For Whom The Tinkerbell Tolls

In confectionery, Jellies, Jelly Crystals, McClymont Confectionery Ltd., Point Chevalier Historical Society, Tinkerbell on December 23, 2010 at 10.46

Tinkerbell Jelly. Never heard of it? Well, neither have I, ever. Occasionally I have been surprised by the stuff – well-known apparently – that has amazingly escaped me over the years of collecting, but I think I have most of it covered at this point. A Google search – general and image – turns up almost no references. I love stuff like this, a total mystery. It makes me wonder.

Was it the name, a case of bad marketing, With only a toddler level appeal? What kind of business was it, how big, and how long were they around? What other products did they have, and how did they develop the business? What was the background of the person that started it up and the history of their family? The only clue I have by squinting (something I’m very good at) at a very low resolution image of the bottom of the box, is what appears to be “McClymont Confections, Auckland”. Clearly the product didn’t last long on the shelves. Did they go bust? Was there a personal tragedy or untowards event that brought the company down?  Maybe even a corporate takeover that so often happens when they prune products that aren’t working so well. Perhaps an offshoot brand of one of the larger concerns that bought the company and tried to expand, unsuccessfully? -I guess we’ll never know.

The only thing I’ve turned up is a map dated from the early fifties  of Point Chevalier, Auckland, which shows “At around No. 1104, a factory was built c.1953 by McClymont Confectionery Ltd”. It tells us that they were around then, either starting up or had become successful enough to build premises not more than ten minute’s drive from the city CBD. This building was demolished some time in the 1990’s to build a shopping complex. Perhaps the history of Tinkerbell brand died as the last of the bricks came tumbling down.

But if you remember it, any other products they may have had in their line, or even have some information, feel free to pass it along.
Anyway, the brand is quaint and graphic is very cute, and I wouldn’t have minded it to go with the rest of my collection of still-full vintage jelly (or jello, if you’re a Yank) packages. Started at a very low price of twelve bucks, passed in at auction with no bids, I asked the seller to contact me and make an offer, but they never did. Maybe they had second thoughts about the specialness of this item, just like I did.

* This post was published as an article in the 17th issue of  Point Chevalier Historical Society’s bulletin “Point Chevalier Times”.


  1. I’ll have to take some time off other stuff now to read your wonderful blog! Is there any chance the Point Chevalier Historical Society could have your permission to publish this post, with credit, in our “Point Chevalier Times”? Permission to reuse your image would be great too.

  2. Hi Lisa, thanks for reading and thank you for the compliment. I am really enjoying doing the blog too. I have seen your name around on another blog or heritage interest listing. You have my permission to re-publish it if you wish, I think you will find that the map actually comes from a Point Chevalier Historical Society bulletin where it was previously published. The owner of the item who is author of the photo, I cannot trace, I remember I contacted the person after auction to no response, and now have no details to follow up again. However I am happy to give permission for you to publish it and take the heat if need be, I did modify and clean up the image myself.

    • Cheers — I’d wondered why that LINZ plan was so familiar! Glad to see our journal came in handy for you. Yes, I do the Timespanner blog, and thanks again for coming to visit there. Nice surprise when I got home today.

  3. Re McClymont. If you contact me I think I may be able to help fill in a bit of history for you.
    Bruce Fuller – Historian

  4. That’s interesting, Bruce. If there’s anything you’d like to share with the Pt Chevalier Historical Society, let us know. ptchevalierhistory@gmail.com

    Lisa Truttman

  5. Strange map isn’t it?
    It shows “Mt Albert” Road in the wrong place.
    The road running off Great North Rd is Carrington Rd, formerly called Gladstone Rd. ??????

  6. No, the survey plan is correct. The part we know know as Carrington Road, formerly Gladstone Road, was called Mt Albert Road rom the 1860s up to the early 20th century — quite literally the “road to Mt Albert”. The names Gladstone and Carrington were later nods to British political figures, when the Mt Albert Road name was reserved for the south-eastern portion to Royal Oak only.

  7. I have been trying to date a recipe book of my late Grandmother and found you when doing some research – there is a full page advertisement in the book for 2 products made by McClymont Confections Ltd, 16 Arthur Street, Auckland. I will scan and send to you if you like just contact me.

  8. Thanks for the picture. I remember this jelly, particularly the shape of the packet and the jubes amongst the jelly crystals. Mum bought it from a Self Help shop in Woolston, Christchurch, like an early supermarket, when I was a child in the 1960s.

    • Thanks for your comment, Sue. Yes Self-Help was very prominent being New Zealand’s historically second-largest chain of groceries next to Four Square, The McClymonts had a strong relationship with the Sutherland family and a lot of the McClymont business was generated on the premise of sales to Self-Help, and also Four Square. The bulk of that was pick-and-mix style confectionery in particular toffees, and also Tinkerbell, ‘Gravis’ gravy powder as well as other items.

  9. You might want to research this via the Barrie estate. Since he bequeathed the proceeds of “Peter Pan” to a children’s hospital, probably that would include trademark licensing, so somewhere there might be a record of payments for that license.

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