Sweet success for the old favourites

Rushden Granny Bubbles Sweet Shop: Leanne Knighton.'19/09/11
Rushden Granny Bubbles Sweet Shop: Leanne Knighton.'19/09/11

This year marks 75 years since the creation of popular children’s treat Smarties.

The familiar tube of multi-coloured chocolates first arrived on shelves across the country in 1937, having been renamed from its previous incarnation of Chocolate Beans.

To celebrate, Smarties has released a limited-edition hexagon-shaped tube, and the Evening Telegraph has spoken to confectionery shops in Northamptonshire about their sweet memories.

Leanne Knighton, 34, runs The Artlenock Shop in High Street, Irthlingborough, and Granny Bubbles in High Street, Rushden, selling classic British sweets.

She said: “We sell about 450 different types of sweets, mostly boiled.

“We sell old-fashioned ones like coconut mushrooms, butterscotch and bullseyes – we’re aiming for the things you can’t get in the supermarkets any more.

“We’ve had a really lovely response since we opened. Most of our customers are grown-ups and they’re delighted to see their old favourites.

“I think it’s everybody’s childhood dream to open a sweet shop.

“There are absolutely loads of people around here with a sweet tooth – maybe I’ll open a dentist’s next.”

The Artlenock Shop opened in December 2010, followed by Granny Bubbles in July last year.

But Smarties’ history is much longer. Until the 1950s, some of the sweets contained a coffee, orange or dark chocolate centre.

This was changed so that all were milk chocolate – apart from the orange ones. The UK is the only place in the world which still has a different flavour for orange Smarties.

The blue-coloured chocolates were introduced in 1988, initially as a limited edition but they became permanent due to their popularity.

The Evening Telegraph asked residents what their favourite childhood confectionery was, and some of the most popular were Spangles, Refreshers, Parma Violets and one-penny sweets.