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A memory to make you feel all warm inside

By Black Country Bugle  |  Posted: September 02, 2014

  • The buildings at the bottom of Brettell Lane soon to be demolished

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IN the recent past a few articles that have appeared in the Bugle have included references to that famous old Black Country cure-all the "Nip-A-Kofs" throat and herbal remedy that so many families the length and breadth of the region used to swear by.

It was at the beginning of last June that we discovered a picture reference of the sweet, an advertising hoarding on the side of a factory in Wolverhampton, but sadly it wasn't very clear. We put out an appeal for any visual references that were better than ours, and ten weeks later our patience has been more than rewarded.

Michael Perkins from the Amblecote History Society has done us proud. He told us: "The item in the Bugle on June 5 sent me on two trips. The first was a trip down memory lane, back dare I say to the 1940s when as a nipper I used to walk back from Brook Street Junior School in Wordsley. On the side of the end building at the bottom of Brettell Lane there was a painted sign advertising Nip-A-Kofs cough sweets. It really stood out and could be seen by everyone who travelled along the main Stourbridge to Wolverhampton road.

"Years later it was covered up by an advertising hoarding and was lost from view, a real pity in my opinion, but in hindsight this preserved it and it would shine for me once again very briefly in 1992. It was in that year that the buildings at the bottom of Brettell Lane were demolished as part of a massive redevelopment of the road junction.

"Just before demolition the Nip-A-Kofs sign was revealed once more, looking just as good as when I had last seen it. Sadly it only saw daylight from behind the advertising hoarding for a couple of days before finally disappearing for good. Oh I forgot to say, the second trip was around my house searching for the photographs, but it was well worth it. It was a memory to make you feel all warm inside."

Mike Kay from Wimbledon in London has also a tale to tell about Nip-A-Kofs and at the same time sent us a lovely photograph of a steam train with the Nip-A-Kofs advert behind. He told us: "I grew up in Barmouth in the '60s and we had our own Nip-A-Kofs sign on the side of Catherwood's sweet shop. I don't know how long the sign had been there, but it was a bit of a joke among us kids. We'd go and ask the long suffering Mr Catherwood for a pack of Nip-A-Kofs, but nobody at that time seemed to know what they were, including him. The photograph was taken in Barmouth in 1963 by Hugh Roberts and has really brought back some happy memories."

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