As old style confectionary shops such as Mrs Thornes in Dyer street went out of fashion in the late 1960’s: shops replaced by Estate Agents or Insurance brokers; Sweets and Tobacco had to be bought elsewhere. The new Supermarkets were quick to satisfy the cravings of Cirencester folk with, to use an annoying modern phrase “in-store” outlets for tobacco or confectionary aisles. Woolworths in Cricklade street however managed to hang onto something of the past - selling sweets by the ounce from a huge range, while embracing the modern way of self-selection; the ever popular “Pick and Mix”.
“Pick and mix” was once extremely popular and judging by the response to the posting of today’s photo on my Facebook group OldCiren, many Ciren folk remember it with affection and wish it was still available !
I’m reminded that sweetshops also sold Ice Cream; but in my day we mainly bought this from vans that cruised the estates. Stopping on most corners, the likes of “ToniBell” and Mr Whippy would entice us to buy with jingly-but-memorable tunes emitted from a trumpet like speaker mounted on the roof. (Tonibell had a musical cow). Winstons, established in Stroud in 1925 also had vans, and these can still be found selling “99”s, up on Rodborough Common on Summer days.
Mrs Thorne’s shop sold a variety called “Meddocream”, an ice cream made in the Midlands from Wiltshire Milk. Although Meddocream no longer exists, a few of us still have our “Archie Andrews” Club Meddocream badges to prove that it did. For younger readers; Archie Andrews was a ventriloquist's dummy on 1950/60’s Wireless and Television. Archie’s fans once numbered 250,000 and while I’m not sure that all of them ate Meddocream “Double Top” cones at 3 Pence a time (Equivalent cost today of 39 pence) many certainly did do so in Ciren.