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Sweet memories of even sweeter times.


TIME was there seemed to be a sweet shop at the end of every street, selling the favourites of the day. Whether it was cough candies, cola cubes, pear drops or sherbet pips, everyone had their favourite.

But many of these vanished until the retro sweet revolution hit our region.

There are several retro sweet shops across Tyneside, but one old-fashioned shop, Clough's on Heaton Road in Newcastle is still thriving.

The shop run by the Clough family since 1934 is still a firm favourite with many. Another, Taylors Retro Sweets on the city's Fenham Hall Drive sells a wide range of sweets including real sherbet, which was always a popular choice.

When we asked you to share memories of your favourite sweets from the past the list was endless. Folk loved Bonbons, Rhubarb and Custards, Chocolate Limes, Aniseed Twists, Sarsaparilla tablets and Merry Maid caramels.

Then there were the more exotic - : Spanish Gold, Sweet Peanuts, Fireball Gobstoppers, Sweet tobacco, Army and Navy sweets and Kop Kops.

But who could forget 10p mix-ups and half-penny sweets? Some loved Mojos, foam shrimps and cola bottles, whereas others preferred white mice, milk bottles and strawberry laces.

One reader, Mandy Flynn would like to see all these brought back as she believes sweets tasted better when were younger because no one was worried about the amount of E numbers and sugar in confectionery. It's true that nothing available in today's supermarket pick-and-mix counters tastes the same as it used to.

490BC: The original was won by a Tyneside definitely has a sweet tooth and sweets were big business in the region during the 1950s and 60s. During this time there were three big confectionery companies, GW Horner in Chester-le-Street, Welch and Sons in North Shields and F&M Dobsons in Ponteland.

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GW Horner turned out tons of toffee eclairs from its factory and more than 200 people worked at the Welch sweet plant producing all different kinds, including caramel bonbons, sherbets and lollies.

But it was the family-owned F&M Dobson's factory, that dominated the sweet market as it produced 85 tons of confectionery each week.

The factory was owned by the North East candy king, Fred Dobson, who invented the legendary Fizz Marathon messenger who the scene Marathon Rejoice, we gasped dropped Bomb sweets. These became Dobson's biggest seller and the factory was turning out 24,000 jars a week by the late 1970s.

Dobsons also made Traffic Lights, Rhubarb and Custards, Bloodsuckers, Rosey Apples and "Coals from Newcastle".

These companies' innovative sweets conjure up fond childhood memories for many of our readers and their confectionery legacies still live on.


HAPPY DAYS Celebrating the end of sweet rationing in February, 1953, and left, F&M Dobson's sweet factory in Ponteland, and right, Welch and Sons in North Shields

SENSATION Toffee eclairs emerge from a machine at GW Horner in Chester-le-Street
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Sep 28, 2012
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