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Carr's Table Water biscuits lose Royal stamp of approval

Changing tastes in the Royal household mean one of Carlisle’s most famous exports can no longer boast of being in the Queen’s cupboards.

Carr's Table Water biscuits

Carr’s Table Water biscuits – baked in historic works at Caldewgate – have proudly carried a crest as supplier to the Royals, first awarded in 1841.

But it is a claim the brand can no longer make, having lost its warrant of being “By Appointment to HM The Queen”.

Management at United Biscuits, the firm which now makes the product, say they are sad at the move but insist Carlisle’s connections to Buckingham Palace have not been lost.

And they have taken the opportunity of losing the warrant to instead boast of the biscuits’ historic roots as a product of the city, using its crest where that of the Queen would once have sat.

A United Biscuits spokesman said the Carr’s brand no longer carried the Royal Warrant due to “lower demand in the Royal household”.

He added: “The Carlisle factory retains its Royal connections because it also makes McVitie’s and Jacob’s products and these brands will retain the Royal Warrant.

“McVitie’s was also proud to make the chocolate biscuit cake for the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge last year.

“While we are sad to have lost the warrant, the business is delighted and honoured that Carr’s products now carry Carlisle City Council’s coat of arms, which reflects the brand’s heritage and its more than 180-year association with this historic city.”

Queen Victoria was the first Royal to give Carr’s Water Table Biscuits her seal of approval, granting its initial warrant in 1841.

Table water biscuits became so popular because water was used instead of fat to blend the dry ingredients to keep the biscuits fresh on long voyages.

They were created by Jonathan Dodgson Carr, the son of a Quaker grocer, who started baking using a brick oven.

He was originally from Kendal, but set up in Carlisle, first in a shop on Castle Street.

Carr bought a piece of land near the canal basin in Caldewgate for £800, built his factory and the Carr’s biscuit works was born in 1835. It has been there since and is now part of the United Biscuits food empire.

That factory currently employs 800 people., making the historic table water biscuits and a range of other biscuits, including fruit shortcake, custard creams, bourbons and ginger nuts.

Have your say

Can only find Carrs Thins in the shops, where are all the other products?!! These lovely crackers are missed in my house, cant even buy tins at Christmas time unhappy consumer!

Posted by hayley graham on 7 September 2014 at 09:17

Must agree with Pat Tilney, a question that has not been answered. What has happened to Carrs high bake water biscuits ? Don't they make them any more? Why not? They were the best, bring them back please!

Posted by Polly Perez on 18 March 2014 at 22:17

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