Day: April 1, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History – Sweets

This is the 13th challenge in a weekly series from GeneaBloggers called 52 weeks of personal genealogy and  history, suggested  by Amy Coffin,  that invite genealogists to record memories and insights about their own lives for future descendants.  Week 13 – Sweets

I have to admit that I was never really a sweetie loving kid – at least I don’t recall that I was.  The first sweet shop I remember was run by an elderly lady and I think it used to be a room in her house.  I clearly remember going up a short flight of stone steps to the door of the shop – more like going into someone’s front room.  It was the sort of old fashioned sweet shop that you think of – with big glass jars and you asked for a “quarter of ….” and got your purchase in a little paper bag.

I imagine that if you ask most people of my age in the UK to think of one sweet from their childhood a lot of them would say Spangles – so let’s get them out of the way.  Just in case you can’t remember, Spangles were square sweets with rounded corners and a dimple in the middle of each side, they were individually wrapped and came in a tube.  They were made by Mars and came in a selection of different colours and flavours – including blackcurrant and orange.  I’m sure there were many more – do you remember?

One other Mars sweet product was Opal Fruits – chewy fruit sweets that were “made to make your mouth water” (according to the jingle) – come on now I know that you’re singing it as you just read this.  They came in four “refreshing fruit flavours” – orange, lemon, lime and strawberry.  Which one was your favourite – Jayne has just told me that hers was strawberry.  Controversially Mars changed the name in 1998 to Starburst.

And then of course there was the good old Sherbet Fountain.  This particular delight came in a yellow cardboard tube filled with white tangy sherbet and had a hollow liquorice stick poking out of the top.  I think the idea was that you suck the sherbet through the liquorice – quite often as I recall we just ate the liquorice and poured the sherbet straight into our mouth or if you wanted to be more elegant you dipped the liquorice into the sherbet and sucked it.

Sticking with the sherbet theme what about flying saucers – rice paper discs filled with the old tangy stuff that just melted in your mouth.

My final memory is of liquorice Pontefract Cakes – they were a particular favourite of my grandfather in Leeds.

My wife, Jayne, had a Saturday job working at Woolworths in Skegness, Lincolnshire.  She admits that her preference would have been to work on the record counter – but no, she was on the sweetie “pick and mix”.