‘Perfectly charming’ is the perfect phrase for the John Bull Rock factory.
Yes, you may need to take your rose tinted spectacles to see past all the laminated posters, the age and the hubbub of it all.
But it’s charming – in it’s own beautiful seaside way.
It’s been there a long time – I know, because I went myself as a kid. I rolled the rock, made the chocolate lollies and drooled over the gift shop.
Surely, any seaside attraction that has been surviving this long must be doing something right… right?
It’s all a bit – hard to find. The rock factory is overshadowed by a huge indoor soft play center. The tour entrance was closed and we had to wiggle our way through the shop where we paid for our tour – all of £6.50 – and we had to find the grey door.
We arrived straight onto the factory floor where everything was all systems go, and we were treated to a tray of tasters, which always go down well with any kid.
The factory staff talk you through what they’re doing as they do it. We arrived to 150 sticks of mint flavoured rock being cut and another lot being stretched. The rock scissors were amazing – appealed to my inner stationery geek! We were shown how to put letters through the rock and for an extra £1 we got to roll our own stick with a letter inside.
The only problem was because the rock cools so quickly, no matter how fast you roll the stick end up being a little bit of an erm… interesting shape…
The second part of the tour takes you through a museum room full of facts and to the chocolate room. They were making peanut brittle when we arrived and the room was full of the most amazing smell. We were treated to free fudge and spearmints and again for an extra £1 you get to don a chefs hat and pour a milk chocolate crispy pop.
The staff were so patient and kind and let the kids do as much as possible. It brought back a lot of my own childhood memories. This is where – despite all the higgledy piggledy nature of the factory – and the fact it’s a little dated, it just works.
If you’re local to Bridlington or just passing through – it’s worth a stop off. We spent about an hour and a half in the factory and it was a lovely experience.
Even if you don’t like factories, free fudge, free rock and plenty of fun. It’s pretty damn good!