Monday, 14 December 2015

Losing Sugar Puffs and remembering Attins on Queens Road

Yesterday I went looking for a packet of Sugar Puffs.

Now this was not out of a sense of nostalgia, but because Tina who is Italian fancied some.

It was seven on a Sunday and with no wish to trudge up to the Co-op and knowing that Morrisons  would still be closed I settled on the corner shop.

Ours began as a newsagents which ran a successful lending library in the middle decades of the last century and then diversified in to everything you might want for breakfast but for forgot to buy.

I guess this side of the business developed as the traditional grocery shops on our road closed down.

That said the shop has traded as a newsagents since it first opened a century a bit ago.

Of course back in the 1950s when we were still on Lausanne Road it was all much simpler.

We got papers from the newsagents on Mona Road, wandered down on to Queens Road to the strip of shops that ran from Lausanne to Dennetts’s  road where there was the butcher's, and from memory two grocer's shops, although the first was limited and really came into its own  on a Sunday when it would sell the things that you needed but couldn't in theory buy because of Sunday trading laws.

So having been sent down for butter I was under strict instructions from the shop keeper not to tell anyone what I was carrying which for added measure had been double wrapped in brown paper.

All of which made me think we were a bit disloyal because for most of the week we fell back on Attins, which was a more up market grocery store.

It had one of those shiny plastic shop signs which was an off white colour with the their name picked out in black and all of the staff wore those old fashioned white coats and in the case of Mr Attins a white hat.

Added to which they had one of those big freezers and it will have been from here that I had my first frozen fish fingers and maybe even one of those TV dinners  which made their way into households at the beginning of the 1960s.

Mother was always up for innovation but the TV dinner phase didn't last long.

If you got it wrong during the reheating bit it offered up warmish veg with roast potatoes which were still cold in the middle and gravy which burnt the mouth along with thin slices of beef which at best tasted bland and at worst were like eating  strips of leather.

But at least you could buy Sugar Puffs at Attins.

Sadly I was unsuccessful down the road,

I was told they were on order and the box the shop had sold an hour before but worse than that it was that the cereal of my youth has been rebranded as Honey Monster Puffs and while the box still shouts out the latest offers and prizes the absence of the little train on the front left me thinking that breakfast cereal was best left alone.

Not that Tina was over bothered by a name change or the loss of the little train.

They tasted she told me like they always had, which I suppose is one up on the Wagon Wheel which seems smaller but which I am told has remained the same size.

All of which just leaves me to reflect that nostalgia ain't what it used to be.

Pictures; Sugar Puffs carton, circa 1956 from the collection of Andrew Simpson and adverts for Pecks product date unknown, taken from Spreading the love for a vintage Australian brand from  Spreading the love for a vintage Australian brand, Taste of General Mills, March 2015,

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