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Sweet memories

PUBLISHED: 19:38 25 February 2002 | UPDATED: 11:26 03 March 2010

CHOCOLATE bars, tubes of sweets - the choice is endless these days as you stand for ten minutes deciding what you want from the huge array in the shops.

CHOCOLATE bars, tubes of sweets – the choice is endless these days as you stand for ten minutes deciding what you want from the huge array in the shops.

But to me nothing is more enjoyable than walking out of a sweet shop and slowly unfurling the twisted ends of a small white paper bag and delving in to a quarter of your favourite loose sweets.

Oh! What memories, what nostalgia – days gone by come flooding back as you pop those sugar covered pear drops into your mouth.

So you can imagine how glad I was when I heard that youngsters are now turning to the more traditional sweets that their parents and grandparents have told them about.

Even pure liquorice Pontefract cakes, which I remember being rather partial to when I was a lad, are making a comeback.

Popping into the Olde Fashioned Candy Store in Queens Street I had a quick chat with the owner Michael Vassili.

It seems that while across the nation, the top sellers are Flying saucers, dolly mixtures and Pontefract cakes, Ipswich people tend to favour rhubarb and custards, aniseed drops and bon bons.

Although flying saucers are still popular with children, Mr Vassili said it is mainly adults who are queuing out of the door of his shop at lunchtimes.

The average age seems to be 28 year olds standing in line ready to buy a bag of memories taking them right back to the school playground.

He said: "Loose sweets are so popular because of memories and nostalgia.

"Life is so stressed these days for everyone, but when they remember times gone by it makes them smile.

"People like nostalgia."

But it seems that people worldwide have a taste for a bag of English loose sweets.

Mr Vassili told me he often has to send sweets as far away as America and Australia for people who miss the taste so much.

He said: "People who used to live here and moved to other countries take bags and bags of them home.

"We have sent sweets as far away as New Zealand and South America."

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