When I was a kid, like most kids, I loved sweets. They were the cornerstone of my diet and were an important source of daily vitamins!
There were various ways of accessing sweets: checking out the sweet tin in the kitchen, asking Mum to bring something back from town and when finances allowed, trips to the sweet shop.
My favourite was called the Penny Shop and was near my old Primary School in Ashton, Preston. The Penny Shop was a jammed full with jars of toffees and shelves of chocolate. It was Happy Land itself!
For me the most satisfying form of sale were small bags of sweets called penny mixes. There were paper bags in which different goodies were placed by the shop keeper [whose name I forget] with guidance from the kids stood in front of the counter.
Most of the wares were in front of the counter on a large shelf in rows like vegetables. There were Fruit Salads, Black Jacks, Anglo Bubbly, Parma Violets, Cherry Lips, sour Flying Saucers, chocolate nutty logs, caramel sticks, sweet tobacco, cigarette sticks, sweet bananas, Spanish, snakes, gobstoppers and Callard and Bowsers chews to name just a few!
Usually the counter shelf, with the trained hand of the shop keeper swiftly grabbing the selection like a vending claw, held enough magic to keep us kids transfixed. However, we would sometimes break from our trance and look around the shop's walls. Here we would see row after row of glass jars stuffed with more adult goods.
The jars all had black screw tops and looked like soldiers lined up for parade. Sweet parade! Inside were sweets like liquorice caramels that required individual paper wrapping and therefore must have been really important.
There were also loose sweets that were very substantial-looking like chocolate chewing nuts and sweet peanuts and very exotic fare like pink bon-bons and floral gums. There were medicines too like cough candy and voice tablets!
Plucking up courage I would occasionally stop the shop keeper and her vending hand and ask for one or two of something from the jars. Horror of horror! Despite my brazen audacity and after a series of grunts and grumbles from the keeper, a few bon-bons would plop into my bulging bag.
Paying my pennies I stepped outside hefting my paper sack, comforted by its weight and thrilled by its sugary contents. Shoving a sweet in my 'gob' the bag was then tucked into my Parka pocket and I strolled off with my mates. All was well in the world!
How did you get your sweets in your part of the world readers? Was it a shop?