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The Biscuit Girls [Kindle Edition]

Hunter Davies
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £6.99
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Book Description

Ivy, Dulcie, Barbara, Ann, Dorothy and Jean all had different reasons for applying to work at Carr’s biscuits, but once they had put on their overalls and walked through the factory gates they discovered a community full of life, laughter and friendship.



To those who didn’t know, the biscuit factory that towered over Carlisle might look like just another slice of the industrial North, a noisy and chaotic place with workers trooping in and out at all hours. For the biscuit girls it was a place where they worked hard, but also where they gossiped, got into scrapes and made lifelong friends. Outside the factory walls there might be difficult husbands or demanding kids, and sometimes even heartbreak and tragedy, but they knew there would always be an escape from their troubles at Carr's.



Some, like Barbara, only applied because she needed the extra cash, until things got a bit easier at home. Her supervisor cross examined her about who would be looking after the kids while she was at work, but let her have the job. Like many of the women who joined up ‘temporary’ Barbara went on to stay at Carrs for 32 years.



Beginning in the 1940s, these heartwarming and vividly-remembered stories have all been told by the women themselves to Hunter Davies.



Product Description

Book Description

True stories of love and labour, hard times and good times told by six biscuit girls of Carr’s of Carlisle

About the Author

Hunter Davies was brought up in Carlisle, educated at Durham University, and now lives half the year in London and half in the Lake District.

As a journalist he worked on the Sunday Times, where he was chief features writer, and later editor of the magazine. He wrote regular columns for Punch and currently writes for the New Statesman, The Sunday Times, the Mail on Sunday and Cumbrian Life. For three years he presented Bookshelf on BBC Radio 4.

He is the author of over forty books, including biographies, novels, children's novels (Flossie Teacake) and several books about the Lakes. He is the author of the only official biography of the Beatles.


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1857 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Ebury Digital (28 Aug. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00HFAMN44
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #22,478 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By Peter Durward Harris #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is not about the biscuit industry as such, although some of its history and products are featured, along with some information about Carlisle and its surrounding area. Apparently, the definitive history of the biscuit industry has yet to be written, although books about individual businesses have been written, and are listed at the end of the book.

I have no experience of the biscuit industry, but I once had a temporary job as a teenager in a jam tart factory (R and K Wise in Swindon, now closed), so I suppose that gives me some inkling of what a biscuit factory would be like.

The author looked for volunteers among people who had worked for Carr's in Carlisle, to tell them his story. Seven women volunteered but one dropped out when she decided that she didn't want to discuss her life story after all. In the old days, very few men worked there, though more do so now.

The stories told by the women are quite varied, but all seemed to think Carr's was wonderful to work for despite the boring factory work and modest pay. As no real thinking was needed most of the time, the women spent their time chatting while working. It wasn't all factory work, though. One of the women was eventually promoted out of the factory, to a position where she was more of a social worker, checking up on people who were off sick and looking after their needs. On one occasion, she was under instructions to bring back somebody's stool. She returned to Carr's with a kitchen stool. and never heard the last of it. As a leaving present when she retired, she was given a kitchen stool.

Inevitably, there are common threads to the various stories, but I didn't feel any repetition was excessive.

Take the biscuit, read the book. It's a cracker.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The Biscuit Factory is at Carlisle - live 30 miles away from where I live
The author lives in Cumbria also so it was of particular interest to me.
I thoroughly enjoyed the book it was a well written account and
will certainly be recommending it to friends.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as I expected. 11 Nov. 2014
By Mrs. T
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I would have liked a bit more about the Biscuits Girls lives. I've read Margaret Forster's excellent Rich Desserts and Captain's Thin (about the history of the factory) so perhaps I didn't need to know more about Carr's history. Other readers may have enjoyed the history. I know one of the Biscuits Girls and there are a couple of mistakes about her life which was slightly annoying, it was as if the author hadn't been listening to her and there were phrases I thought she wouldn't have used -but that's nitpicking. It's a nice quick read on working class women's lives in small insular Carlisle.
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I was born in Carlisle and had family who worked at Carrs , so it was very nostalgic. I remember my grandfather bringing home tins of broken biscuits for the grandchildren and diving in to find our favourites. even people with no connections to Carrs or Carlisle will find it an interesting look intohow things were and see a time when companies were families
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5.0 out of 5 stars Happy Memories 30 Sept. 2014
By G Baker
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book, as my parents and even my grandfather used to work at Carrs it has brought back many happy memories and helped me to remember what life was like back in the 70's in Carlisle when I lived there for a few years having been born and lived abroad most of my life before then.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good read but Author tends to ramble on too much 1 Nov. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I did enjoy the book and reading about the ladies lifes but I found the Author rambled on too much in past history when you are just in the middle of learning about one of the main people in the chapters , I wanted to read this book as my mother and other close family all originate from Carlilse
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Dunking delight of a read 17 Jan. 2015
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Lovely read - spent some of my childhood in that part of Carlisle - it transported me back, I could even smell the baking biscuits.
The six ladies Dulcie,Dorothy,ivy et al became like friends. Biscuits never tasted so good.
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Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Gift for mother-in-law delighted to receive
Can remember this industry local to her area -glasgow
Tried to contact you on receipt spine was damaged !!
But just had to use as was too near to christmas
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