The Spirit of the Cracker Packers exhibition is now on tour at a venue near you!

The Spirit of the Cracker Packers takes a closer look at the workforce that inspired the creation of the Cracker Packers statue that now stands close to the McVitie’s factory in Caldewgate.

A ‘Cracker Packer’ is the affectionate term for the female factory workers at the Carr’s Biscuit Factory.

“My generation always had somebody or knew somebody who worked at Carr’s. It’s a Carlisle story, and it’s a women’s story. You look at all the good and the great statues and they’re all men. But the good and the great in this part are women.” - Elsie Martlew, 2017

This webpage has been put together with women from the McVitie’s Retirees Group and is supported by the HLF and Carlisle City Council

The Spirit of the Cracker Packers brings together images, oral histories and documents revealing stories past and present, that tell us about what life was really like inside the factory.

“Looking back, they were happy days being a cracker packer, with plenty of crack and laughs. Every time I eat a biscuit, I remember my work days.” - Avril, 201

Illustration: Courtesy of Sandra Reeves


  Exhibition Tour Dates

The Spirit of the Cracker Packers is now on tour at venues around Carlisle until February 2019.

19 June - 18 July:
Carlisle Tourist Information Centre, Old Town Hall.  01228 598596 

14 August - 27 August:
Carlisle Cathedral, Castle Street.  01228 548151

1 September - 20 September:
Botcherby Community Centre, Victoria Road.  01228 596992

25 September - 18 October:
The University of Cumbria Learning Gateway Centre, Fusehill Street.  01228 616234

22 October – 15 November:
Harraby Community Centre, Edgehill Road.  01228 537831

26 November - 18 December:
Cumberland Infirmary, Newtown Road.  01228 523444

8 January - 31 January 2019:
Old Fire Station, Peter Street.  01228 817358

5 February – 28 February 2019:
Yewdale Community Centre, Hutton Way.  01228 591270

Please check with the venue before you visit, as opening times and days vary.

Exhibition gallery

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