Talk­ing the bis­cuit

Fremantle Gazette - - NEWS - Leah Roberts

The Bis­cuit Fac­tory: Sto­ries of a Fre­man­tle Fam­ily gives read­ers a taste of the his­tory of an iconic Fre­man­tle Busi­ness.

THE Bis­cuit Fac­tory: Sto­ries of a Fre­man­tle Fam­ily tells the story of the iconic Mills and Ware Bis­cuit Fac­tory, writ­ten by the grand­niece of Wil­liam Mills.

Mary Mar­shall started piec­ing the story to­gether but it took 16 years for her vi­sion to be re­alised.

The au­thor, like many peo­ple in Perth, had the fa­mous bis­cuits at home.

“Ev­ery year (Royal) Show time was the high­light of the year,” she said.

“The first stall the kids went to was the Mills and Ware.

“It was served ei­ther in a pa­per bag or a lit­tle case, and ev­ery­one in the fam­ily had a lit­tle case.

“Back when I was a child they weren’t sold in pack­ets but were served in bulk at the gro­cery store.

“They weren’t all the same.

“Some had pink and white ic­ing, dif­fer­ent shapes and sizes.”

Ms Mar­shall said it was hard for her to pick her favourite bis­cuit.

The book spans two World Wars and traces the his­tory of Wil­liam Mills, who fled from Eng­land to find a bet­ter life, cul­mi­nat­ing in his friend­ship with Henry Ware and the set­ting up of an in­cred­i­bly suc­cess­ful busi­ness.

Ms Mar­shall said she wanted to record the story for her fam­ily.

“I wanted to write about my grand­mother’s life, try­ing to let my chil­dren know,” she said.

“I re­alised there was a lot more to the story, things I had never heard of, things she’d never spo­ken about.

“Once I started look­ing into that I thought ‘wow, this isn’t just go­ing to be about my grand­mother at all’.”

Pic­ture: Andrew Ritchie­mu­ni­ d484264

Mary Mar­shall, the grand­niece of Wil­liam Mills, who started the fa­mous Mills and Ware bis­cuit busi­ness, has writ­ten a book trac­ing the his­tory of Mr Mills and Henry Ware.

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