Robinson's Sweet Hut
|Built by||Dolphin & Spence|
|Open Street Map|
|Other Links||Google Maps|
Also known as Northgate Sweet Stores, Sweet Moments.
The sweet hut dates back to just after the First World War. When Freddie Lambert returned from the First World War he was severely shell shocked. I have been told by the current proprietor (2004) that the members of the Baildon British Legion paid for the shop to be built by a Shipey carpenter for Freddie. It was then brought up to the common land, Pinfold, Mill Hill by horse. The wheels have been left on the hut so that it is exempt from rates; though the wheels are now half buried in the tarmac.
Dolphin & Spence built the hut in their yard at Ellison Fold and installed it at Pinfold which is Common Land and therefore not assessed for rates, but a small rent is paid (1979) to the Metro Council who, at present , own the Manorial Rights. Mr Lambert called his shop “The Silver Badge”. This would be in reference to the badge worn by disabled ex-servicemen.
The two paragraphs above seem to slightly contradict themselves. One suggests that horses pulled it up Baildon Road from Shipley, the other that it was only from Ellison Fold. One suggests that it is the wheels that mean it is exempt from business rates, the other that it is because it is on Common Land.
I would like to get some details of the rates exemption - I have heard that Baildon Urban District Council required the hut to be moved once every year. This became difficult when it was a requirement for the hut to be connected to services (possibly for hygiene reasons related to selling ice cream). It could then no longer be moved. I would not be surprised if the requirement was for it to be moved away for one day each year. This would be similar to the annual closure of privately owned park areas. If the access to the park was not closed off for one day each year then there was a risk that the land would be declared "public". If the hut was not moved away for one day each year then it could be regarded as a permanent structure and liable for normal business rates. I have yet to trace back to the source any suggestion that the hut was exempt from various charges.
Anecdote: During a discussion in the hut in 2003 Mrs Robinson mentioned that her father was the first person to drive a bus up to the centre of Baildon. 1920s?
Could this photo postcard that I became aware of in 2021 be referring to the same event? Are the people in the photo related to Mrs Robinson?
A story that could do with being verified, but those involved may not wish to come forward, was that before telephones where in common use and before bookies were properly "connected" someone used to get the results of horse races and chalk them on the side of the hut. Another person, further down Northgate, would then read the message and run into the bookies to place a winning bet. A rather fanciful story I think.
Proprietors have been:-
- Fred Lambert (1918 - ?)
- Jack Clark (? - ?)
- Fred & Rosie Light (brother-in-Law to Jack Clark) (? - ?) Ads. 1952, '53, 54, '55, '56, '57
- Mr Wilf Weightman (? - ?)
- Percy Crab (? - ?)
- Mrs Robinson ( - 2017)
- Tarquins of Bingley (2018 - 2018)
- Marie Claire Tordoff - Sweet Moments (2019 - ) facebook page
The painting on the side of the hut reads "Lambert, Silver Badge, Sweets and Tobacco, Stores". Behind the hut in the photo is the Wheelwright's. The toilets have yet to be built therefore the photo was taken between 1918 and 1922. The toilets by the side of the hut were built in 1921-22.
These two photos show the inside of Robinson's Sweet Hut in April 2003.
As of early 2018 the hut was shown as To Let by Bradford Council. The photo above was taken in March 2018.
This photo shows the grill above the roof to the entrance. Local residents have mentioned that sometimes children would climb onto the roof and reach through the hole and help themselves to sweets. This was as recent as 1975, but no names are going to be mentioned.
Unverified comments on facebook 2018: Mrs Robinson has retired (2017) and the hut reverted to ownership of CBMDC. £400 rent per quarter was going to still need paying if not. Hut can be bought for £30k.
The hut in the process of being refitted in August 2018 to become Tarquins 2 Go
In 2018 Tarquin's who have a tea/ice cream shop in Myrtle Park, Bingley took on the sweet hut. The sign above it shows they are to sell Tea * Coffee * Late * Cappuccino * Mocha * Hot Chocolate. Opening times have yet to be published. As of Jan 2019 the most recent activity seems to have been in November 2018.
The photo above was taken on the weekend of the 40th Harley Davidson Rally.
- I thought the British Legion was not started until later?
- Info from Mrs Robinson in 2003 who was the proprietor of the hut.
- A Edwick blue folder history notes
- Citation needed.
- The name Rosie courtesy Liz Simpson facebook
- Shipley Times & Express Advert
- Firstname, Wilf courtesy Philip Helliwell facebook
- Percy Crab had it before Robinson’s - from Mick Airey, facebook
- 1922 Annual Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Baildon Urban District Council