Sunday, 17 February 2008

I Remember Sweets

This is my completed piece for the February Take it Further challenge. Sharon challenged us to think about what we are old enough to remember and I thought of all those major world events like the Kennedy assassination, but what I also kept thinking about was sweets! I had 6d a week pocket money (and yes, we're talking old money here for those UK folks old enough to remember) and I particularly loved Black Jacks, little square chews that were 4 for a 1d. I remember I used to spend ages in the shop working out how to spend my 6d and what to buy, but often I didn't get round to eating them, and a few months later would have to throw the sticky mess away.
I asked around at work whether you could still buy Black Jacks and you can (and that got everyone reminiscing about the sort of sweets they remember), and I managed to find them in an old fashioned sweet shop in Lyme Regis. Some things haven't changed: as I was at the counter my daughter asked if I was actually going to eat them, to which I replied 'Oh no, I'm just going to unwrap them'. The shopkeeper's face was a picture and as we turned to leave he said to my daughter 'Who'd buy sweets to eat them?!' I bought Black Jacks and Starbursts and my daughter will eat the Starbursts but yesterday when I finished the piece sure enough, the Black Jacks were consigned to the bin.
I remembered the Black Jacks as having a stripy black and white wrapper with a picture of either a pirate or a skull and crossbones on it. The modern version has black and white swirls and no picture so I searched the Internet and found a wrapper on the site of the Victoria and Albert Museum of Childhood site. It showed an original wrapper from the 1920's and the picture was of a golliwog, so unfortunately I didn't feel that was appropriate to use. So instead I used the Starbursts because I know I also bought bright citrus colour chews. I scanned in the wrappers, printed them onto cotton, backed them to a firm fusible and stitched them to my background. The Black Jacks are remembered in the striped ticking I used as the background (and ticking also reminds me of my Dad and childhood as he used it for his work), and the plain black squares. The black ribbon behind the squares represents liquorice - another favourite.


Susan D said...

My Mum kept a general shop in the late 60's and that is one of my memories, kids who sometimes took longer than their parents to choose the sweets they wanted.

Doreen G said...

Fantastic Lynne---licorice straps and licorice blocks --Mmmmmm

Linda said...

Great - I knew what this was about without the blog title!

Anonymous said...

I immediately thought of licquorice allsorts. well done - I like it very much. It made me think of my favourites - sherbet cones with a licquorice stick.

Possibilities, Etc. said...

This is wonderful! I remember going to the downtown movie - just hoping the movie would be good enough to justify the trip and the 12 cents it cost at that time - because the main intent was to purchase cherry sours or jujy fruit candies, which were not available anywhere else. I think the equivalent now for the jujy fruits is gummy bears. different shape. I still buy cherry sours - but can get them at the supermarket, and somehow it's just not as thrilling.

deb said...

Your piece is delightful, full of playfulness. Candies dancing along black licorice paths. Brings back great memories of walking to the corner store for bread and a bit of candy.

One Crabapple said...

This came out wonderful and I loved reading about the inspiration behind it. You took me back too....When I enlarged the photo - your black looks just LIKE candy to me and I said "oh that is a Black Jack !" (even tho I dont really know, I still want one Right Now after this !)

I am so curious as to what a golliwog is and why it would be inappropriate - so that is on my Google List to research now.

Yummy Quilt and laughing at the shopkeep's comment to your daughter. I felt like I might have been there watching you all.

Love (and "ThankYou)-

ps- LICORICE LOVER here tooooo ! mmmm!

jacqui said...

I remember Black Jacks, Fruit salad chews, Milk bottles, jelly babies and the big long thin bars (well they seemed long then) of toffee. Your design captures those memories so well, my mouth is salivating at the moment.