I found this picture posted on Twitter today (by @happymem0r1es). Sadly it isn’t dated but my best guess is that it is circa 1973. I base this on my recollection that most sweets were 6d when we decimalised in 1971. Those ‘of a certain age’ will know that six old pence transformed to two and a half new pence so most of the confectionery in the picture appears to have suffered a rise of one halfpenny! Hence my guess of 1973.
So this morning I did a totally unscientific survey and purchased those in the picture that are still available. I managed to get the following:
A very small Milky Way for 25p;
A Mars Bar for 69p;
A Twix for 60p;
A Marathon (now called a ‘Snicker’ of course) also for 69p.
Whatever happened to Treets and Spangles?
I mentioned the size of the Milky Way specifically because it was at least half the size of the one in the photograph. The others though we’re all obviously smaller too but by not at all on the same scale.
So when I got home this evening I thought I might try and work out if sweets are still the bargain that they appeared to be when looking at 1970s’ prices. This turned out to be an impossible task as I can’t estimate the weight of the items in the picture or find reliable inflation figures to work on from that long ago. Suffice to say, as an example, the Snicker has gone up over 8% per annum if it were the same weight (which it clearly isn’t). I’m fairly sure inflation has hit over 8% in the last 40 years but absolutely convinced it hasn’t averaged that!
I can recall that in the early 70s I was working in a stationers for 4 shillings (later 20p) an hour. Based on that I could almost afford 7 Marathon Bars for every hour I worked. Are school children paid nearly £5 an hour now if they get a Saturday job in a shop? They probably are.