By Ivor Jones
Easter time has become a time when many chocoholics consume mountains of Chocolate eggs and assorted sweet items. Which brings to mind some of the sweet times of the past. Who amongst you remembers buying packets of “Jaffas” and rolling them down the aisles at the local picture theatre? Or when you bought a packet of “Fantales” as you unwrapped each lolly you would read stories of the movie stars of the times. Perhaps you may have bought some “Gobstoppers” on the way to school and as you had one in your mouth you would not have been able to talk to your mates. Tmouths.hose were the days when we as youngsters did not concern ourselves with how much junk we put in our mouths.
Another thing from those heady days of yesteryear was the bubble gum with which we would attempt to blow a bubble so large that when it burst it would spread over your cheeks and nose. Toffee apples and home-made toffees were sold at the school fetes upon which you would, if perhaps, unlucky break your teeth.
Did you ever put “Fruit Tingles” into a glass of soft drink? This was an experiment done by a few people I knew in the past. Give it stir and watch the bubbles before drinking.
Remember the confectionary brands of “White Knight” and “Choo-Choo” bars. There were numerous chocolate and lolly brands that have either disappeared or changed over time. Brands such as “Small’s Club Chocolate” which was manufactured as a square block and marketed as “Father’s favourite” that has now evolved into a regular block and called “Nestle’s Club” chocolate. You were also invited, if feeling friendly, to “Share a SnacK”. Snack was made McRobertson’s and was discontinued after acquisition by Cadbury. Their advertising slogan was “Feeling friendly share a Snack, six ripe flavours in every pack”, Snack being a block of chocolate with each square filled with a fruity filling. Another Australian chocolate producer which has since disappeared was “Hoadley’s”. This company is keenly remembered by the youth and musicians of the 1960s for the famous “Hoadley’s Battle of the Bands” concerts that toured the countryside giving performers and the youth of the day exposure to the musical culture of the times. Hoadley’s products included the original “Violet Crumble” and “Polly Waffle”. Some of the licorice brands of yesteryear have also disappeared due to societal change. Some of the brand names used would now be considered in poor taste and racially abhorrent. An Australian chocolate product now sold world-wide is “Freddo” frog which was created by MacRobertson’s and after Cadbury’s acquisition of the company it was introduced to many other countries. Mastercraft was yet another Aussie company that succumbed to foreign takeover whose products of “Golden Rough” and “Mint Pattie” are now produced by Nestle.
James Stedman Henderson’s operated a company at Rosebery and the factory site was named “Sweetacres”. They used that name on their products which included the afore mentioned “Jaffas” and “Fantales” That too also became subject to foreign control when “Nestle” bought the business and the “Sweetacres” name disappeared into oblivion. “Allen’s” which manufactured products such as “Snakes” and “Jelly Babies” and many other sweet favourites has so far retained the name “Allen’s” despite also being acquired by Nestle although I fear that the “Allen’s” brand will, in the near future, also be relegated to history as I have noticed a creeping of the “Nestle” brand on newer stock of what was once “Allen’s” products appearing in stores.
There are still a few Australian owned chocolate and confectionary manufactures such as Darrel Lea, Haigh’s Chocolates, and Robern Menz who have bought back some of the former Hoadley’s brands from Nestle.
What sweet memories do you have of past times? Why not write and let me know?