Tyne and Wear HER(16007): Houghton-le-Spring, Market Place, Mill House Sweet Factory - Details
Houghton-le-Spring, Market Place, Mill House Sweet Factory
Food Processing Plant
George Wheatley, a Crimean war veteran who lost his right leg aged 19 years, moved his confectionary works from Spennymoor to Houghton. His Mill House sweet factory was in Market Place. In 1879 he was fined for selling sweets that apparently contained yellow leaded paint. He died in 1906 and is buried in Hillside Cemetery. Robert Wheatley took over the sweet factory. His brother John Wheatley was the landlord of the Jolly Farmers Inn which stood opposite the factory (HER 15919). From 1914 John had a sweet shop at No. 51 Newbottle Street. After the First World War George's son William Wheatley opened a sweet factory in the old Salvation Army citadel in Pottery Yard. In 1922 William's son Alfred joined the company. In 1947 the factory moved to the Hawdonside Works on Sunderland Street. In 1958 Alfred's son Keith joined. The whole Wheatley family were enterprising. Robert Wheatley Junior had a fruit, vegetable and confectionary shop on 41 Newbottle Street between 1938 and the 1970s. After the Hawdonside Works closed George Wheatley's grandsons Keith Wheatley and David Wheatley formed a company called Harvian Foods, selling sweets at Pottery Yard. Around 1972 they bought back the Mill House factory. This closed in 1987.
Paul Lanagan, 2012, Sweet taste of success lasted for generations, article in Seaham and Houghton Star, Wednesday 21 November 2012; www.houghtonlespring.org.uk/houghtonstar/houghtonstar_articles