The past creeps back when you least expect it

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been lamenting the loss of many things that once existed, once upon a time.

All children have memories of their childhood, but some dissipate over time and become forgotten, almost to the point where it is as if they never existed.

Like my grandmother’s house in the country, bulldozed to widen a main highway. I have a lot of difficulty in remembering it even though we had spent many Christmas holidays there.

Other, more insignificant items just simply disappeared into the mists of time, as the manufacturers were slowly bought out by overseas companies and in their desire for globalisation, parochial items made for what seems, to them, to be too small for their economies of scale were no longer made.

No thought is ever given to the consumer. Nor does it matter that the item, made in this country for a hundred years, is especially attuned to the tastes of the people of this country, and therefore has a continuous core market.

Of course, as a child over 60 years ago, most of these items were confectionary. Names of brands such as Hoadley’s and Rowntree have long since disappeared. Products like licorice squares, polly waffles, toscas and Crispins have gone too.

Some products like Kit Kats still exist but are made by new manufacturers like Nestle with the change no longer taste anything like they used to.

But what started this lament for the old days was triggered by seeing an old, old favourite called Life Savers, which came in fruit flavours, peppermint, and musk. My all-time favourite was musk and walking through the supermarket I saw the words Life Savers on a box almost hidden on the bottom shelf and lo and behold they had musk.

The packaging had changed, and the manufacturer had changed, but that timeless confectionery had reappeared. Given its shelf location, I don’t think it will be for long.

Now, if only they could bring back Toscas, and Tarax soft drinks in small bottles. Raspberry and cola were my all-time favourites.

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