Artwork of the Day – Tavener Christmas Card

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Liverpool artwork of the day – Monday December 17 2007. Tavener Christmas card, 1956/57 from the social history collections at the Museum of Liverpool

More childhood memories for me care of the NML online Advent Calendar. Growing up in Edge Lane area in the ’50s, on a good day the breeze would bring us the sickly sweet smell of boiled sweets, on a bad day it would be the stench of freshly slaughtered animals from the Prescot Road abattoir! (Now, living off Hope St. its the aroma of roasting coffee at Bellew’s which is always welcome)

This Christmas card was sent by Henry Tavener of Taveners sweet factory in 1956 or 1957. It includes an illustration of workers on a production line in his factory wrapping different flavour sweets to go into a large glass jar of Taveners Olde English fruit drops. One employee at the end of the production line is contentedly rubbing his stomach after helping himself to rejects. In the background the ingredients for the sweets, including fruit juice and a huge pile of sugar, are shown ready to be added to the sweet maker in the factory.

The text in the card reads:

‘To Greet you this Christmas and to wish you success in the New Year
Henry Tavener
Tavener Rutledge, Liverpool, England’

Liverpool’s sweet factory

The Taveners factory opened at Edge Lane in Liverpool in 1911 and is still going strong today. The company was originally called Tavener Rutledge, which was then shortened to Taveners. It has changed hands a couple of times in recent years. Toms Confectionery of Denmark bought the factory in 1992, then in 2006 Blackpool-based Tangerine took the firm over.

Despite these changes, the Taveners brand of sweets has endured. It was relaunched in 2007 with a range including the hard-boiled fruit sweets that the company is best known for and chocolate éclairs, which they invented in 1932.

This card, which is not currently on display, is from the social history collections at the Museum of Liverpool.

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