Sunday, 7 December 2014


Long-time regular readers may recall me recounting that it was my family's accustomed practice to visit my maternal grandparents every Sunday in the 1960s and '70s.  At the side of my grandfather's armchair sat a small brass box (designed originally for coal or kindling, I suppose) in which resided a selection of chocolate confectionery.  When the old mantle-clock struck eight, the box would be opened, and my brother and myself allowed to choose two bars each.  One was for immediate consumption and the other was for school the next day.

Oh, the cornucopia of tempting treats that lay before our awestruck orbs:  FRY'S TURKISH DELIGHT, CADBURY'S MILK TRAY (yes, they did it in bar-form as well), FRY'S CHOCOLATE CREAM and FRY'S FIVE CENTRE, MAC-KINTOSH'S CARAMAC, CADBURY'S BAR SIX and CADBURY'S DAIRY MILK, MARS BARS, MILKY WAYS, BOUNTYS - you name it, that box had it! It's a wonder that I still have my own teeth.

FRY'S FIVE BOYS, of course, had nothing to do with any seedy perverts' depraved yearnings, but was a chocolate bar with pics of five faces, representing desperation, pacification, expectation, acclamation and, finally, realisation that it was a Fry's bar of chocolate.  In contrast to the name, it wasn't five separate boys, but rather five stages of the same boy's reactions.  Originally, the bar was called Fry's Milk Chocolate, but the advertising campaign must have struck a nerve with the public and it was renamed at some stage.

Sources differ as to what year it was withdrawn, some citing 1972, others '76, but one thing's for sure - whenever I hear the name or see the wrapper, I'm transported once again to the days of my childhood, when everybody, it seems, was far more innocent and the title of this post had an entirely different connotation that wouldn't have raised an eyebrow.  (For those unaware, 'Scouting For Boys' was the title of ROBERT BADEN-POWELL's book for youngsters, published in 1908.)  Oh, for those days again, I'm sure you agree.


Incidentally, the former Fry's factory (they merged with Cadbury's in 1919) only closed in 2011. The boy who posed for the original photographs was called LINDSAY POULTON, and the bar first went on sale in 1902.


John Pitt said...

Now I remember all of the above EXCEPT Five Boys. Anyway, who ate all the rest?

Gey Blabby said...

Now you're talking. Just when I think there can't be any more chocolate bars or sweeties that I've forgot about, along comes a post like this. I wonder if kids today are as lucky as we were with the variety we had to choose from back then?

For some reason I associate Fry's chocolate with my grandparents as well; I think my granny liked the combination of dark chocolate and the fondant centres - she loved Turkish Delight especially. (Did they ever make a green version of Turkish delight?)

Fry's Chocolate Cream was fine, but it was the Five Centres that I liked best. It's possible I even remember when it had coffee in it, although that might just be wishful thinking.

I think it was Frys who used to do another of my favourites as well - two layers of milk chocolate with a layer of dark chocolate in the middle, but I can't remember the name of it. On occasion it was sometimes possible to peel the layers apart, which gave me great pleasure for some reason.

Kid said...

Guess that would've been other visiting grandchildren, JP, but the box was always replenished.


Don't know about a green version of Turkish Delight, GB - unless it was made by another company. I loved the Fry's Five Centres - wish it was still available. At least Fry's Orange Cream is still around.

Unknown said...

i LOVED Frys Five Centres they also had a bar of chocolate that was like a box of chocolates (but all on the one bar called "Plain (and Milk) Choice") - I think you can still get most of Five Centres as individual Frys Chocolate creams ie Peppermint, orange, lime (I seem to recall a coffee flavour as well Gey)

Gey; the bar with milk chocolate with a dark chocolate in the middle (and they had a vice versa version) was "Fry's Milk (and Plain) Chocolate Sandwich" - you can see some old bars on this "Pinteret"- link including the legendary (can a bar of choc be legendary??) Bar Six (Mmmmm)

Kid said...

Talking of Bar Six, McScotty, you can also see it on this very blog. I posted it a couple or so years ago. (Just type Bar Six into the Blogger search box at the left-hand top of the home page.)

moonmando said...

I loved the Aztec bar that appeared briefly I think sometime during the sixties but sadly was discontinued soon after. It was somewhere between a Mars bar and a Marathon if I remember rightly.No doubt I could do a google search and come up with a potted history or some such,but I prefer to hear peoples own personal recollections of what it meant to them at that time.For me, buying a bar such as this was a rare event as I was usually always skint and the most I could usually afford was a thruppeny lucky bag from the ice cream van.

Kid said...

The Aztec bars were reissued in 2000 for short time, Moony, and I bought loads of them. I featured them on the blog a while back. See the instructions above for seeing old posts.

Ken said...

Receiving a selection box or stocking was a really big deal in the 1960s. The reverse of the box/stocking usually had some sort of seasonal type of board game or puzzle(s) to double the pleasure! Favourite bar of that era for me had to be a Mars. Were they more expensive than others because I cannot remember buying or having been bought one on too many occasions then?

Kid said...

Ken, Mars Bars were around 5d in 1965 (I remember them going up from 4d that year), but to be honest, I can't recall how that compared to Galaxys and the like. I've still got a couple of Santas I cut from a selection box and 'stocking' back in 1968 or '69.

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