Sweet memories for Eddy

Fry's chocolate bar wrapper
Fry's chocolate bar wrapper
The Kings Theatre where a rally for members from the southern region of the Post Office Workers' Union was held

THIS WEEK IN 1971: ‘Meeting in Southsea backs postak strike’

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Remember these wrappers? Eddy Amey’s trip to the supermarket brought back memories of the day when sweets were rationed and when a tube of fruit gums would last all day long.

Eddy has been struck by the huge range of sweets and soft drinks in the supermarket while shopping with his wife.

Remember when a tube of fruit gums would last around the clock?

Remember when a tube of fruit gums would last around the clock?

He cannot get over the ‘cornucopia of choice’ there is today with every conceivable fruit flavour in still and carbonated drinks.

Eddy, of St Michael’s Grove, Fareham, compares that supermarket aisle with his childhood in Portsmouth.

He says: ‘I can only remember lemonade, raspberryade, dandelion and burdock, ginger beer and Tizer, plus homemade lemonade made with boiling water and lemonade crystals bought from the sweet shop.

‘All these were in bottles on which 2d deposit was charged, which was refunded on return of the empty one. Jam jars paid 1d.’

But there’s one drink with which Eddy would like readers’ help – Vantis Water.

When he was a pupil at the Northern Grammar School in Mayfield Road, North End, Portsmouth, in the 1940s, he bought the drink in the shop behind the school in Hewett Road, known by pupils as the tuck shop.

He adds: ‘When ordering the drink, the lady serving mixed a jug of water with some flavouring (vanilla?), decanted it into a bottle and then put the bottle under what looked like a small iron beer pump on the counter. She pulled a handle and there would be a hissing sound and the drink was carbonated.

‘I`ve never found anybody who has heard of this but I don’t think I dreamed it.’

In the 1940s sweets were rationed and even when you had the coupons there was seldom any stock available.

Eddy continues: ‘We often rattled the empty chocolate bar machines which still existed for that last bar that may have got stuck, but it never had.

‘What we did have were homemade treats, such as toffee apples made with hoarded sugar and the occasional piece of ship’s chocolate which was hard as iron and bitter as sloes.

‘Ice cream was not seen until nearly the end of the war, when Verrechias and D’Agostinos reappeared. My father said when they rang their chimes it meant they were sold out so we still didn`t get any.’

Why don’t you share your memories with us? If you have your own story or pictures from days gone by that you would like featured on this page

please e-mail Chris Owen at chris.owen@thenews.co.uk or write to him at The News, The News Centre, Hilsea, Portsmouth,PO2 9SX