Sweet Memories, Jaffas (in a box) and Polly Waffles

After my last blog post about going to the pictures on Saturday afternoon and rolling Jaffas down the aisle, I thought today we’d wander down memory lane and taste again some of our favourite lollies from those years. Jaffas were originally made by a company called ‘Sweetacres’ and came in a box, Hoadleys made something called a Polly Waffle and a box of MacRobertson ‘Old Gold’ had soft and hard centres.

It’s amazing to think that such a simple thing as the packaging of a chocolate bar can revive so many memories.

Candy bars and lollies were a pretty rare treat when we were growing up. Our parents had very little spare income to spend on such indulgences for the kids, but occasionally there might be a 3d or a 6d from grandma or grandpa, a kind old great aunt, or something left in the bottom of the Christmas pillow case.

My first memory of Jaffas was in the box.  Jaffas were sold in movie theatres and have gained iconic status because of the noise they made when dropped (accidentally or deliberately) and rolled down sloping wooden floors.

James Stedman-Henderson’s Sweets Ltd first made Jaffas 1931. The orange coating on Jaffas was developed by a Sweetacres food chemist, Tom Colston Coggan. He experimented with many syrups before settling on the flavour that is unique to Jaffas.

The confectionery is still made in Australia by Allen’s Sweets (a division of Nestle), and are now sold in cellophane bags and (I think) still taste pretty much the same.

The original Hoadleys range including the Polly Waffle and Violet Crumble. Photo shared from Pinterest.

Polly Waffles first came onto the market in 1947, made by Hoadleys. Apparently it was conceived by the company accounts supervisor and family friend Mayfield B. Anthony. Hoadleys was sold to Rowntrees in 1972 and then onsold to Nestles in 1988. In mid-2009 a new recipe for Polly Waffle was released along with new packaging. The new product was the same in appearance as the older product, but contained a more sugary centre and a more brittle wafer.

Nestlé announced on 23 November 2009 that Polly Waffle was being discontinued after 62 years due to poor sales. (Damn, I’d love a Polly Waffle).

The original Violet Crumble came to the market in 1913, Hoadleys had produced a chocolate assortment and packed them in a purple box decorated with violets. The packaging was in tribute to Mr Hoadley’s wife, whose favourite colour was purple and favourite flower was violets. Within the box assortment was a piece of honeycomb that became so popular that Hoadley decided to produce an individual honeycomb bar and the Violet Crumble was born.

Hoadley again used his wife’s favourite flower, the violet, and registered the name Violet Crumble, using a purple wrapper with a small flower logo. It was an instant success.

Nestles still produce a Violet Crumble but in 2009, changed the shape to a wider, flatter bar. The honeycomb formulation was also changed to make it shatter into small pieces when bitten into.

Remember when dad used to buy mum a box of MacRobertson Old Gold chocolates for her birthday and we’d all get to choose a chocolate from the box? They were all in little brown patty pans and we’d always like the hard centres because they lasted longer.

The Old Gold box of chocolates had soft and hard centres. Photo shared from Pinterest.

Macrobertson Chocolates was founded in 1880 by Sir Macpherson Robertson. They made the original Freddo Frogs, Cherry Ripes, Old Gold (box of chocolates) and Snack chocolate blocks. MacRobertson was sold to Cadburys in 1967 and they dropped the Old Gold box and the Snack block but kept Freddo and Cherry Ripes.

What are some of your memories of lollies and chocolates as you were growing up?


  1. I remember black kat chocolates they came with a small black cat charm attached. Don’t remember the brand

  2. Loved rolling Jaffas down the wooden floors at the cinema on Saturday afternoons …. also enjoyed White Knight bars and Choo Choo Bars as they lasted for ages, or you could buy Cobbers by the bag full and you got heaps !!!! Going to the movies every Saturday afternoon was my reward for helping cleaning the house 🙂

  3. My Dad worked at Hoadley’s in the 1950-60’s
    He would bring home broken bits of White Knights, Polly waffles, violet crumbles musk
    Knights etc. Sometimes he would take me into
    The factory in Carrington Street I would lick the melted chocolate in the machines Great memories

Comments are closed.