Mike Guilfoyle, vice-chair of the Friends of Brockley and Ladywell Cemeteries, finds a Ladywell link to the saccharine pleasures of a Fry’s Turkish Delight bar.
It would be an exaggeration to say that it was a Proustian moment when I again tasted the saccharine pleasures of a Fry’s Turkish Delight bar. But it brought to mind a family grave in Ladywell cemetery with a link to the famous Fry Family of chocolate makers.
Located aside an outer pathway in Ladywell cemetery is the angular shaped headstone of Windover Edmund Fry d,1902 aged 80 years who is buried alongside his wife Sarah Gurney Fry d.1893.
Described as a Gentleman, Windover had worked for the East India Company. The couple had five children, one granddaughter was the artist Irene Ryland d.1951.
Windover was the son of another Windover d.1835 whose family was successful in the type -foundry printing industry. But it was his great-grandfather Joseph d 1787 from whom we can trace the delights in the title.
As a type-founder and chocolate maker and founder of the Bristol branch of the Quaker Fry family.
He was the first member of his family to settle in Bristol, where he acquired a considerable medical practice, and ‘was led to take a part in many new scientific undertakings’
However it was a Joseph Storrs Fry who moved the chocolate business along to become the household name it eventually became.
Joseph patented a method of grinding cocoa beans using a Watt steam engine resulting in factory techniques being introduced into the cocoa business, building a plant in Union Street, Bristol.
He moved to Frenchay in 1800. In 1803, his mother, Anna Fry, died and Joseph Storrs Fry partnered with a Dr Hunt. Joseph Storrs Fry took his sons, Joseph (1795–1879), Francis (1803–1886) and Richard (1807–1878) on as partners renaming the firm J. S. Fry & Sons under which name it became the largest commercial producer of chocolate in Britain.
For readers who would like to wallow in a little nostalgia -this 1984 advert (You Tube) will I am sure offer a gustatory delight!
Their were a number of famous and influential figures in the wider Fry family network. Including Roger Fry d.1934 who was an English painter and critic, and a member of the Bloomsbury Group and Elizabeth Fry, sometimes referred to as Betsy Fry, who was an English prison reformer, philanthropist and prominent Quaker.
The author of a biography of her life, the Reverend Thomas Timpson d.1860 minister of Union Chapel, Lewisham is also buried in Ladywell cemetery.