There were quite a few sweet shops in Charnwood Street, where a penny or two of pocket money could be made to go a long way – not to mention the sheer pleasure of choosing what to buy from the great array of jars and trays. When Perrie Barratt wrote about her memories of her father’s shop, Maurice’s High Class Butcher at 265, she also mentioned going to Joblin’s sweetshop a little way up on the same side of the road to buy Jubblies, triangular shaped iced lollies that came in a waxed paper wrapper. Many other people also remember Joblin’s, along with Sadie’s sweet shop at 187 Charnwood Street. Margaret Headland, whose parents Albert and Connie Holloway owned this shop, sent her own memories of it:
‘My Mother and Father owned “Sadies Sweet Shop for many years. We moved there when I was six years old. My brother would have been nine, and we lived above the shop. The stock room was downstairs along with the lounge, kitchen and bathroom (toilet outside). There were bedrooms and another sitting room upstairs, and we could lean out the window from up there and watch the street. Sadie’s was next door to Derry the butcher, which was on the corner of St Saviour’s Road and Charnwood Street. Then there was a large alleyway and a seed merchant [W. Foss, hay and straw dealer]. My best friends lived at the butcher’s and the greengrocery shop which was some doors down.
‘My mum especially was well known, and even on holiday in Devon someone called across the beach “Hello Sadie”. The name stuck for ever! Living in a sweet shop was great. I always remember when a new product was offered to Mum by one of the reps (especially if it was for the children) she would give my brother and me a sample to try. We would walk up and down the street eating it so people would be wanting to try it! I especially remember Mickey Lollipops – all the characters from Disney came in ice blocks, marshmallow in an ice-cream cone. They came in a huge box and we had to separate them all and put on the stand on the counter. We always made sure the odd one got damaged…
‘We all had to help with counting the coupons after the war. It was a great way to learn maths. I remember the jars of sweets on the shelves, some upright and some that were on an angle especially shaped to show the goodies. The very large slabs of Thorntons toffee had the little hammer to break it up, and it was weighed into bags made out of one sheet of white paper shaped into a cone, filled with the sweets then twisted closed.
We had a collie dog and a black cat. I would sit on the front step of the shop with the dog and watch the people go in and out. Most were regular customers and Mum and Dad knew their weekly orders of cigarettes and special treats for the wife and children. Some even came from the other side of Leicester.
‘We went to Sadies Sweet Shop some 63 years ago and lived there for about five years when we moved to Copdale Road, but Mum and Dad kept the shop until the Council bought it under compulsory purchase to modernize the area. Long after that Mum especially was still called Sadie! I loved living there and have wonderful memories of the milk cart, the rag and bone man, the policeman in his box. It was so much more than a place to live. There were hard times for so many, but friends and neighbours close together genuinely cared about each other’.
Many thanks to Margaret for her memories, and for the photograph. I’d love to hear more memories of Sadie’s or other Charnwood Street sweet shops.