Clarke, Nickolls & Coombs Confectionary Works

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“Clarke Nickolls & Coombs has evolved from a prestigious and interesting historical background. The history goes right back to the 1870's when as a manufacturer of candied peel and which became so profitable the partners created a new business using their wives maiden names: Clarke, Nickolls and Co was born and a Shoreditch confectioner named Robert Coombs was invited to join in 1872. By 1886 the partners had expanded product lines, opened shops and depots and considerably expanded their original Hackney Wick site. In January 1887 the business was incorporated and many of the shares in Clarke Nickolls & Coombs Ltd were taken up by customers and employees. The company as then was quoted on the stock exchange in 1965. As the confectionary manufacturing business grew and developed the company began to acquire a lot of land and property in the East End of London, as well as shops, showrooms and depots around the UK. The company then let out whatever buildings it did not require for immediate use and as a result engaged in property letting and development. This expertise came to the fore in the 1970's after the sale of the majority of the confectionery business to Trebor Sharps in 1972.”

“Clarke, Nickolls & Coombs, (fn. 196) confectionery and jam makers established in 1872, were at Hackney Wick by 1879 and on both sides of Wallis Road by 1910, when they had also spread south of the G.E.R. line and to the previously underdeveloped east bank of the Hackney cut in both Hackney and Bow. (fn. 197) The company, probably the district's leading employer, was one of the first to introduce profit sharing in 1890, (fn. 198) acquired a convalescent home at Clacton (Essex), and formed many social clubs. (fn. 199) It was registered as Clarnico in 1946 and described as having been the country's largest confectioners in 1948, when war damage had led to plans for a factory in Waterden Road. Clarnico moved to Waterden Road c. 1955 and, as Trebor Sharps, left Hackney c. 1975.”

“The confectioner Clarnico is synonymous with Hackney Wick. Just after the second world war, Clarnico was the largest confectioner in Britain. The company, known as Clarke, Nickolls, Coombs until 1946, arrived in Hackney Wick in 1879. The name lives on in Bassett’s Clarnico Mint Creams and also in the CNC Property company.”

“Clarnico, on Carpenter’s Road, was the largest sweet manufacturer in the country and employed 1,500 people. Ideally situated for deliveries of sugar on the banks of the River Lee navigation channel, it was famous for mint creams as well as producing liquorice Chinese Pigtails, coconut-based Toasted Haddocks and the eclectically-named Pig’s Head & Carrots and Dolly’s Musical Bottles. Founded in 1872 as Clarke, Nickolls & Coombs, its main product was candied peel though it soon diversified into making marmalade, jam and then sweets. By the 1900s the company had its own fire brigade, ambulance, a brass band that toured abroad and a 100-strong choral society.”

“The factory site suffered war damage in 1940. In the 1950s the company decided to modernise its premises by building a new factory at Waterden Road and renting out properties no longer required to other companies. The buildings were completed in 1955. Manufacturing at the Hackney Wick site ceased in 1970s and the buildings were gradually sub-divided and let out. Latterly, Clarnico became part of Trebor Bassett which was, in turn, acquired by Cadbury Schweppes, and in turn by Kraft.”

Detailed description of the works and products in 1881:

Oranges, lemons, and other citrus fruits were shipped in from Sicily, Corsica, Madeira, and Spain.

It looks like Trebor Sharps took over the company closer to 1969:

"Bids, Deals & Mergers." Times [London, England] 27 Sept. 1969: 14. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 26 Apr. 2016.

Gerald Ely. "Property." Times [London, England] 24 Jan. 1972: 11. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 26 Apr. 2016.




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Located in



Candied peel, marmalade, jam, liquorice, lozenges, fondants, mint creams, sweets

Used Raw Materials

Fruit, Sugar


From To Owner
1879 1969 Clarke, Nickolls & Coombs
1969 The date "{{{to_date}}}" was not understood.The date "{{{to_date}}}" was not understood. Trebor Sharps


From To Industry
1879 The date "{{{to_date}}}" was not understood.The date "{{{to_date}}}" was not understood. Food Industry