The confectioner Clarnico is synonymous with Hackney Wick. The company, known as Clarke, Nickolls,Coombs until 1946, arrived in Hackney Wick in 1879 and made and imported sweets and chocolates. Most of the staff were girls and when they got married Clarnico’s gave them a small gift of money, called a ‘dowry’. They also gave bonuses to good workers and the factory had its own brass band and choir. Despite being taken over by Trebor Bassett, the name lives on in Bassett's Clarnico Mint Creams and also in the CNC Property company. Just after the second world war, Clarnico was the largest confectioner in Britain but moved further across the Lee to Waterden Road in 1955 where it survived for another 20 years.
Some of the above photos can be seen at Hackney Archives online along with more Wick Industry.
The Clarnico Factory has recently been the
focus of a new artist's project plan called 'The Inflatable Ruin'
by 'WE SELL BOXES WE
BUY GOLD'. This is a collaborative project by artist Alberto Duman, curator Louise
Garrett and urban researcher/poet Jude Rosen. The project considers
the 2012 Olympic site and the Lower Lea Valley as a context for
interdisciplinary research and artistic research. The project began
in spring 2007 with a series of walks and talks in and around the
designated Olympic zone which sought to generate a productive space
for collective knowledge based around a contested urban site in a
state of flux.The ‘Inflatable Ruin’ is a temporary, nomadic public
art work based on the now demolished Lozenge Building, part of the
King’s Yard or Clarnico Sweet Factory building complex, an
Edwardian industrial building off Carpenters Road in Hackney Wick
designed and built by the owners Clarke, Nickolls and Coonds in
1908. King’s Yard was at the centre of a campaign to save the building after much of it was slated for demolition following plans to convert the structure into an energy facility for the 2012 Olympic Games.'