Sunday December 14th 2008, 9:40 pm

Old fashioned Victory V throat sweets

I’ve recently had a yearning for Victory Vs, which is quite handy as my cold has now morphed into a throaty, coughy thing. My Grandmother used to eat Victory Vs and would, when I visited her as a young child, break them in half in the palm of her hand and give me a half. She’d send me out to the Co-op to get them for her, where they were weighed out loose and I’d run back to her house with them in a little paper bag. They weren’t exactly childrens sweets, but things were grim up north.
Apparently these lozenges, which still have a very charming look about them, were originally made in Nelson in Lancashire (but no longer are) since the mid 1800’s and as well as liquorice, included ether and chloroform in the ingredients (but no longer do).
When searching out Victory Vs I also came across Grays Herbal Tablets – ‘For Cold Nights and Mornings’ and was drawn to the quaint design of the packaging.

Grays Herbal Tablets

I remember having a crush on victory v’s [ curious apostrophe, since they are plural]or perhaps it is victory v’s addictive lozenges!
I used to suck them on the way to school in the 60’s [theres that apostrophe agin!] on the 197 bus from Kenley to Caterham. It was a test not to bite them but to suck them and keep them intact until they became the thinnest wafer. I think I worried slightly about eating so many, I thought they were mildly medicinal and therefore should have been rationed, I’m not very good at rationing!
I always wondered how to describe the flavour but your suggestion of licourice which I hadn’t quite realised is probably why I loved them so much.
Surely licourice has to be the next blog subject what with all its northern and antipodean connections.
where are Vicory V’s made now?

Comment by deborah s m 12.17.08 @ 1:35 am

Not forgetting Lancashire’s legendary Fisherman’s Friends, and my dear departed Grandad’s favourites, Uncle Joe’s Mint Balls, both still available.

Comment by Susan 12.17.08 @ 10:01 pm

is there any place I can acquire some of these special victory V lozenges? I love the picture of them, with the hammer and anvil. and I’d really like to give some to my four friends who are blacksmiths. I live in the US, in Portland Oregon, and I’ve never seen these candies around here.

Comment by alison 02.11.09 @ 8:59 am

Love your blog so much. Hope you don’t mind I’m showing it off in my tumblog “Simple Bliss” – see link: Thanks for sharing with us your charmed world.

Comment by Sarah 02.20.09 @ 7:08 pm

I was once looking after a friends 2 1/2 year old son, and he indicated that he wanted one of my “sweets”. It was a Victory V. I explained to him that they were “grownups” sweets and that he wouldn’t like them, but he assured me he would. I broke one in half and gave it to him. His face was an absolute picture as he sucked that sweet until it was all gone.
I knew from that day that he’d make a pretty determined human being and so it has proved. He took on a girl with anorexia nervosa and married her. They now have a beautiful son. She is in a wheelchair, and he copes with it all….beautifully.

Comment by lilymarlene 03.09.09 @ 4:33 pm

I love Gray’s Herbal Tablets…we used to buy them after school [2oz in those days] at Ferniehough’s in Monmouth.

Comment by Claire 08.23.09 @ 6:39 pm