Sheffield mum's memories of making chocolates and selling ice cream for city firm Davy's

Retro reader Julia Taylor (nee Barrett) was inspired by Vin Malone’s feature on Arthur Davy’s last week to share some memories of her mum, who worked there.

Thursday, 12th December 2019, 10:00 am

She wrote: My mum Dorothy Barrett (nee Barber) went for an interview at Davy’s in 1934 when she was just 14 years old. She was originally told to go for an interview for an office job there but unfortunately for her another girl being interviewed had the knowledge of shorthand so mum didn’t get that job.

However, she was offered another post in the chocolate dipping room which was situated along the alley which is at the side of W H Smith’s. Halfway down the alley were some metal steps which led you up to the chocolate dipping room. I remember it as I was taken there by mum when I was a small child.

Mum learned the art of making and dipping chocolates, they would get huge blocks of chocolate and knock them down and melt them so they could dip in the chocolates they had made.

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Fargate as it once looked

Mum had to taste the chocolate to see if it was the right consistency, unfortunately before she was 21 she had to have her teeth out. I wonder why.

They also made Easter eggs and one year she had her photograph in The Star with a giant Easter egg, the girls had made.

Mum tried to look for this photo in the archives at the library many years later but was unable to find it. It would probably be in the mid 30s.

Arthur Davy and Sons on Fargate

When they were not very busy they were sent downstairs into the bakery to help there. Mum hated working in the bakery as it was so hot.

Then in the summer they would go out into the parks and sell ice cream. Mum enjoyed that as she and the girl she was coupled up with were often chatted up by the young men.

Mum worked at Davy’s from 1934 until I was born in 1947. Mum loved the job and made many friends there who she kept in touch with until her death in 2009.

Fargate in the 1960s, with Davy's on the left
Haymarket tram congestion with Dixon Lane to the left, Arthur Davy's to the right and the old post office at the top of the picture.
Fargate in Shefffield city centre as it looked earlier this year, with W H Smith in the Davy's building