Sweet shops

The media is full of stories about the problems with overweight people,  it’s too much fat, or the wrong sort of fat, or it’s too much alcohol, or it’s the wrong sort of this or that or the other, or it’s eating at the wrong time, eating too often, not often enough, too much, not enough of something and dangerously too much of something else, not exercising, a sedentary life-style, the wrong sort of exercise, not enough avocados and nuts, too many avocados and nuts…

Sugar seems to be the main culprit according to some sources (and sauces no doubt)… I don’t eat much sugar, I’m not that keen on chocolate and puddings and cakes and biscuits, I have more of a savoury taste; there is sugar in the fruit I eat, and some of the vegetables, but actually eating sweet things… well, I just don’t really.

As a child I liked sweets more than I do now, but I still liked savoury things more. Actually we didn’t often have sweets and then only small amounts, there wasn’t the opportunity in those days. There sweet shops, and then you could buy them grocer’s I guess, and at newsagent’s, but this was before supermarkets, and long before all the retail opportunities there are now – everywhere you go you can buy sweets and chocolates… fill the car with petrol and there are all sorts at the counter, go to the pub, chocolate behind the bar, go to the garden centre, tray of bedding plants and bags of choccies…

There used to be a sweet shop near our school, and sometimes mum would take us in; I’m sure the owner was actually a nice man but he always seemed ever so grumpy to me. We could buy sweets four for a penny – an old penny that is 1/240th  of a £1, black jacks and fruit salads, gobstoppers of various sizes, dolly mixtures, liquorice allsorts, flying saucers (wafers filled with sherbet) and there were small bars of chocolate, caramac, milky bars, sherbet fountains… There seemed so much choice then, but compared to today it was limited chewy sweets, sucky sweets,chocolate/jelly/toffee/boiled sweets. No doubt the bright colours and strong flavours came from what’s now considered dangerous colouring agents. It was a real old-fashioned sweet shop.

A new housing estate was built behind where we lived and there was a parade of shops and one was a new style newspaper shop with the sort of range (although still less than now) that you would see today with garish wrappers, exciting names and logos. I think I still only had 3d (3 old pence) a week pocket-money, or maybe it had gone up to 6d, and I saved some of that, so sweets were still a rare treat.

Having mentioned that I’m not that bothered with sweets, I do still have a weakness for dolly mixtures and flying saucers…not that i ever buy any!!

Here are some photos to take you back to the old sweetshop:



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