Matinee Selection or Empire Selection were my favourite.
I cannot remember my first visit to a sweet shop. I know the sweet ration was only 2oz a week and being an only child that meant 6oz of sweets for me, if we could get them. You could get 2oz of Dolly Mixtures, or two gob-stoppers, eight caramels or 2oz of jelly babies.
Living down beside the Borough Picture Hall we had a small newspaper, sweet and tobacconist shop owned by a couple called Mr and Mrs Clements. I think the shop had been their living room converted into the shop, but it had a proper shop window. Across the road was a General Dealer, owned by John and Maggie Taylor. They expanded the business to Saville Street and Albion Road and later bought Renton’s in Spring Terrace and Front Street Chirton.
There was another shop opposite to Taylor’s run by an old lady called Mrs Seymore (well, she looked old to me as a child). It was in Sibthorpe Street and it had a very high proper shop counter. The paintwork was dark brown, which made the shop look very gloomy, especially with the gaslight.
Different shops had special sweets. Maynard’s was one of them, but I never liked their wine gums, they had no taste. Matinee Selection or Empire Selection were my favourite, they were made from marzipan and it was a real treat if you got the strawberry-shaped one with the paper leaf.
As I got older and visited the pictures it was Bradley’s for rum truffles to go to the Princess, Holmes on Albion Road for the visit to the Albion, and the Rex Shop for the Rex, although you could buy sweets in all the cinemas.
Now we can buy as many sweets as we like but they have not got the same taste as we remember, do they?