A MAN who discovered a 48-year-old bar of Kendal Mint Cake in his loft believes it may be the oldest-surviving bar of the famous confectionery.
Peter Truelove, 68, of Windermere, bought the bar of Robert Wiper’s Original Mint Cake when he and a friend visited Kendal as 21-year-olds in 1964.
The pair were on a ‘boy’s adventure’ which took them from their homes in Kent to John O’Groats, the most northerly point on the Scottish mainland.
“We travelled the distance in an Austin 7 and it took us a week,” said Mr Truelove, of Hill Top. “The car only did 35mph at best and it was blizzard weather – the snow was coming into the car.
“We called at Kendal on the way back and we’d heard about the mint cake, so when we saw some we thought we’d buy a bar.”
Mr Truelove said he was not sure why he had kept the bar in a box in his loft.
“It was on a shelf as a memento of the trip but it’s been in the loft since we moved to Windermere 16 years ago,” he said. The bar is still in reasonable condition although some of the sugar is seeping through the wrapping.
Although the original Wipers recipe is still used, the company was sold to Romneys in 1987.
Managing director John Barron said: “We have been making it all these years and I don’t think we have any that old – it’s impressive.
“It wouldn’t do him any harm to eat it now but I don’t expect it would taste very nice.”
Mr Truelove said what was also interesting to discover was the journal he wrote while travelling, which documented the stop-off in Kendal. He said: “I had to record everything we spent because my friend and I were splitting the cost of the trip. It’s funny now to look back and see that someone offered to sell us a car engine and gear box for £2.50, and that 15 litres of petrol was 60p.
“Unfortunately, the price of the mint cake wasn’t included, although I did write that we’d visited and purchased it.”
POTENTIALLY deadly blue-green algae has been found on Windermere.
The Environment Agency says it has found evidence of an algal bloom at Low Wray Bay, prompting South Lakeland District Council to issue a warning.
The authority said anyone using lakes, rivers and reservoirs should treat all blue-green algae blooms with caution and contact should be avoided as skin rashes and illness may occur if the water is swallowed.
Farmers and pet owners should also prevent livestock and animals coming into contact or drinking the affected water, as it can sometimes prove fatal for animals.
SLDC’s environmental health team leader, Tracy Howard, said: “Blue-green algae can potentially make people feel quite ill if swallowed or even by just swimming in it.
"We just want people to be aware of the affects and are asking people to be extra careful and vigilant when using the lakes and rivers for recreational purposes during the summer months.
"The public should observe any notices near affected areas and avoid contact or drinking the water.”
Many waters are vulnerable to problems with the algae, typically between June and November.
Experts say all blue-green algal blooms should be assumed to be toxic.
The blooms vary in colour from discoloured green, blue-green, greenish brown, or reddish brown.
Further information about blue-green algae can be found on the Environment Agency’s website at www.environment-agency.gov.uk