For some reason I have had this song going through my head all day:
The opening lines made me think of the various treats I would buy myself with my pocket money. Despite all of the efforts that my parents would make to get me to purchase something healthy, they failed on almost every occasion. There was one time when I bought a very large orange and tried to juice it, but that is the only time I can remember giving in. Apart from anything else, the highly disappointing juice-t0-size ratio put me off ever doing it again.
Sweets and crisps (or, if you prefer, candy and chips) were the only thing to buy. And what a variety there was. I remember when Space Invaders first came onto the market, and Snaps, the cheapest crisp on the market. And the arrival of ‘Salt’n’Shake’ crisps, a retro move in the Seventies, looking back at the days when crisp packets came with the plain crisps and a paper twist containing salt, so that you could add your own according to your taste. Opening the little blue packet in the new one, pouring it into the bag and then holding the top tight whilst you shook might have reduced half of the crisps to crumbs, but it also put the fun into eating unhealthily.
Then there were the sweets. In fairness, I have to say that my parents had very few rules about which we could and could not buy. There was, after a while, a ban on what were then marketed as sweet cigarettes and sweet tobacco, but apart from that we were free to buy whatever we could get someone to sell to us, and that included sweets (and, on one occasion, a miniature of Bell’s Whiskey, but that isn’t nearly as interesting a story as it sounds).
The good thing about this policy was that I quickly found out what I did and did not like. Turkish Delight was too sweet and smelled of rosewater. Fry’s Creme things were just horrible. And I hated the way that Flying Saucers went all papery on your tongue.
Some things were too expensive to buy regularly. A Bluebird Toffee bar would last for ages, sometimes days of sitting on a saucer in the kitchen being nibbled at, but cost almost all of your money. Highland Toffee bars lasted hardly any time once they softened up even though they were almost as expensive, and life was all about instant gratification in those days. In fact, even a sherbet fountain was a bit of a luxury (although it did give me a life long love of liquorice).
The thing I remember most, though, is the same thing that everyone of my generation remembers fondly – the great ‘lost’ sweet that was the Texan bar. Promoted by a cartoon cowboy who was continually able to talk his way out of trouble by insisting that no-one do anything until he finished his Texan bar (which usually resulted in everyone else falling asleep) it really did live up to it’s promise. They took ages to eat.
Apparently we don’t have them any more because the miners’ strike of the 1980s led to the factory being closed. So that is another thing to blame Arthur Scargill for. But here is the most famous of the ads
Go on, remind me of some other historic treats that I have missed