• 05Mar

    spangles3kx7.jpgThe other night Tim and I started talking about sweets we remember after I read a bit in my book mentioning Spangles. Apparently “remember Spangles” is the usual opening line to a conversation like this and I later found lots of chat on the Internet about favourite remembered confectionery. It’s amazing what you can find out if you start looking and also surprising what is still available to buy, brought back by popular demand, if only online.

    Alas Spangles are no more although apparently they did return for a short while in the 90’s. Probably today health & safety would have an issue with the razor sharp hole that appeared in the middle as the sweet dissolved in your mouth. I couldn’t find a photo of the 80’s packaging anywhere but I did find an early advertisement (pictured left) which made me laugh!

    From Spangles we moved on to other sweets:


    Opal Fruits of course “made to make your mouth water” were very popular and why they have never reverted to calling them this I don’t know, “Starburst” just doesn’t evoke the same feeling. Perhaps it shows there is importance in a name, I don’t think I’ve bought them since… but then I don’t buy many sweets now.

    Tooty Fruities and Tooty Minties – Tooty Fruities are still available but the minties (my favourite) are no more. These square pastilles with a hard crunchy coating and chewy centre came in small packets with different coloured greens/white for the mints and bright colours (sporting lots of E numbers!) for the fruits, the vivid purple was my favourite.

    Refreshers are still around. I loved these and anything with sherbet in, great stripy packaging too which is still exactly the same.

    Swizzles party bags and all that they contained….

    Sherbet fountains which you could never get to work properly, trying to suck the sherbet through the liquorice straw thingy!

    Fruit Salads and Black Jacks somehow went hand in hand. I’ve just ordered some of these (along with a few others) from “Bag of Sweets” and wonder if they will be how I remember.

    Parma violets I wasn’t keen on – was anyone?

    Drumsticks, seemed to last ages and were yummy.

    Flying Saucers which dissolved very satisfactorily in your mouth with a hit of sherbet at the end.

    Space Dust (now fizz wizz) was all the rage when I was at school. Can still recall the crackle on my tongue and friends sticking their tongues out saying “can you hear that”.

    sweetpics-112.jpgGold Nuggets bubble gum which is BACK again. I loved the taste of this but one little nugget was never enough to chew on – I got through the little cloth bag in no time.

    Sherbet Dip Dabs are still available in their original packing. I had these a lot but rarely ate the sweet on the stick after finishing off all the sherbet!

    Maynards had a shop at Bennetts End and this was where my sweet fix came from, along with the sweet shop at The Denes occasionally. Their fruit pastilles and fruit gums are still going strong of course. They had all the sweet jars on high shelves and penny sweets under the counter, which were somehow magical purchased in a white paper bag of course which got very sticky.

    Other sweets remembered include: Toffo, Fruit Polos, Cherry Drops, Blobs (lovely name, which I used to accidentally swallow so stopped buying!), Love Hearts, Jazzies, Strawberry Bootlaces, Catherine Wheels (liquorice strip curled up with an aniseed sweet in the middle), chocolate tools, chocolate/candy sticks & sweet cigarettes, packets of stickers with a flat oblong piece of bubble gum in.

    Chocolate wise my favourite was always mint cracknell which was 2 rectangular bars of sharp bright green mint cracknell covered in milk chocolate in an equally bright green wrapper. I used to buy these from the vending machine at the sports centre after swimming. Was a Banjo bar like a Drifter? Frys Five Centres I was never sure about. I adored Caramac which is still around, for some reason I used to melt it in a saucepan and pour over ice cream! The other was Old Jamaica, a favourite of Dad’s, which came in a lovely orangey packaging with a big ship on the front.

    No idea if you can still buy a “Weekend” box of chocolates which were a party favourite at home. There were some funny ones in there including a noisette milk chocolate in a red concertina paper case, a fudge with ridged top, lemon jelly, some crystallised vivid green thing with chocolate bits on, a chocolate strawberry, pretty sure one had something vaguely alcoholic in which I’d always go for, rum probably!

    Meltis New Berry Fruits were always bought for old relatives when we went to visit! After a bit of a search I see they have been relaunched and were not, as I thought, the same as York Fruits (no liquid centre in those).

    neapolitans1b.jpgTerry’s Neapolitans – a special selection of miniature chocolate bars. I just loved these but they disappeared, along with a great tradition and much sadness, in 2005 when the Terry’s of York factory closed down.

    Ice Gems, recently found they are still around but hadn’t had them for about 20 years. You’d always eat the icing off the top and be left with the boring biscuit base. One of the prettiest biscuits though!

