Its funny how seeing one thing can trigger so many memories. In this case, the thing in question was a newsagent’s near my mum’s old house in East London. Over time the shops either side have gone from being a local butchers (you remember those), a mirror shop (called A Touch of Glass – I know, genius) to a kebab shop (Fat Boys and they don’t disappoint) but this little newsagent, with its slightly too narrow aisles, flickering florescent lighting and its low-down newspaper shelf and up-high gentlemen’s magazines rack is so loaded with memories I feel a rush of emotion just looking at its yellowing ‘two school kids only’ sign.
Back in the day, my love of Wham bars alone probably kept this guy solvent but with three primary schools a stretched chewing gum away from this confectionery mecca, this guy was made, a veritably Asian Willy Wonka. It was the kind of shop where all the sweets were in jars on shelves behind the counter and you had to order what you wanted from the guy. It was like Ronny Barker’s Open All Hours but with kids.
Whilst it’s inevitable that urban landscapes and layouts change, it’s nice to see businesses like the local sweet shop, which is woven so tightly into out childhood memories, lives on. Hard copy newspaper may not be as popular as they were 20 years ago but you I bet kids will always love a fizzy cola bottle.