Tucked away in Tadcaster Road is the former home of the Terry family and tomorrow, for the first time, it is being opened to the public. MATT CLARK, who also took the pictures, had a sneak preview

CHOCOLATE has been in the news quite a bit recently, what with the 800 celebrations and the new museum on King’s Square.

Not surprising perhaps with York’s confectionery history, but this weekend another chapter will open in the city’s book of chocolate attractions.

Goddards, the home of Noel Terry and his family, has for the last 30 years been used as the National Trust’s Yorkshire regional office.

But from tomorrow, seven rooms will open for the first time to tell the story of one of York’s most famous sons, life at his factory and the heydays of the 1930s.

Built in 1927 in the Arts & Crafts Style by Walter Brierley, Goddards is a Grade I listed gem in Tadcaster Road, not far from the former Terry’s chocolate factory.

Noel was the grandson of Sir Joseph Terry and started working for the family business as a salesman at the St Helen’s Square store in 1911.

He married Kathleen Leetham in 1915 and they went on to have four children; Peter, Kenneth, Betty and Richard. The family lived in the house until 1980.

Throughout the Trust’s plans to the open Goddards to the public, the family have been constantly involved, especially Betty, who shared photos and memories of her life at Goddards.

Now in her eighties, she was back at the house yesterday ahead of tomorrow’s opening.

“I haven’t lived at Goddards since I was 18, which is rather a long time ago,” says Betty.

“I loved it here and we all had a very happy childhood. Neither of my parents were the sort to hug people; we kissed but there was no great contact. We knew we were loved, though.”

In 1923, Noel became joint manager director at Terry’s of York, together with his step-uncle Francis. Under their control, Terry’s production and revenue almost doubled in the inter-war period, which also saw the introduction of the chocolate orange.

The house is not a complete recreation of how it looked when the Terry’s lived there. Instead the National Trust has created rooms to match the prosperous days of the 1930s.

“What used to be the day nursery was my favourite,” says Betty. “It then became my bedroom. There was no playing downstairs.

“I think it’s a very good thing that the rooms are now being opened and I’m delighted they’ve been done so well.”

Goddards will be a continual work in progress, with the flexibility to change rooms or create new displays as more research is made. Many of the stories are told by exhibits and audio tapes which give a flavour of how the Terry family lived, the history of the house and of York’s chocolate industry.

With its heritage, it comes as no surprise that Goddards also has a tearoom and it will serve cakes made with recipes once used in Terry’s tearoom and chocolate shop in St. Helen’s Square in York.

“Goddards has a very special place in my heart and coming back brings a certain amount of nostalgia and emotion,” said Betty. “Seeing all the photographs and things, which tend to get stacked away and you don’t look at them. Now they are on display, just as they should be.”

When you can visit

• Goddards – the house, gardens and tearoom will be open to visitors from Wednesdays to Saturdays between 11am and 5pm (last admission 4.30pm).