Page last updated at 11:06 GMT, Friday, 1 January 2010

Collection full of sweet memories

Mr Jones' grandfather (second right) outside his shop
A trip down memory lane in chocolate wrappers

Over-doing it on the chocolate is probably a seasonal event for many people, but Tudur Jones' hobby takes it a step further.

His collection gets a boost every Christmas with any special promotions.

However, unlike the millions who have probably overdone it on the sweet stuff, Mr Jones, from Llanrwst in Conwy, does not eat the contents.

Rather the sweet wrappers, in all their variations of colour and design, are the main attraction.

"My grandfather (my mother's father) ran the Dulas Cafe and Stores in Llanddulas, Conwy," said Mr Jones, a retired museums collections officer with the National Slate Museum at Llanberis.

"After he retired he moved to Penmaenmawr, and when he died in 1977 we were clearing through his possessions and found chocolate wrappers.

"There was one original Aero wrapper - a commemorative one, and I thought 'I'd like to collect this type of thing'," he added.

I'd give the world to meet another collector
Tudur Jones

He said the appeal was the artistry behind the design, from the changing lettering on the older wrappers, to the 'glossy' current day designs.

Mr Jones has not eaten the contents of all the hundreds of wrappers in his unusual collection.

"I'd be dead if I had, with high cholesterol, I mostly give it away," he said.

The idea of a "second childhood" is part of the appeal of the collection, he said.

"It's a nice feeling, and as always it is the small things in life which are the greatest treasures."

After a massive expansion when his son was born, the collection has now been streamlined and concentrates on particular bars such as Aero, Bounty, Crunchie, Flake, Dairy Mild, Kitkat and Mars.

The average shopper would be hard-pressed to notice a difference when wrappers are sometimes only subtly changed, but Mr Jones said he could spot a new one anywhere.

"I'd love to turn the clock back and go into Katie and RT's shop (grandparents) and decide what I'd buy with my money today," he said.

His absolute favourite wrapper is still the Aero 1953 Queens Coronation, which originally began his collection.

Mr Jones as a young boy outside his grandfather's shop
Mr Jones as a young boy outside his grandfather's shop

"I'm delighted by it, even though I'm not particularly a monarchist," he said.

"I also think the world of the Mars file."

Despite his extensive collection Mr Jones still wants to add more.

"I especially want pre-decimalisation Cadbury wrappers," he said.

He has yet to meet anyone with a similar collection, and would love to speak to anyone who has the same hobby.

"I'd give the world to meet another collector, they could come and stay here, so we can discuss the collection," he added.

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