Saturday, 19 March 2011

Listography - My Top 5 Sweets

I can’t remember the name of my first school teacher, but I remember the first shop I bought sweets in, it belonged to the Lowry family whose daughter was in my class.
One day playing in their house, which was actually behind and above the shop, her mother gave us 5 pence each so we could go into the shop and buy some sweets.  Mrs Lowry wore one of those proper cover all aprons, it was brown, secured with two round buttons on her shoulders and had a big pocket on the front.
I was four at the most and mesmerized.
It was 1975 so you could still get halfpenny sweets.  I may not have been paying too much attention at school but I managed to figure out that the little copper coin gripped tightly in my chubby hand had the potential to get me between 5 and 10 sweets.
To this day, I remember exactly what I bought:
1.       2 aniseed balls, the little red ones that lasted ages.
2.      2 flogs – yellow and pink swirls of yumminess.
3.      1 liquorice lace – red, not black, I can’t remember if they tasted better, but they looked fabulous.
4.      A blackjack - I’ve always been a sucker for chewy liquorice.
5.      A fizzle stick – yellow of course, it’s a classic and should be brought back dammit.
Now I cannot say that these are my final list of favourite sweets, because I had not yet discovered the wonder that is the cola cube, but they hold a special place in my heart from my first venture into a sweet shop as a paying customer.
We moved a year later and I didn’t get to go to Lowry’s very often again, but I did discover a proper sweet shop in our new town. 
Mrs Dobbins, the little blue wooden shop at the bottom of the hill.  It had a high wooden counter and a glass panel to lean against and stare in the sugary wonderland.  There was a shelf behind the counter with jar after jar of what we called grown up sweets, because they had wrappers and you had to buy them by the quarter pound.  This was where I fell in love with the Ten Penny Mix.  It came in a little brown bag and I didn’t know what I would get until I opened it.
At the ripe old age of ten, we moved house again and the sweet shop of choice for me in our new home was Mrs Brennans.  The kids around town called it Minnie Brennans, I still don’t know if that was her real name or a nickname, she was quite short.
This is where I discovered cola cubes, my love for which has endured and surpassed my Morten Harket obsession of 1986.
The idea for this list came from the one and only Kate Takes 5 - a great blogger and a lovely person too.


  1. Aw - beautiful post and thanks for the shout out. x

  2. Aniseed Balls and Morten Harket in one blog post - blimey lady, you're spoiling me!

  3. Hmm cola cubes, fizzle sticks, pear drops, sour apples...There is an old fashion sweet shop near where I live. I don't go in very often as I get carried away with myself. Sadly 50p doesn't go very far these days. My first visit cost me €6.00 and I didn't get very much:)

  4. There's a shop not too far from us that sells all those sweets by the quarter. I think they recently put up a sign saying that they had fizzle sticks in stock; must check.