Sutton Weaver Sweet Factory

John & Christine Hambleton moved into the village in October 1978 with two of their three children, Belinda and Paula. Paula attended Aston Primary School for 18 months before moving to Frodsham Comprehensive. Belinda was already at Helsby Grammar. Jonathon, their son, was at boarding school. They had purchased a plot of land on Chester Road in 1976 and proceeded to build Baytree Cottage. This was on part of the site previously occupied by a farm worker’s thatched cottage, erected probably the same time as Village Farm in 1778.

Many people will be unaware that for a number of years Christine, Belinda and Paula produced “Hambleton’s Homemade Humbugs”, together with other varieties of confectionery from what appeared to be a lean-to garage on the side of the building. This housed a small cottage industry production unit consisting of Boiler, Batch roller and Cutting machine. Production ceased in 1993 and brought to a an end almost 155 years continuous production having started in Runcorn in 1838.

The orchard at Village Farm which was adjacent to Baytree Cottage was purchased from Aston Estates in 1993. This provided a very large garden to Baytree Cottage. At the time Baytree Cottage was extended to provide an upper storey. With such a large garden to maintain, Christine and John decided to erect a new property for themselves on part of the orchard. This property, Village House, is on the identical spot of the previous thatched cottage believed to have been demolished in the 1960s. Baytree was purchased by Colin and Sandra Spruce and their daughter Rebecca in February 2000. Christine and John moved simultaneously into Village House built by themselves. It is of timber framed construction produced by Potton Ltd. They have since moved to Chester.

typical recipe from the Hambleton range: -

Ingredients -

Sugar - 12lb.
Glucose - 4lb
Water - 3.1/4pt.
Oil of peppermint - 1/4 fl.oz.
Liquid brilliant - a trace
blue colour

Silver Mints

Boil the sugar, glucose and water to 295F. Add a trace of blue
colour to counteract any yellow tint and pour onto the oiled
slab. When cooled sufficiently, knead in the oil of peppermint.
Cut off a portion of the batch and pull this over the hook until
it has turned white and satiny. Stripe the bulk of the batch with
this and pass through the deep rollers. Pack in airtight tins
or bottles.