Charlie’s Sweet Emporium in Queen Victoria Street, was a national operation where a rather fake ‘olde worlde sweet shop’ was created to cash in on the grown ups longing for old type sweets from their childhood, along with the nagging youngsters who would doubtless pressure mum and dad into paying way over the odds for their pricey sweets.
The Dickensian shopfront was in contrast to the shipped in neatly-labelled confectionery, similar to much that is available in farm shops, gift shops and garden centres.
The opposition, seeking to gain from Charlie’s demise is Strange Sweets in the Harris Arcade, a true independent, selling both old type and more modern and unusual stuff. It may not have its original owner but this is exactly the type of shop Reading lacks.
None of the multitude of quangos that are supposed to promote the town (Thames Valley Berkshire LEP the most colossal of these money-wasting schemes) have done anything to protect the independents so they have to fight their own corner.
And if that means a naughty sign on the remains of their old rival then all power to them.