It will be a sweet day this weekend when Jethart Snails are officially put back into circulation

A famous Jedburgh sweetie dating back to the early 19th century is making a welcome comeback this weekend.

By Paul Kelly
Wednesday, 24th November 2021, 3:00 pm
Linda and Wull Wylie with their Jethart Snails. (Photo: BILL McBURNIE)
Linda and Wull Wylie with their Jethart Snails. (Photo: BILL McBURNIE)

Jethart Snails, a mint-flavoured toffee, are as synonymous with the town as its famous confectionery counterparts Hawick Balls and Berwick Cockles.

Now, after a two year absence, the snails are back in production after Jedburgh couple Wull and Linda Wylie acquired the rights.

This Sunday they will be selling the traditional sweets in tins at the town’s Christmas market.

Linda and Wull Wylie with their Jethart Snails. (Photo: BILL McBURNIE)

The story of the Jethart Snails dates back to the Napoleonic War, when many French soldiers were held in Jedburgh as prisoners of war.

To show his gratitude to Jasper Miller for all the kindness shown to him a French prisoner presented him with a recipe for minted-boiled sweets.

The recipe is a closely guarded secret and was handed down through generations of the Miller family.

In recent years the recipe was sold to another local Jedburgh family, the Shaws, and now the Wylie family is carrying on the tradition of making snails – and the recipe remains a secret.

Wull, 60, said: “My wife Linda works in the Jedburgh Chocolate House shop and was sick of people asking for them and not being able to get them. I’m a Jed lad through and through so decided to get in touch with the Shaws and ended up buying them out. The Shaws had stopped production over the last couple of years and I like to see traditions kept going in the town. I enjoyed them growing up and they used to be sold in Millers the fruit shop in the town. You can’t get the original tin now but it’s the same label, so it’s basically the same.”

The sweets are to be sold in 100 gram bags and in 190 and 350 gram tins.

Wull added: "We’re making them at home. It takes four people to make them so we are helped out by two granddaughters. Hopefully we can keep it in the family from now on. We’re going to sell them in the Jed chocolate shop and Briggsy’s the butchers and at the Tourist Information Centre. The launch is at the Jedburgh Christmas market on Sunday and we’ll be set up there with the snails. It’s exciting to have them back.”