A smell of the past
By Adam Holmes
The last lorry load of sugar beet has gone through the gates at the British Sugar plant in York, bringing to an end 80 years of sugar processing in the City. We want your memories of the 'campaign' which heralded the start of Autumn.
The steam plume rises over York for the last time.
In July 2006, British Sugar announced it was closing its processing factory in York with the loss of around 100 jobs. This news was a bitter blow to the City and the surrounding area, following hard on the heels of major job cuts at both Norwich Union and Nestle.
The effects of the closure will be far reaching with about 1,200 farmers around the region who supplied the factory with beet, the hauliers who transported the harvest to the factory gates and many more being directly affected by the plant’s demise.
A sugar factory has existed in York since 1926 and for many the distinctive smell of the sugar factory heralded the start of autumn and another 'campaign' was underway.
Although not everyone appreciated the smell, this mixed with the one from the chocolate factories, gave York a very distinct aroma.
On Tuesday 13th February 2007 the very last lorry load of sugar beet went through the gates bringing yet another of York’s historic industries to a close.
Harvesting sugar beet
There will still be significant quantities of crystal sugar and sugar syrup to be processed which will take until autumn 2007, then the factory will finally shut down.
Over the 80 years there has been a sugar factory in York, thousands of people have been connected in some way with the plant, and we’d love to hear from you if you have any memories.
Maybe you, or someone in your family worked at the plant, did you live in the Boroughbridge Road area near the factory and saw how that area developed with the growth of the sugar factory? Are you a farmer who supplies the factory with sugar beet, what are you going to do now? Or are you one of the permanent or seasonal workers who are about to lose their job?
If so, we want your stories…please contact us using the form below.
last updated: 07/05/2008 at 12:14
Have Your Say
Tell us your memories of the sugar beet plant in York.
Fernando Fernández de Castro