Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Fry's Five Boys

This is a special post for someone I met at D. J. Kirby's launch of Without Alice a couple of weeks ago. This someone is slightly, ever so slightly, obssessed with a certain Mr. Fry.

    I mentioned Fry's Five Boys Chocolate, as it was known, but was met with a blank. Not surprising as it was withdrawin in 1972, several years before this person was born.

    As I remember, the bar had a soft centre with each section a different flavour.

    It was pure serendipity that someone on The Antique Roadshow brought along a collection of chocolate bars which had been rescued from ancient station vending machines having fallen down inside, and one happened to be a Fry's Five Boys. The image is a screen-grab.


    Lane said...

    I remember these - although that particular wrapper looks positively mid century and I'm not that old.

    I think one of the centres was lime. Or was it lemon? They should bring them anyway. With lime.

    DOT said...

    I think it is pre-war. And yes, lime! There was also a strawberry flavour but lime was my favourite.

    Anonymous said...

    You can still get that chocolate bar. it's by fry's and has different creme fruit centre fillings - but isn't called five boys - which is just odd anyway.

    Ian Williams said...

    Five Boys - I remember it (them) well and whilst you are talking about Fry's what about the Chocolate Crème - or is that Cream? Probably Cream. Bliss.

    And chocolate seems different now - I remember when I was a child chocolate bars used to 'snap' when you broke off a piece and that was the days before refrigerated everything in corner shops. Nowadays when you break into the chocolate bar of choice it just folds a bit, sighs a bit and then flops apart.

    Maybe I am buying in the wrong emporium. Not that I buy much chocolate these days of course.
    What about Tiffen?

    DOT said...

    (Can't get away from Stephen Fry - he is on Radio 4 now, trailing a programme on the Today show.)

    Fry's was absorbed by Cadbury's in 1919 and finally disappeared as a brand in 1981 - according to Wiki - but you may be right, Anon. I suspect calling a chocolate bar Five Boys may raise a few eyebrows these days.

    They did indeed snap, Mr Grump. As I believe you do on occasions.

    Ian Williams said...

    Me snap? Don't be so bloody ridiculous.
    Anyway, I have the drugs to keep me quite mellow these days. Oh happy daze.

    Girl On The Run said...

    Found this on the web

    Fry's Five Boys Chocolate Bar

    'On Saturday I went into the British Heart Foundation Charity Shop and saw in a nice picture frame hanging up on the wall four frys chocolate bar postcards which a female staff member kindly told me when I asked that it was an anonymous donation and that she had only just put it out that morning

    Liking chocolate and two of the postcards in particular I bought it and discovered the following from bristolhistory.com

    Fry's Five Boys chocolate was once the most famous confectionery bar in the world - and it was due to Lindsay Poulton and a cloth soaked in ammonia.

    Remember Fry's Five Boys chocolate with its famous image of one little boy running through all the emotions from being chocolate-less to getting ready to stuff his face ? It's no wonder that the poor little chap was in desperation in that first picture - just look what he had to go through.

    Those five pictures were taken as far back as 1886 and feature one Lindsay Poulton, as photographed by his father, grandfather and uncle.

    Mr. Poulton was still around in the 1960's when the Bristol Evening Post tracked him down to East Providence, Rhode Island, not far from one of the many Bristols in America.

    He remembered the session well - but particularly Desperation; - I think they must have found it hard to make me cry he recalled. - In the end, my grandfather induced a sufficient degree of desperation by soaking a cloth in photographers - ammonia and placing it around my neck:

    Lindsay was five when the pictures were taken and Fry's paid a staggering £ 200 - real wealth - to have exclusive use of them. At first the pictures were used as a show-card, and Lindsay's face became familiar on postcards, enamel advertising plates, and in newspapers.

    In 1902, when milk chocolate was introduced, the Five Boys image became irretrievably connected with the famous bar The original images showed Lindsay in a sailor suit but in 1935, his outfit was rather clumsily updated into a striped jersey.

    Fry's was surprised to find Lindsay still alive in 1962 - but not half so surprised as Lindsay was to discover his boyhood features were still decorating chocolate bars 76 years on.

    Five Boys wasn't the first or the last of the famous Fry's chocolate brands, of course. The sweet freak's favourite, Fry's Chocolate Cream, first tickled palates as far back as 1866. Turkish Delight followed in 1914, Crunchie in 1919, and all are still favourites today although Fry's is now part of the Cadbury Schweppes empire.

    Fry's have been connected with Bristol from the reign of George II. Joseph Fry a Quaker apothecary based in Small Street, made his own chocolate which he was advertising as early as 1756. He also bought the patent of a water engine developed by Bristol inventor Walter Churchman to make fine chocolate, but it was his grandsons who set up J. S. Fry and Sons.

    The company had eight plants in Bristol, including one in The Pithay which sent a delicious smell of chocolate wafting over the old Castle Street shopping area. Fry's moved to their wonderful new green field factory at Somerdale, near Keynsham, some 70 years ago.

    Orginal Postcard was Published by The Kingsway Press these 4 from the Fry's Series A not used and in mint condition were from an orginal in the Robert Opie Collection at the museum of Advertising and Packaging Gloucester by kind permission of Cadbury Ltd

    I had a look on www.robertopiecollection.com/ to see if I could find out any more but although they still have postcards for sell they no longer have the Fry's Series in stock and according to Yahoo answers Five Boys Chocolate retained its popularity until it was withdrawn in 1976'

    DOT said...

    Bloody hell! Can I take it you were fond of a Five Boys?

    Girl On The Run said...

    Yes, also I remember it being just milk chocolate. There was a Frys bar called 'five centres' that had the different flavours in it. But of course although it is unlikely, I could be wrong

    Anonymous said...

    No, "Girl on the Run" - you are not wrong. It was a thin, solid milk chocolate bar and the five faces were moulded onto the chocolate.