This Day in History: 2010-01-07

On 7th January 2010, the BBC first broadcast Michael Portillo interviewing Tom Dixon of Pontefract in his series ‘Great British Railway Journeys’ on his travels from Pontefract to Bridlington. Tom claimed to have (then) the last growing liquorice bush in Pontefract at the house of his great grandfather built in 1810. Tom showed Michael a liquorice boot made by Hillabys of Pontefract which the company had devised for United Artists’ 1925 Charlie Chaplin film ‘The Gold Rush‘ in which the starving Little Tramp cooks and eats his footwear. Liquorice had been grown and stored at Pontefract Castle around the time of the Civil War and for many years after.