And Mr. Red, that dole idea seems to fit with the Patcham Dockyards (Patcham being a bit inland for anyone to find gainful employment there.)
I am trying to find our family copy of the Sussex dialect dictionary to follow up a suggestion that flint was called something treacly for a boring explanation.
And a safety point - black treacle becames a hazard on storage. The tin lid seals shut, and a gas given off by the treacle builds up, so that when the lid is prised off, it shoots up at a dangerous speed.(SASA, the Sussex space guys, were working on a launch technique making use of this effect, by mechanically removing a battery of lids facing downwards, but they came to a.....) Tate and Lyle recommend that if the tin has not been opened for some months, it be binned, and a new one bought, to avoid harm. So, you use a couple of tablespoons in the Christmas pudding, and then put it away. The next time you want it is a year later... I know the effect is true, because I tried it out on the lawn, wearing safety goggles. I now open the tin with a cloth round it. The treacle remains edible.