Hertford's Pearly King

Sidney Walter Taylor

By Marilyn Taylor

Hertford's Pearly King
Courtesy Hertford Museum
Newspaper report
Courtesy Hertfordshire Archive and Local Studies

Sidney was known as “Rocky” and was one of the sons of Walter Taylor, Hertford’s “muffin man”. His nickname came from the fact he was taught by his father, who was a master confectioner to make rock, black jack and other boiled sugar sweets. He continued as his father had, going round local village fetes selling sweets, toffee apples etc. The whole family lived on Port Hill in Bengeo although Sidney had been born in Hertingfordbury Road. The Taylor family business developed from the muffins and crumpets and sweets into greengrocery and Sidney used to raise a lot of money for the Hertford County Hospital by asking people to guess the number of buttons on his suit, the prize being a basket of fruit. The picture is from Hertford Museum and shows him presenting a cup to a darts team, his brother Charles is behind him. Sidney is buried in Holy Trinity Churchyard, Bengeo in his pearly suit!

This page was added on 08/02/2013.

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  • What a nice story, I had no idea Hertford had a Pearly King, and thought Pearly Kings and Queens were purely the domain of east and south London. My aunt Doreen is currently Pearly Queen of Bermondsey, and has been for a number of years, thus the interest. I noted the praises given for his charitable work and pearly kings’s and queens were an ‘institution’. An institution soon to be forgotten it seems?

    By Terry (29/01/2020)