The Sugar Girls goes to press

The Sugar Girls has gone to press today, just over a year since we first started working on it. It’s been a whirlwind twelve months since we first set foot inside the Thames Refinery – and in that time we’ve learnt a huge amount about Tate & Lyle, Silvertown and the women who worked in the factories there.

We couldn’t have done it without the generous help of many people – Ken Wilson and Ian Clark at the two Tate & Lyle factories, who took us on a guided tour of each and explained how every aspect of the sugar and syrup production processes work; Jenni Munro-Collins at Stratford Library, who allowed us to trawl through endless old editions of the Tate & Lyle Times; the fifty-odd former Tate & Lyle workers who gave up their time to speak to us about their lives; and the ever-helpful organisers of the various lunch clubs and community centres across Newham, who helped us track down our interviewees.

We are so grateful to everyone who has helped us this year – and we hope you all enjoy reading the book!