The history of the ‘Jammie Dodger’ biscuit
Although this story is not connected to Nottinghamshire, it was told by the writer on BBC Radio Nottingham, on the Frances Finn show, on Sunday 11th February 2018.
This is a story told to me many times by my father, Patrick Cross. He was a man of great integrity and certainly not one to invent stories, so I accept this story as perfectly true.
The story goes back to the early 1950’s, when my father ran a milk bar (what today would probably be called a ‘coffee shop’) called the ‘Moo Cow’ in Coventry. Many sales reps would call in to sell their products, and one of them was from a well known biscuit manufacturer. They had launched a new biscuit under a temporary name, and thought it had a great future, so to drum up publicity for it, they had launched a national competition to name the new biscuit. There was a not-insubstantial prize for the winner, in today’s terms probably somewhere around £500 or so.
Not being especially interested, my father told this salesman that his young daughter, one of my older sisters, liked these new biscuits and called them ‘jammy dodgers’, for reasons completely unknown to him.
The salesman apparently thought this was a good name, and entered the competition on his own, with no credit to my family. This name won the competition, and the rest is history, as they say. It always irked my father that the salesman had passed off the name as his own idea, when it was really my sister’s (not to mention the prize money!).
A web search today will say that this biscuit was named after the character in The Beano comic, Roger the Dodger, but our family knows different!