    Curly wurly, Mum’s favourite. I lost at least one filling whilst eating one of these, always too much for me to get through in one go too but great design!

    Club Biscuits “if you like a lot of chocolate on your biscuit join our CLUB”. I think they still make orange but I liked the mint one with a mint leaf on the paper wrapper.

    Viscount mint biscuits, round biscuits covered in milk chocolate in a green wrapper. Yum.

    Wagon Wheels, apparently we all think they have gotten smaller! It used to be a struggle to finish one whereas now most of us could probably fit the whole biscuit in our mouth at once.

    We then went on to crisps, some we’ve since found are still in the shops, maybe with slightly different names and different packaging:

    Space Invaders and Sky Divers looking just as you’d expect! Monster Munch of course, pickled onion flavour lethal! Smith’s Salt ‘n Shake which disappeared from the shelves at least once but came back by popular demand. I remember finding at least 5 little blue bags in one packet! Wotsits, Ringos, KP Skips, Chiplets, Chipsticks, Tubes, Quavers, Square crisps, Puffs, Space Invaders, Twists, Frazzles, Twiglets (my favourite, especially when they used to come in the red box and were still made by Peak Frean). Do you remember Piglets? That was one I found on the Internet and had completely forgotten. Little pig shapes, hollow in the centre, kind of like mini crackers, weird. Burtons Fish ‘n Chips, another favourite, savoury biscuit shapes with quite a lot of flavour. I loved the red, white and black newspaper style bag they came in.

    Do add any you remember and thanks for reading my sweet-toothed ramblings. I’m off to eat a Wagon Wheel for the first time in 20 years, swear they’ve got smaller though!

7 Responses

  • Twinkle Star Says:

    yeah remember all those sweets.sweets like wagon wheels sure have got smaller amongst many other sweets…..or is it my eye sight fading away in the distance…..:)))
    Remember the eggs that contained a toy?..or am i giving the game away that i’m just an old relic 😮

  • Zoe Cowell (nee Holdsworth) Says:

    OH Golly! yes Spangles bring back fond memories of a weeks school trip to swanage( so much fun!!)
    Arctic roll,,yes
    wagon wheels.gob stoppers.opal fruits,frys turkish delight,kinder surprise,at school we used to get these tasty little potato puffs,,not sure who made them.OMG my mouths watering like crazy..haha

  • Zoe Cowell (nee Holdsworth) Says:

    its funny how smells and tastes take us back years!!! tootie fruits(I can still smell them and taste ) even though havent had one in yrs,just from memory and can remember the smells wafting from Wimpys in Hemel ,as u walked up ramp to it

  • Janet Says:

    OMG, what a great post! Bought back some brilliant memories, bit too far back!
    I use http://www.zapsweets.co.uk to get all my old favourite sweets, so yummy!

  • British Girl in TX Says:

    Yes … the Kinder eggs with the surprise inside … thanks for all the wonderful sweet and crisps memories!

  • Tina Says:

    A fantastic trip down Memory Lane! I particularly loved the reference to the razor-sharp hole that appeared in the centre of a Spangle <3

    I would also like to add to the list: Pink Panther chocolate which was gorgeously synthetically sweet (as well as actually being pink) and Bazooka Joe bubble gum which contained a little cartoon and some kind of credits that you could send off for little toys! I also loved Jubblies, triangular blocks of frozen ice (although I think these may still be around.)

    With regards to the idea that sweets are getting smaller (and not just our hands-and stomachs-getting bigger!) I heard that when the excellent retro TV series, Life On Mars, was being filmed, they got their hands on an original Curly Wurly (people collect weird things!)…and it WAS SIGNIFICANTLY BIGGER than today's version!

  • Pam Christou Says:

    Oh yes lovely sweets. I also remember the other sweet shop at Bennetts End. Worsleys. My dad used to buy his favourite Nuttals Mintoes from him and we used to buy our penny sweets or 2 ounces of something from the big jars like, cola cubes, cough candy, nut brittle, aniseed balls, pineapple chunks, fruit pips, which were really tiny fruit flavoured boiled sweets covered in a sort of powdered sugar. He also sold love hearts, which were just sweet and not sherbets unlike the ones in the packers. And my absolute favourites in the penny sweet selection were flying saucers! Rice paper with sherbet inside.Yummy yummy! I also liked Fry’s mint cream bars. Green minty cream covered in dark Fry’s chocolate. Just like the five flavours bar.

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