Close to the McVitie’s factory in Caldewgate, a sculpture to the ‘Cracker Packers’ now stands. We take a closer look at the workforce that inspired its creation.

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

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, 2018

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

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Exhibition gallery

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