Materials and artefacts

The Rowntree Society Collection

The Rowntree Society has a collection of items which have been kindly donated as part of the “York Remembers Rowntree” Oral History project. These items have a personal value  to the interviewees and represent York residents today. To explore the collection please view the galleries below.

Employment in the Sales department

A collection of original documents were donated as part of the “York Remembers Rowntree” oral history project by one of our interviewees. Collectively they provide a fascinating insight into gaining employment, training and becoming a Comptometer operator at Rowntree’s. Of particular interest is the ‘Works Rule’ book which has several of the most important rules highlighted and the handwritten ‘Comptometer Notes’ book, which has been carefully indexed and amounts to 180 pages.

Postcards and original photographs taken in the 1920s

A collection of original photographs and postcards were donated to The Rowntree Society. These detail some of the workers’ outings, sales points and memorable meetings. Included in the collection is a series of photos of The Cocoa Works New Years Eve Ball held in 1920 (see image above).

Photographs of building the Cream Block in 1936

Copies of these four photographs were donated as part of the “York Remembers Rowntree” oral history project by one of our interviewees. They are an unique opportunity to see the factory as it was being built! The daughter of one of the men described how her father really enjoyed working as a builder at Rowntree’s both before and after WWII. For more information on building the factory please click HERE.

Dunollie Souvenir Booklet c.1960s

For every stay at The Dunollie Convalescence Home, residents were given a little souvenir booklet. One of these was donated as part of the “York Remembers Rowntree” oral history project. The signature of each person staying at the same time can be found on the inside front cover (the second photograph in the gallery). This includes Miss Marley the Matron. For more information on  Dunollie please click HERE.

Black Magic Boxes c.1960s

These three boxes were donated as part of the “York Remembers Rowntree” oral history project by one of our interviewees. He understands that they were given to his wife to test during her time working as Peter Rowntree’s secretary. They were sample boxes before the final designs were put into production. Note that the box with blue flowers does not have any writing on it, not even on the side or underneath!

Invitation, Programme and Certificate Marking 25 years of service 1932-1957

These items have been very kindly donated by the Hilton family  as part of the “York Remembers Rowntree” oral history project. Mr C.W. Hilton (circled) was one of 86 people in 1957 to have given 25 years work to Rowntree’s. To mark the occasion, each employee was invited to an evening of celebration, which in 1957 took place within the Dining Block and comprised a recital by the Rowntree Players.

Cocoa Works Brass Band photos and Programme

This programme and photographs were donated donated as part of the “York Remembers Rowntree” oral history project. The band started off life as the Cocoa Works Band before being renamed the Rowntree Mackintosh Band after the merger of the companies in 1969. Today the band is the Shepherd Group Brass Band.