Tuesday, April 5, 2011


When we were children Pam looked up to me like I was a superstar and she was just a lowly fan. She would stare at me at everything I did like she wanted to be me and it drove me mad. Every Sunday afternoon mum gave us money to go and buy sweets from Chuddies which we called Stacey's. Us three girls would walk up Seymour Road to the shop. Angie was on her own time but me I'd have Pam's eyes glued to me. In the shop Pam eyed me carefully. Mr Chuddy or Stacey would serve us kindly. But he knew the score between me and Pam. He always served me first, well I was the oldest. My order was always the same. An orange ice cream with a chocolate flake in it and a quarter of American cream soda. 'And what can I get for you Pam?' But Mr Chuddy or Stacey knew exactly what her order was that's why he was always smiling to himself. An orange ice cream with a flake and a quarter of American cream soda please. I would sigh helplessly no use saying stop copying me, Mr Chuddy or Stacey would just laugh.

As we walked back down Seymour Road Pam would watch me eating my ice cream always making dead sure that she ate hers much slower than me. She wanted me to finish before her. Once I had no sweets left Pam looked at me carefully with a glint of real satisfaction as she slowly dipped her finger in her sherbet licking it off so so slowly, her finger stained red.

When Pam started junior school she often sent a friend over to me at playtime to tell me Pam was in the girls toilets crying and she wanted me. This new development to school life was cramping my style.  But I would go reluctantly to sort out the trouble. One time I had this friend called Deborah. I didn't really want her as a friend but she wanted me. She was a bit rough in my book but I hadn't quite managed to shake her off yet. So one day Pam's friend came to get me and when Deborah heard the news that Pam was crying she linked my arm severely hard and said, 'Come on Jane!' She dragged me over to the troubled spot and thumped some young kid in the arm making them cry. Not my style at all I was more of a reason with both parties involved type. The next day I got hauled into Pam's classroom by her teacher Mrs Cook who humiliated me in front of all the younger kids. Mrs Cook had disliked me ever since I'd been in her class 3 years earlier when I was 8 like Pam was now. One time she shouted at me,'Jane Lancaster all you're interested in is rings!' I wore a ring on every finger, well it was the sixties. One of them was a big navy blue flower, I loved that ring. Mrs Cook was orrible with her long straight blonde hair, her mini skirt and American tan tights. I wonder what sweets Angie is sucking in this photo? I bet they're Opal fruits.


  1. jane, another wonderful post. i just *like* the way you write about this stuff, how cleverly the image of the 3 sisters moves from background to foreground. those telling, subtle nuances of character, personality, and maintaining status in the triad.

  2. Jane--all your pieces about Pam are so touching. And the photo of the three of you all dolled up is precious! You look like you're singing...


  3. what a delightfull flash back to another time....and such a great photo!!

  4. Thanks all! much appreciated..Glad you like this photo.. I'm glad I've still got it.

  5. I was a London kid of the seventies, & my now passed away nan, Elsie, was known for always carrying one of those old paper bags with the classic sticky jar-sweets inside. She would have sherbert lemons, pear drops, pips, cough sweets sticking together in a sugar conglomerate in the pockets of her old lady's mac.

    Recently my mum came up to Nottingham from London, & was excited to tell me that she had discovered a proper sweet shop full of shelves of all the old classics. As we went to the station, before I waved her off at the platform, we went in the shop & bought some cola cubes & cola bottles, & some cough sweets.

    Before we left the shop, my mum asked the shop keeper to pull down a jar of sherbert lemons. Opening the lid, he asked how much she would like to buy. My mum grabbed the jar & stuck her nose inside. We just want to smell them, she said. God bless you Elsie.

    Thanks for the post, & also subscribing to my blog. Wishing you much peace & healing - Miggy

  6. Miggy bless you for stopping by and leaving this story. Ha..I bloody loved sherbot lemons... remember how if you ate too many in a row it made your mouth bleed?! My nana Susie always had a bag of sweets in her handbag too!

  7. Orange ice cream and creme soda sounds good just about now. Chuddie still in business? I might pay him a call.

  8. Somehow Cadbury just isn't the same as Hersheys.

    It's good to hear these memories fill out. I used to go to the dime store and pick candy from under the glass. We had an ice cream truck go around, and an ice cream store across the river.

    I never had a little sister. I'm the youngest.

  9. Hi Ruth! we had an ice cream van too called Granelli's..oh the sound of the music playing as they drove around the neighbourhood....

  10. Just come across this whilst reseaching Granelli's. I worked at Chudy's for many years, in fact I was working there when they bought the shop. There was no one there called Stacey, just Joe Chudy, his wife Bridget and myself, name of Pam. The shop was sold some years ago when the Chudy's retired. Joe died a few years ago, was still in touch with Bridget until 12 months ago, must make enquiries about her.

  11. Pam, this is so great! wow thanks for telling me. You might have served us in the shop! don't know how we got that Stacy name mixed up so thanks for clearing that up. I didn't know he was called Joe, we called him Mr Chudy. Sad to hear he passed and I hope you reconnect with his wife and show her this.. glad you are called Pam too it makes this even more precious..

    thanks again..Jane.