What a brilliant name for a sweet shop! Pandora’s Box. It was just across the road from another well-named establishment: the Jolly Fryer chip shop. Pandora’s Box isn’t a sweet shop now, but it used to be when we were at school.
There was a craze at Ysgol Glan Morfa at one time for Traffic Lights lollipops. We used to go to Pandora’s Box to buy them. And then along came Kojak (whose gimmick, lo and behold, was eating Traffic Lights lollipops). This pushed their price up from 1d to 2d. A blatant cash-in by their manufacturers and we’d been supping ’em for years before Kojak even joined NYPD. After that lollipop price-hike, we had to look for other sweet-ways to spend our pocket money.
Love Hearts were a giggle: ‘Be Mine’; ‘True Love’ ‘Squeeze Me’. Always tasteful; never raunchy. Boys couldn’t eat them without being teased. I just liked their fizzy flavour – like a bigger version of Swizzles.
I wish you could still buy Sweet Tobacco, it was delicious. It looked just like the real thing. Brown, ready rubbed but made of coconut in a waxy wrapper with a picture of a sailing ship on it.
Liquorice came in all shapes and sizes: Catherine wheels, shoelace, pipes… One day, on the way home from school, Dewi offered me a tiny liquorice sweet from a snuff tin. Then he gave me another… and another one… and another one. When I’d eaten half the tin, he told me they were laxatives.
‘What’s that?’ (Why should a boy of 11 know what laxatives are?)
‘They’ll make you go to the toilet all the time,’ said Dewi.
‘Yeaugh’ They didn’t though. I’m sure I’d have remembered.