Ninety-year-old piccalilli recipe resurrected after lost Mitcham notebook discovered

Bruce Robertson and Graham McCubin

Bruce Robertson and Graham McCubin

First published in News by

An original, 90-year-old recipe for piccalilli has been reproduced after it was accidentally stumbled upon.

Bruce Robertson, 66, a retired post office worker,whose grandfather opened a pickle factory in Mitcham in 1925, was sorting through some papers a few months ago, and was shocked to discover an old notebook in his grandfather’s writing.

He told his friend Graham McCubin that the notebook contained handwritten recipes, labels and a poster for piccalilli, and the idea to resurrect the product was born.

On December 7, the Jam and Chutney stall at St Mary’s Christmas Fair will proudly relaunch Robertson’s Original Piccalilli for the first time.

Mr Robertson said: "It’s great, I just found a box of old recipes in the garage, it’s good to be continuing the family business."

They will have 36 bottles up for sale on the day, with smaller jars priced at two pounds each and the larger ones at three pounds.

The factory, owned by Mr Robertson’s grandfather on Lewis Road, Mitcham, was open for 44 years before the company went bust.

Housing has now been rebuilt on the site now called Abbey Field Close.

Mr McCubin, 66, is a retired Prince’s Trust worker and lives in Merton Park.

He met Mr Robertson at a youth club and has known him and his family for around 50 years.

He said: "When Bruce told me he had found this recipe, I thought it was a really interesting idea to try and make a connection with the past.

"Christmas is a traditional time and this is a traditional dish."

The recipe is intended as a one-off for the day and there are no set plans to launch the recipe on a wider scale, but Mr McCubin says that if all goes well, they might make more.

Admission to the event is 50p for adults and is free for children, it will take place at St Mary’s Church, Merton Park between 11am and 2pm.

 

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