Out of Rexville : G.F. Lovell and the South Wales confectionery industry, c. 1830-c. 1940
South Wales's confectionery industry stands in the shadows of the awesome quarternion of coal, iron,
tinplate and steel, industries that have long needed companionship as custodians of the region's
industrial heritage. What follows is in part an attempt to relieve them of this heavy burden.
Confectionery's role in the endeavour is considered in the Introduction and Afterword. However, its
influence on civic, political, social, economic, business and cultural life in south Wales (and beyond)
merits examination per se; confectionery's imprint was greater than is suggested by the numbers it
employed or the tonnage it manufactured.
PartI tracesi ts emergencea ndd evelopmenti n southW ales,f rom the early-nineteenthc entury
to the beginning of the Second World War. Certain of its component parts are anatomised in the
second, thematic section of the thesis, which begins with a survey of its three main branches -
production, wholesale and retail. The nature of work, the significance of gender, the centrality of
advertising and the hallowed place of welfare and philanthropy are considered summatively in a
national context and analytically within the world of south Wales. An Epilogue reveals how
confectionery advanced( or regressed)a fter the SecondW orld War.
The emergence and advancement of south Wales confectionery is examined principally
through the lens of one individual and company. G. F. Lovell -a twice-married Welsh-born `selfmade
man', entrepreneur, Baptist, Liberal, Freemason, Rotarian, philanthropist, straddler of two
monarchical reigns and two world wars - was the region's most prominent figure, his firm the most
important. In many respects, the history of south Wales confectionery is his history. On the other
hand, Lovell was not the only actor on the stage: a plethora of almost equally influential entrepreneurs
and wholesalers (along with hundreds of industry-based workers and thousands of retailers) illuminate
their and our various histories.