Reporter Cathal O’Shannon investigates how the mill, which remains to be working right this moment from Snuff Mill Lane, protects the key of its recipe for the Tonight information programme. His report was broadcast on October 19, 1964. It has been launched by the BBC archive as a part of a collection of fascinating classic information experiences in regards to the area.
Standing in entrance of an historical door within the 18th-century constructing, Cathal says: “This can be a room with a secret. In additional than 200 years, few have ever crossed its threshold.
“In there two males are mixing a secret recipe, a recipe which has been jealously guarded by their household for at the very least two centuries.”
He explains that the snuff mill is without doubt one of the oldest within the nation and the snuff made there’s nonetheless based mostly on an 18th-century recipe.
A round desk holds a collection of bowls and picket tobacco grinders initially powered by a water mill.
Cathal reveals the explanation for the secrecy: “The entire historical past of snuff has been rivals making an attempt to pinch the opposite man’s recipe by theft, by bribery, by sharp apply. In fact, that’s not as frequent because it was many, a few years in the past however then the habits of 200 years die very onerous.
“So upstairs in that little room they nonetheless intently guard the key of the mixtures.”
Cathal says there’s one other secret to the unique Finest SP snuff first made by the agency established in 1737 – no one is aware of what the initials stand for. Cathal says SP could stand for Spanish, referring to the tobacco, Sheffield’s Satisfaction or, more than likely Candy and Perfumed as these are key components of snuff.
Talking to a head of the agency, unnamed within the movie however nearly definitely managing director Mark Chaytor, Cathal asks whether or not there’s nonetheless a necessity to guard the recipe as merchandise could possibly be chemically analysed.
He’s informed that one of many oils used may be very complicated so it could be not possible to determine the snuff’s part components from chemical evaluation.
Mr Chaytor says the recipe isn’t written down and solely two relations realize it. Requested if he’s anxious that it could possibly be misplaced, he replies with amusement: “I feel it unlikely that we’d each get run over by a tram on the similar time”!
Later, Cathal tries the key door and it’s rapidly locked from inside.
He concludes: “No, I’m afraid we’ll by no means study what goes on behind that door. However as long as we have now our snuff” – he pauses to take a pinch and blinks quite a bit – “who actually cares?”
The corporate could also be one of many oldest family-run corporations in Sheffield however it has saved up with the fashionable world in addition to its lengthy traditions.
Lately you possibly can order snuff and smoking equipment, together with clay pipes made on website, on the firm’s web site, https://sharrowmills.com/, or go to their Fb web page.
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