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The Sweethearts: Tales of love, laughter and hardship from the Yorkshire Rowntree's girls

The Sweethearts: Tales of love, laughter and hardship from the Yorkshire Rowntree's girls [Kindle Edition]

Lynn Russell , Neil Hanson
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £6.99
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Product Description

Product Description

Whether in wartime or peace, tales of love, laughter and hardship from the girls in the Rowntrees factory in Yorkshire

“On a warm Monday morning in 1932, just two days after leaving school, fourteen-year-old Madge was about to join her nine brothers and sisters at Rowntree’s. The smell of chocolate was in the air but as she walked up the road, her footsteps slowed at the daunting thought of what lay ahead…”

From the 1930s through to the 1980s, as Britain endured war, depression, hardship and strikes, the women at the Rowntree’s factory in York kept the chocolates coming. This is the true story of The Sweethearts, the women who roasted the cocoa beans, piped the icing and packed the boxes that became gifts for lovers, snacks for workers and treats for children across the country. More often than not, their working days provided welcome relief from bad husbands and bad housing, a community where they could find new confidence, friendship and when the supervisor wasn’t looking, the occasional chocolate.

About the Author

Neil Hanson is the author of many acclaimed works of narrative history including The Custom of the Sea, The Dreadful Judgement, The Confident Hope of a Miracle and The Unknown Soldier. He lives in Yorkshire with his family.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1163 KB
  • Print Length: 304 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (11 April 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00AQLL12Y
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #33,996 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Fantastic Sweethearts 15 April 2013
A cut above the usual run of "misery memoirs". Beautifully written, it paints a vivid, occasionally heart-breaking, but overall an uplifting picture of life and work for women in the pre- and post-war years. They were hard times and people were often desperately poor, but there was real sense of community where people never needed to lock their doors, neighbours looked out for each other and even strangers were greeted with kindness, not suspicion. It's a vanished world and we're poorer for it.

The Sweethearts
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By El Alva
Format:Kindle Edition
I was lucky to be in attendance at the launch of "The Sweethearts" at York St. John University in April, and had the pleasure of meeting the five women featured in the book. After having read their individual stories, and reflecting on the content of the book I find myself seeing the truth behind the tales.

I loved the book, and found myself getting lost within the stories. Reading "The Sweethearts" gave me a wonderful sense of familiarity with the history of York, and the people who have lived and worked in the city in the past 100 years. I would recommend this to anyone with an interest in true social history, as opposed to the David Starkey version of British History.

Whilst other reviews have taken note of the fact that much of "The Sweethearts" revolves around the history of Rowntrees, it cannot be argued that without the factory none of the five women within the book would have had the chance to tell their stories. Even now, the old factory in York, now Nestle instead of Rowntrees, dominates the city and more often than not the smell of chocolate fills the air. The factory and the people that worked within it's walls contributed to making York what it is today. Joseph Rowntree helped mould the city, and Lynn Russell and Neil Hanson have made just as much of a tribute to him in their work as they have to the five miraculous Sweethearts.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well I liked it! 15 April 2013
I read this in one sitting. It's the story of five women who worked in the chocolate factory between the 1930s and the 1980s. Life was hard in those days. They left school as soon as they reached the minimum legal age, and there were no gap years for them; they left school on a Friday and started work on the Monday - and it was hard work at that. As a chocaholic myself, I'd have liked to know more about the actual process of making the chocolates, but that's a minor quibble about a really good read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a treat! 15 April 2013
What a great book! I enjoyed it from beginning to end. A really touching insight into the lives of the girls and women who were the backbone of a household name. Life stories full of experiences, both in and out of the factory,which most of us can not begin to imagine, brought to us in such delightful prose. It's so difficult to choose a favourite, they each bring their own equally fascinating story. Meticulous research and skilful writing makes this a 'must read'. Enjoy
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Unlike an earlier reviewer, I loved this book. The stories of five women are set against the era and the Rowntree's chocolate factory where they all worked, but the characters are always centre stage - and what characters they are. Madge is my favourite. She suffered hardships that today's generation would scarcely believe. The slum housing in which she spent her early married life did not even have lighting, let alone heating or plumbing - the only light sources were a gas mantle in one room and candles in the rest of the house - and her husband was a drunken, violent brute, but like the others, Madge showed the resilience and spirit to rise above all her troubles and the story of her happy later years brought a different sort of tears to my eyes.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Yorkshire history 30 April 2013
By A. Shaw
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Great book about life at Rowntrees in York. Interesting view from different perspectives of women who worked in this famous factory. Would recommend what is a great read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lyn's thoughts 21 April 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this history of working women in the war years and after. It gives an insight into these women's lives that wouldn't be as real if fiction
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting 5 Aug 2013
By debs
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Interesting facts regarding the work ethics of rowntree as an employer,however no real story about the individual women and their friendships.
I lost interest after a while
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I loved the sad tales, how these have changed over the past 50 years.
Published 5 days ago by Lesley
4.0 out of 5 stars eighties and nineties and we did have some good times the first book...
it was alright i used to work at Rowntrees chocolate factory in the sixties ,eighties and nineties and we did have some good times
the first book was okay ,the books that... Read more
Published 8 days ago by Barbara Dodd
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful time-capsule of information
Well written and beautifully informative. This not just about Rountrees, this is about history and the men and women who lived it.
Published 1 month ago by Kathleen E
5.0 out of 5 stars Social history of York
Fab book just a little disappointed not to have my grandad George Basil Marshall mentioned he was a `fitter`from world war 2 to late `60s. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Julie Dickens
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good
My ga
My grandmother is is 95. We chatted over this for hours. A piece of GREAT Britain. I loved it x
Published 2 months ago by yummy mummy
3.0 out of 5 stars Disapointed
I was disappointed about the story as I hadn't realised it was a non fiction book and no story to it. Just facts about the company.
Published 2 months ago by grannie
4.0 out of 5 stars Good tales
Very enjoyable. The lifestyles of the workers and families come across very well. There was enough variation to make the book a very interesting read.
Published 2 months ago by Jen
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful &interesting biography of the World of chocolate,
being a Yorkshire Lass made this book appear very attractive , I then started reading it & could not put it down. Read more
Published 2 months ago by JuliaHewitt
4.0 out of 5 stars factory lives
i enjoyed reading the lives of rouwntrees girls and all the history of the company. l will read the girls own stories next.
Published 3 months ago by n jay
5.0 out of 5 stars Compulsive read
An insight into how difficult life was in years gone by and how much we take for granted today. Although factory has always been hard, and repetitive, at the time of writing it... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Patricia Foxworthy
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