Unlike Golborne with its wealth of mills and factories, life in Lowton was dominated by farming. Despite the famous Lancashire link to the cotton industry, there were only a couple of mills in the village – Knotts Mill on Newton Rd and a cotton mill on Church Lane. Known as Victoria Mill, this building burnt to the ground in the early 1900s.
Around 1914 there were, however, no fewer than three family businesses producing sweets in the village. A small factory on Kenyon Lane which was run by the Hurst family became known for their very popular brand “Hurst’s Lung Tips”. Just down the road, Willian Hindley’s family business eventually became famous world wide as the Sovereign Confectionery Company, taking over the old Victoria Mill site around 1920. Especially popular for its Devon Creams and Creamy Whirls, the “toffee works” as it is known locally rapidly became a massive success, exporting goods all over Europe and employing hundreds of local people – especially women. The business closed when owner Fred Hindley (William’s son) died at a young age and the building was taken over by a seating firm. The ornate iron gates of the Sovereign Confectionery Company’s hey day remained in place however, standing proud until the building was finally demolished about 17 years ago. Ranworth Drive and Sovereign Close now stand on the original site.