way to introduce lactic acid into the boiled sweet manufacturing process, resulting in perfectly clear, hard fruit drops, known as Glace Fruits. Needler’s became the first company to manufacture these fruit drops on a large scale, and sales rose dramatically as the price of sugar fell globally, making sweets affordable for the masses. Needler’s remained in business until 1986, when the company was sold. The site of the factory is now a housing estate, called Needler’s Way.
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