The largest Cracker in the World
This was made by children of Ley Hill School and Ley Hill Pre-school and parents and helpers. It was 63.1m long and 4m in diameter.
It was made of 200m 6″ by 2″ timber, ½ mile cardboard, 1300 bolts, 1000 nails, 500 screws ad ½ mile of plastic tape. It took four days to make. It contained 300 balloons, presents for the children, a giant hat and a joke. It was pulled on 20th December by 44 children and the Saracens Rugby Team.
1906 Thomas Smith was granted his first Royal Warrant by the then Prince of Wales which entitled them in to become members of the royal Warrant holders Association in 1909. Special crackers are still produced for the Royal house hold, although the design and contents are a closely guarded secret.
By the turn of the century, Smiths factory was producing over 13,000,000 crackers every year, sold all over the Empire. Almost all the cracker was hand made, with machines being responsibly for assembling the papers for the cracker and making the boxes.
Records tell of a gentleman in 1927 who wrote to the company enclosing a diamond engagement ring and a 10 shilling note asking for a special cracker to be made so he could propose. Unfortunately, he did not enclose an address and never contacted the company again. The ring, money and letter remain in the safe to this day.
Pre-war novelty gifts included glass pendants and brooches, bracelets and other jewellery, hand made wooden toys from Norway, musical toys from Germany and solid silver charms, embroidered aprons, handkerchiefs and jade Buddhas. One famous set of crackers even held a bottle of fine French perfume in each cracker. After the Second World War gifts were kept to a minimum due to lack of money.