Saturday, 14 June 2014


Today I am mainly thinking Spangles.

Where did they go, those lovely gem-like squares of coloured sugar that we all loved so much? I could just go a packet now; the square cellophane covered blocks were such a sweet, fruity, joy. I loved to nestle the tip of my tongue in the round depression in the middle and just hold it there – don’t crunch, don’t crunch, just suck.

Of course I hardly ever could and the burst of fruit, as I bit down on the glasslike lump, would hit me like a tropical storm. Those sweets were so hard and shiny that they splintered when you chewed them; I never quite cut my tongue as I expected to though.

I grew up with Spangles. They were introduced in 1950, when sweets were still on ration. I don’t remember that, but I do remember the flavours. They were such an adaptable sweet. The regular Spangles tube contained a mixture of strawberry, blackcurrant, orange, pineapple, and (my favourite) lemon and lime. Over the years they introduced all sorts of other flavours Acid Drop, Barley Sugar, Blackcurrant, Liqourice, Peppermint, Tangerine, a white mint Spangle (complete with a square hole) to compete with Polo Mints, and those awful Old English Spangles - liqourice, mint humbug, pear drop, aniseed. treacle – yuk, yuk, yuk.

And who can forget Mystery Spangles? Just what was that mystery flavour anyway - grapefruit?

Spangles were dropped in 1984, briefly reintroduced in 1995, though only in orange or blackcurrant flavours, and today the only Spangle related sweets in existence are Tunes – the sweet that helps you breathe more easily.

Spangles, simple sweets for simpler times as the advertising shows – such a sweet way to go gay; na├»ve, unaffected, a post-war treat. Nobody worried that they were pure sugar or if they were full of E’s. E’s hadn’t even been invented back then and naughty children were just naughty children who, as a punishment, didn’t get bought any Spangles.


  1. Lindsey Messenger on FB
    Oh yes had forgotten about the mystery one. Not sure I had a favourite one xx

  2. 15 hours ago · Unlike · 1

    Mark McNicholas on FB
    The blackcurrant ones were my favourite ! I can still taste them and I do remember sweet rationing! ! !

  3. Paul Whitehouse on FB
    Olde English were better

  4. Nicola Menzies on FB
    Ud be hyper!!

  5. Kathryn Salthouse on FB
    I used to love them

  6. Mark McNicholas on FB
    Spangles ? Now ypur showing your age !

  7. Lindsey Messenger on FB
    Oh yeah I liked spangles.... And do you remember sweet tobacco.. I loved that, and sweet cigarettes with the red tip.

  8. Andrew Height
    and licorice pipes. At Christmas Gran used to by me a Junior Smoker's Set full of all that stuff. Imagine that today!

  9. Andrew Height
    There was no hyper when I was a kid Nicola Menzies. That's a new invention to excuse naughty children whose parents can''t be bothered.

  10. Steve Bishop on FB
    spangles.... ah the licorice sets... what about rhubarb and custard sweets?... and too true about hyper Andrew.

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    Paul Whitehouse shared your photo.

  12. Ian Maclachlan on FB
    Now how about Marathon and Opal Fruits

    1. Ah, Opal fruits - never a favourite of mine