I couldn’t resist this tin. It’s a rather wonderful octagonal tin box from the 1930’s that once contained Blue Bird Chocolate Toffee.

One Harry Vincent set up as a confectioner in Romsley two miles south of Halesowen and about ten miles west of Birmingham in the 1898. He had the ambition to build a factory which would not only be very beautiful but also a pleasant place to work – a desire he shared with the Cadbury family who built on green fields not far away at Bourneville, and the Fry’s who built their chocolate factory near Bristol. Harry Vincent realised his ambition in 1927 when his factory was built. Prior to this time his toffee was called Harvino, but when Harry came across Maeterlink’s play ‘The Blue Bird of Happiness’ he renamed it Blue Bird.’  

The Blue Bird (French: L’Oiseau bleu) is a 1908 play by Belgian author Maurice Maeterlinck. It premiered on 30 September 1908 at Constantin Stanislavski’s Moscow Art Theatre and has been turned into several films and a TV series. The French composer Albert Wolff wrote an opera (first performed at the N.Y. Metropolitan in 1919) based on Maeterlinck’s original play, and Maeterlinck’s innamorata Georgette Leblanc produced a novelization. The story is about a girl called Mytyl and her brother Tyltyl seeking happiness, represented by The Blue Bird of Happiness, aided by the good fairy Bérylune. Maeterlinck also wrote a relatively little known sequel to The Blue Bird, entitled The Betrothal; or, The Blue Bird Chooses.

Bluebird Toffee left their West Midlands site in October 1998 to trade in Hull as part of Needler’s. Needler’s changed their name after acquiring Blue Bird to become Needler Bluebird. In 2002 Needler Bluebird was itself purchased by Ashbury Confectionery who discontinued all lines previously made by Needler’s and Blue Bird. Ashbury donated the company’s collection of historic Blue Bird packaging to the Black Country Living Museum.











5 thoughts on “Blue Bird Toffee Tin

  1. Memories! As children we used to buy a tin of Blue Bird Toffee for our Dad every Christmas, it had to be in a flat time with a small ‘silver’ hammer – and he didn’t share it either!!


  2. Hi I’ve obtained a blue bird toffee “tin” but it’s cardboard with just tin lid and base . Says blue bird toffee on lid and has rabbits playing round a house on sides .
    How old is it any ideas.


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