No childhood memories are quite so evocative as those of the sweets (in the UK), candy (in the US) or lollies (in Australia) which were such a big part of our life when growing up.
“Who knows the secret of the Black Magic box?”, “And all because the lady loves Milk Tray”, “The Bounty Hunters – they came in search of paradise” . . .
Utter these phrases to your friends the next time you’re out for a drink or a meal and see how many hours pass before you run out of sweet memories and wind up lamenting that, although some of these delicacies are still around, alas they are much smaller than they used to be . . .
What follows is not meant to be an exhaustive list of every piece of confectionery available in the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s – it is really a recollection of some personal favourites (many of them sadly now gone-but-not-forgotten) and some which have become legend.
- Black Magic
- Cadbury’s Creme Eggs
- Cadbury’s Lucky Numbers
- Chocolite – From the US. A thick chocolate bar with air whipped into it. “Chocolate never tasted thick and light as Chocolite”.
- Fruit & Nut – “Everyone’s a Fwuit and Nut case”.
- Fry’s 5 Centres
- Fry’s Chocolate Cream
- Galaxy Counters
- Good News
- Milk Tray
- Milky Bar
- Mintessa – A dual-bar delight from Terry’s of York featuring dark chocolate rippled over mint cream with mint crunchy sugary bits throughout.
- Mint Cracknel
- Old Jamaica – “Genuine Cadbury’s stuff”.
- Pink Panther Bars – Franchised strawberry-flavoured chocolate. Pink-coloured with an overbearing, sick-inducing taste.
- Quality Street
- Revels – “A box of chocolates in a bag”. Or for those with nut allergies, Russian Roulette in a bag!
- Selection Boxes
- Toblerone – “and triangular honey from triangular bees”
- Turkish Delight
- World’s Finest Chocolate
- Yorkie – The milk chocolate brick. Much favoured by long-distance lorry drivers.
Biscuits masquerading as sweets
- Bar 6
- Blue Riband
- Jacob’s Club
- Kit Kat
- United Bars
- Wagon Wheels – Introduced in 1954 and originally 3¼ inches wide.
Minty and fruity stuff
- Fox’s Glacier Mints
- Fruit Gums
- Fruit Pastels
- Minties (Australia)
- Murray Mints
- Opal Fruits – First introduced in 1959 and “made to make your mouth water”. Sadly they have now been renamed Starburst.
- Opal Mints/Pacers
- Polo Fruits/Lifesavers
- Polo Mints
- Tic Tac
- Trebor Mints
- Amazin’ Raisin Bar
- Blackjacks – Aniseed flavoured chews made by Trebor Sharps in Maidstone, Kent. Originally had golliwogs on the wrapper.
- Curly Wurly – A soft, chewy crochet of toffee and chocolate advertised by a 40-year-old man (Terry Scott) dressed as a schoolboy. Marketed as a ‘Wig Wag’ bar in Canada and a Marathon Bar in the USA.
- Fantales (Australia)
- Forever Yours Bar
- Mars Bar – “A Mars a day helps you work, rest and play”. Yes, but what about the acne and weight problems?
- Milky Way – “The sweet you can eat between meals without spoiling your appetite”. Cunning marketing ploy guys, but my mum didn’t fall for it.
- Now’n’Later – These things pull your fillings out. Of course, eating stuff like that will ensure that you’ll have fillings to begin with.
- Turkish Taffy – You had to smack it on the ground to break it up before you could eat it.
- Wham! Bars – Long pink chewy things with bits of yellow and green fizzy bits according to flavour.
- Aniseed Balls
- Bullseyes – These were every Granddad’s favourite. You could crack your denture in half if you tried to do anything other than suck them though.
- Humbugs – See ‘Bullseyes’ above.
- Pineapple Chunks
- Sherbet Lemons
- Sherbet Strawberries
- Fizzers – rolled-up tablet candies that fizz and dissolve when put into soda. They are similar to the American candy called Smarties (known as Rockets in Canada).
- Love Hearts
- Pop Rocks
- Refreshers – “Refreshing” how exactly?
- Sherbet Dip-Dabs
- Sherbet Flying Saucers
- Sherbet Fountains
- Sherbet Pips
- Space Dust
- Swizzels Double Dip
- Mixed Sweets
- Dolly Mixtures
- Jelly Tots
- Lucky Bags/Jamboree Bags
- Parma Violets – disc-shaped sweets similar to Fizzers but lilac coloured with an almost ‘scenty’ taste and no fizziness.
- Sweet Cigarettes
- Sweet Prawns
- Anglo Bubbly
- Bubble Tape
- Bubs Daddy – The smell of the sour apple was enough to make you gag.
- Chiclets – “The chewing gum that makes chewing fun”
- Hubba Bubba
- Juicy Fruit
- Smooth ‘n’ Juicy – Bazooka’s late entry into the soft bubble gum market. Very short-lived.
- Wrigley’s PK
- Wrigley’s Spearmint
Miscellaneous and bizarre
- Flip-Em’s – Very sweet, pellet-shaped candy in a box.
- Garbage Candy – Sweet-Tart candy in the shapes of pieces of rubbish, all in a plastic garbage can.
- Gummi Bears – Stormed the sweet market in the early 80s in assorted colours and flavours. Depending on the brand they were either super soft or rock hard.
- Spanish Gold
- Atomic Fireball
- Bun Bars
- Mary Janes
Big thanks to Nicola Murphy, Pat Lynch, Mark Scott, Michelle Roberts, Tom Murphy, Louise Pepper, Clare Sudbery, Iain Griffiths, Peter Hill, Chris Hughes, Clive Shaw, Matthew Bullen and all of the old TV Cream and Bullet list members.