Sweet-talking¬†#sweets #spangles #retro #adverts #British #taste #tradition #RobertOpie #America

This photo shows the Magazine Advertisement for ‘Spangles’ – part of ‘The Robert Opie Occasion Series Collection of British Nostalgia and Advertising Memorabilia’ (bit of a mouthful). It celebrates the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II and the final lifting of sweet rationing in 1953.
Spangles were a brand of fruit-flavoured, translucent, boiled sweets of a rounded square shape with a circular imprint (sounds delicious) and made by Mars Ltd in the UK, from 1950 to 1984.

Their arrival on the confectionary scene came at a time of sweet rationing. Sweets were bought using tokens or points from a ration book. The humble Spangle required 1 point while other sweets and chocolate were 2 points. Naturally the popularity of Spangles soared, alongside smart and effective advertising – using American cowboy actor, William Boyd to front the eating-sweets-campaign.

At first the sweets were not individually wrapped, later they were covered in wax paper. Each packet held a traditional assortment: strawberry, pineapple, blackcurrant, orange etc to single varieties such as, Barley sugar, liquorice and tangerine. Grown-up English single varieties appeared too: mint humbug, pear-drop and aniseed. A mouthwatering delight to serve generations of sweet-lovers for over a 30 years.

Spangles are, as I write, the only sweet known to feature in a national anthem, ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ of the United States of America. Of the course the two are unrelated, ‘The Star-Spangled Banner‘ poem was written in 1814, but America, like many other countries, does have a bit of a sugary-sweet problem. They sing about it all the time…


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Signs that Stick (Out)¬†#OnThisDay #War #signs #life #death #Hastings

Speedy lives, racing around, lots to do, no time to stop, then one day or some odd day, or some particular day comes along and in it there’s a sign; you stop to read it – twice, no more than a simple 3 minutes of your time, but what it says is striking…

On this site stood

The Swan Inn

& 1,2 & 3 Swan Terrace

destroyed by enemy action 

at about mid-day on Sunday

23rd May 1943 with consider-

able loss of life.

After that, you walk away much slower, much softer and much more removed from all around you, and furthermore you contemplate a situation of absolute pain, horror and devastation precisely 83 years ago, down that same path you casually wander today.

The land on which you stand has played many a-parts.

Pass with a new eye and a different tread.

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High on a Hill #Hampstead #London #signs #history

Here I stand (head in hand) high on a hill, Hampstead Heath, on the last day of August 2015. What lies before me is the misty silhouette of the best city in the world LONDON, ENGLAND!
From the Shard to the left to the BT tower on the right lies a pulsing, vibrant, demanding, high-energy city in which many men and women have made their home over the centuries. With close inspection you can see a tiny St Paul’s, a mini Big Ben clock tower (St Stephens) and the curve of the Millennium Eye wheel.

Of course it is in London that ‘the streets are paved with gold.’

Near here, Mr Richard (Dick) Whittington (1354-1423) and his black cat heard the church (Bow) bells, calling him to ‘Turn again Whittington, Lord Mayor of London.’
Indeed he did become Lord Mayor, not once but three times (as the bells predicted) during the reigns of Richard II, Henry IV and Henry V.
He also made his fortune…this is a perfect ‘rags to riches tale.’

What happy cries, chimes, signs and symbols will you be listening for…wherever you are?
Step back and look at the bigger picture…are your answers lying there?

Looking for signs

Sometimes the answers are all around us, we just have to know where to look.
Sometimes a sign appears ‘out of the blue’ (that’s an old nautical phrase, the blue being the sea) & it may change our feelings for an entire day, or longer & thus influence those around us too, setting off a small chain reaction of events. Let’s stay on the positive side; I would encourage you to always see the happy not the sad, the love not the hate.

So here’s an example: strolling in a city park (part of the live longer campaign as a previous blog stated, exercise & fresh air – excuse the digression, but everything is interlinked) I came across this sign ‘Keep Smiling’ – the name of a bed of roses.

Now you may quote me Shakespeare:

“What’s in a name? that which we call a rose

By any other day name would smell as sweet.”

So true Juliet, but what a fantastic name; it certainly makes you stop, smile and shake off those daily frustrations.

As a consequence I smiled at everyone I walked past (a rarity in a busy city), I helped an old lady figure out how to use her mobile phone as a camera and photograph the park ducks; I popped into a gallery to donate some money, thereby buying a postcard to send to a friend.

The World sorted for the day.

So what will your sign be? Just look out for it and in someway it might just look after you…