SWEET-toothed Colne folk would have been licking their lips when they saw Caleb the marmalade man roll into town.

Fruit preserver Caleb Duckworth came to the town after leaving Rimington in 1869 and found work with William Pickles Hartley, who later earned a knighthood and fame as Europe's biggest producer of preserves.

Caleb resisted Hartley's move in 1874 to a large new factory in Bootle, near Liverpool, and set up his own after buying his former employer's dry-salting business, which was based in Colne's Piece Hall.

In 1894, he designed and produced the first machine for cleaning and de-stalking currants and sultanas, turning it into a world-wide seller and diversifying the business into making machinery for the food and dairy trade.

The firm also ran a printing business for a time and one of its employees was Philip Snowden, who became Chancellor of the Exchequer in Ramsay MacDonald's Labour government in 1924.

Mr Snowden unsuccessfully contested the Wakefield constituency in West Yorkshire in a by-election in March 1902, where he received 40 percent of the votes.

In 1906, he became the Labour MP for Blackburn.

Caleb Duckworth's sweet-smelling factory came to a bitter end when it closed Colne 1986.