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Photo-a-Day Archive
Photo-a-Day Archive

Photo-a-Day  (Monday, 20th September, 2021)

Uncle Joes

Uncle Joes
Uncle Joe’s, Dorning St gets a wash and brush up.

Photo: Dennis Seddon  (Sony DSC-WX500)
Views: 2,080

Comment by: Alan (on Vancouver Island) on 20th September 2021 at 01:21

I'll bet none of you in Wigan knows that we can buy Uncle Joe's Mint Balls here on the Island.

Comment by: Linma on 20th September 2021 at 06:32

I always have a packet of Uncle Joes in my handbag. My first job was at Platts Printers next door and the smell when toffees were being made still lingers today.

Comment by: Veronica on 20th September 2021 at 07:45

It's great to think the terraced houses are still used for the famous brand of Uncle Joe's mint balls. It fits in well, that a new factory wasn't built as his fame spread world wide. I imagine as the houses became empty 'Uncle Joe' snapped them up! Knocking on the doors personally
( in his top hat) offering a good deal for the sale of each house plus a big tin of his home made mint balls.
The sprucing up of his 'back end' looks lovely.

Comment by: Helen of Troy on 20th September 2021 at 07:54

Uncle Joe' Mintballs ! I remember going to the Market Hall to buy then at the sweet stall. Back then they were sold loose & had a dusting of icing sugar to stop them sticking together. My brother lives in the US & can buy them in tins wrapped nicely & clinically in cellophane. I must look out for them in the local sweety shop !

Comment by: Mick on 20th September 2021 at 08:16

He's missed two bits at the top.
I remember first time I went to Wembley to watch Wigan, and went into a toffee shop and asked for some Uncle Joes mint balls and was chased out of the shop by the owner, thinking back years later I think his name might have been Joe.

Comment by: WN1 Standisher on 20th September 2021 at 08:28

They sell them in Tesco's Helen

Comment by: Joan on 20th September 2021 at 09:12

I was told told that the cover on the roof vent is put in place to make the mint ball smell to waft down into the surrounding streets and Wallgate station.

Comment by: irene roberts on 20th September 2021 at 09:18

My son and his wife went to San Francisco on their honeymoon in 2003 and they were amazed to see tins of Uncle Joe's Mintballs in a store .....a little taste of home! When the new bus-station was being built I had to get off my bus in King Street West when I was going to Boston House for an eye appointment and I cut through past Uncle Joe's to Frog Lane, and they must have been manufacturing that day as the air was filled with the smell of mintballs!

Comment by: Mavis Winstanley on 20th September 2021 at 11:10

I worked there for a few months in the sixties watched them make the toffee on the big slabs.

Comment by: John G on 20th September 2021 at 11:18

Mick: I like that comment, a bit of humour well done.
It reminded me of the time I was giving a B T woman some grief on the phone about a bill, she said if you carry on like this Mr G, I may be forced to cut your calls off. I said that sounds a bit drastic.

Comment by: Mick on 20th September 2021 at 11:45

I was amazed once Irene when I first went working in Singapore in 1970, I came out of my hotel on Orchard road and saw a big enamel sign with a old man on it, coughing into a hanky, it was for Hacks cough toffee.
I found out later that Asians love anything hot at the back of there throats and this is why they had the Hacks sign.
Now the most popular cough toffee in all of the Asian countries are Fishermans Friends.

Comment by: Pat McC on 20th September 2021 at 12:28

We too have Uncle Joe's mintballs in Pembrokeshire Alan, granted not as far away as Vancouver! They always remind my husband of home - Wigan.
Funny how smell and taste bring back memories of the past.

Comment by: Walt ( nth yorks ) on 20th September 2021 at 12:31

Mick, did you know that they don't contain any mint but had to insert some other word after Joe or no one would buy them !!

Comment by: Veronica on 20th September 2021 at 12:55

I wonder what else they could have inserted instead of 'mint' - certainly not
'black' what a furore that would have caused. Especially now that we have a 'woke' generation.( even though the b....( mints ) are 'black'! Well they are - aren't they ?!

Comment by: Helen of Troy on 20th September 2021 at 13:11

Standisher, its a long story but me & Tesco dont get on....so its the sweetie shop in station Rd for me !

Comment by: wiganer on 20th September 2021 at 14:12

Time they got a new building.
Great toffee.

Comment by: irene roberts on 20th September 2021 at 14:23

I have a commemorative tin of Uncle Joe's Mintballs here in front of me which they brought out for the 75th anniversary of VE Day in 2020, in remembrance of one of their workers, Tommy Bennett, who was a sugar boiler. He was granted a six month leave of absence from the RAF so he could train up his female replacement and ensure production continued, It states that the sweets were taken to the front line by members of the armed forces from across the country and provided a welcome taste of home, and the company is proud of the morale-boosting part the sweets played in the second world war. The ingredients are listed and they are Cane Sugar, Oil of Peppermint and Cream of Tartar.

Comment by: PeterP on 20th September 2021 at 15:59

In 2009 I had radiotherapy at Christies and on my last day I took a jar of Uncle Joes for the consultant and his staff.

Comment by: Cyril on 20th September 2021 at 17:33

Oh dear, am I the only one that hates mint balls, I do however like Fisherman's Friends as there's only a trace of sugar in those.

Some years ago when I was drumming up support from local companies for prizes for the Easter and Christmas raffles at Wigan, Leigh & District RSPCA they always obliged with either a Latics or Warriors coloured mug and mint balls.

Comment by: John G on 20th September 2021 at 18:04

Veronica: I would say they are dark brown, and it kind of fits with the line instead of mint.

Comment by: irene roberts on 20th September 2021 at 18:43

I'm not a sweet-tooth at all, Cyril, but I bought the commemorative tin as my house has many 1940s touches and it added to them. Also, Tommy, who the tin commemorated, was my friend Evelyn's uncle. PeterP, it's obviously 12 years since your radiotherapy so all appears to be well with you; I am so very glad to know that.

Comment by: Veronica on 20th September 2021 at 19:57

I have to word this very carefully JohnG. I have not eaten an Uncle Joe's dark brown for many a year. The Wokes would still find it offensive black or brown ...

Comment by: PeterP on 22nd September 2021 at 17:13

Irene has well as can be expected, not getting any younger cheers

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