In the late 1950s, a new sweet shop opened on the corner of Prince’s Crescent and Ditchling Road, in the Roundhill part of town. As a child, I was entranced by the jars of sweets on the wall behind the lady that opened and owned the shop. Apart from the sweets, themselves, I envied her being able to use a little shovel to dig them out to weigh them on traditional scales. I also liked her toffee hammer.
A snooty proprietor
I told her that I liked her shop. I can still remember her reply: ‘there is a need for a good quality sweet shop in this area’. Even as a child, I thought this was a bit snooty. Was Dalton’s, further up Ditchling Road, not of particularly good quality? How did she know about the ‘need’? I felt a bit affronted by her apparent dismissal of Dalton’s.
My wayward pronunciation
My fears of her snobbery were confirmed when I asked her for a bar of Galaxy chocolate. ‘A bar of Gerlacksi’, she replied’, as if to correct my wayward pronunciation. What she had invented, though, was a traditional and probably old fashioned sweet shop. Despite her leaning towards the posh, I hope the shop did well. Her’s must have been one of dozens of sweet shop around Brighton, at that time.