The old Sweet Factory
Above is an old postcard of Listowel with the old sweet factory to the far right.
Vincent Carmody recently posted on Facebook the pictures below of an old sweet tin he has in his possession. Underneath is the history he posted.
The tin box is an original from Listowel’s sweet factory which traded from the old mill building, which occupied the site where Carroll’s Hardware providers is now located. The mill, a fine, six floor, cut stone building, was originally owned and operated by the Leonard family of The Square. It was powered by water from a millstream, which ran from near the old ball alley to the mill. The mill closed in the mid 1800’s, despite an effort by John Latchford of Tralee to buy the property. He subsequently build a mill back in Greenville.
The building served for a time in the early 1900’s as a creamery, this was owned by George R. Browne. He also had a creamery at his property at Cahirdown. He had in his employment an Englishman, Thomas Armstrong. When Brown decided to sell his interest in the business, it was purchased by Armstrong. Shortly afterwards, Armstrong went into the manufacturing of ‘Irish Cream Toffee Sweets’
The tin carries the initials N.K.M on the cover, with North Kerry Manufactory at the side, however with a play on the initials, the legend “Nicest Kind Made” also appears on the cover.
There is not much information on the business, however, we know that after a period of industrial unrest, Armstrong closed the factory in 1921. The Mackintosh sweet company bought the brand and continued making these sweets at Rathmines Dublin, under the brand name,’The North Kerry Manufacturing Co Ltd’
One for the Girls
Do you remember these? They used to come with Bunty. You cut them out, pasted them on to card and dressed and undressed them until the tabs fell off. Memories, memories……
Listowel Town Council 2008
Photo: John Kelliher
One Happy Retiree
I ran into John Halkett in The Seanchaí as he was enjoying a relaxed morning coffee.
A Hug from a Flower
Mickey MacConnell posted this photo on the internet. On a recent trip to Dublin he met up with Liam O Maonlaí of The Hothouse Flowers
Junior with his old friend, Liam Healy
Junior is the third youngest and the only surviving member of his family. He was born in
1936. He attended school in the old boys National School and he remembers the
building as an old cold unsanitary place. He went to school barefoot but that
was by choice rather than necessity. He loved the freedom of running around
barefoot although the frequent cuts and bruises were unwelcome.
The teachers he remembers are Bryan MacMahon, Mrs. Crowley,
Mrs. Griffin, Tadhg O’Flaherty, Jerry Walsh in 4th class, Michael
Keane in 5th and Jim Hayes in 6th.
Junior went to St. Michaels’ for one unhappy year. He has
memories, which are shared by many of his contemporaries, of a harsh, controlled
regime where corporal punishment was the order of the day. Fr. David O’Connor
was the college president and he ruled with a rod of iron.
Junior remembers a day when he was in first year and several
boys were late for school. Fr. O’Connor came into Junior’s classroom and asked
all the boys who were late to stand up. Seven boys stood. Fr. Davy fixed the
first boy, the one farthest from Junior who was last in the line, with his
stick, in a manner reminiscent of Pats Bacach in Sive, and asked him why he was late. He said he had to go to the shop to buy a
message for his mother. The next boy claimed his bike was punctured. As Fr.
O’Connor moved from boy to boy, Junior realized that all the excuses he was
thinking of offering were being used up. To this day Junior can relive the fear
and terror he felt as his doom approached. He blurted out the truth. “I slept
it out, Father.”
Junior had got the right answer. Fr. O’Connor decided to
leave them all off because he had found one honest boy. Junior was the hero and
his deed became the subject of the rest of the lesson on the importance of
Despite this one good experience, Junior was terrified to go
back to the college after the summer holidays. His mother understood his
unhappiness and enrolled him in the tech. This was a much happier experience
for Junior. He has great memories of Paddy Drummond, an excellent Maths.
teacher. The regime in the tech was a caring one and kindness and encouragement
feature prominently in Junior’s memories of his second level education.
Junior told me an interesting fact; Seamus Wilmot taught in the St. Michael’s in 1924 and a
little known fact is that his future wife, May Scanlon taught in Listowel Vocational School. She taught carpentry, and they met through a shared interest in badminton.
Not exactly an election poster…but close