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I Scream. Mind that child.

Jim Bell

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It always amazes me the number of old ice creams that are still working for living, there's a tatty old F reg Transit locally still doing the rounds and i remember seeing a knackered old D reg Transit in the Peak District which smoked like a bastard and was rotten a hell, i'm not sure who would want to buy food from a van like that!



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LDV Maxxus 1.6 petrol GLX.  Danilo Restivo Enterprises. Est 1998.


0-60: 40 years.

Speciality: Strawberry Mivvi.






In the late 1990s, Danilo Restivo was a mainstay of the south coast Ice Cream and Disco dancing scene.  When not cutting a rug in one of Bournemouth's major nightspots, he could be found out along the sea front in his trusty LDV, selling lollies and cones to everyone determined enough to brave the wind and sleet.

Friends say that he was a quiet and solitary man, only really coming to life when on the dancefloor or at the handle of his ice cream dispenser.

When his former dance partner disappeared, local police became suspicious of Restivo and began tracking his movements. A lengthy investigation ensued, thought by some to be the longest and most costly investigation into Ice Cream related crime in English history.  Mr Restivo is now serving a life sentence with a 40-year tariff for the 12 November 2002 murder of Heather Barnett in Bournemouth. Local investigators suspected Restivo had murdered Barnett because of his involvement in the 12 September 1993 disappearance of Elisa Claps (another former dance partner) in Potenza (Italy), but they were unable to charge him because of lack of evidence. Subsequent to the 2010 discovery of Claps's body, Restivo was tried for the murder of Barnett, with evidence of similarities in ritualistic placing of Strawberry Mivvis and Cornettos on the bodies of Claps and Barnett being heard by the English court. He was found guilty of murdering Barnett, and later convicted in absentia of the murder of Claps by an Italian court. Lawyers for Omar Benguit, convicted for the 12 July 2002 murder of a Korean woman, Jong Ok-Shin, in Bournemouth, suggested that Restivo may have committed the crime. Benguit was granted an appeal hearing. In April 2014 his conviction was upheld. 

The van was auctioned by Police at the main trials end and was purchased by the North West Macabre Vehicle museum where it shares centre stage with Jimmy Savilles Land Rover camper.

It is traditional for all Ice Cream vendors to spit if someone says Mr Restivo's name in damnation of the bad press he brought to the trade.

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Mk1 Mini Cooper conversion.  Peter Tool Ices est 1960.


0-60: 7 seconds.

Speciality:  Hit and Run.







Peter Tool owed EVERYONE money.  He was a serial fraudster and a well known liar.  In an attempt to make some money and avoid his creditors he commissioned an Ice Cream van conversion to the fastest and most manoeuvreable vehicle of the day: The Mini Cooper.  He demanded front cut out windows to the fibreglass body so that he could spot any approaching enemies. When the van was complete, he ran a brisk trade in lay-bys and at newly opened motorway services, especially on bank holidays.  Unfortunately the money made was hard to spend on anything but petrol as Mr Tool would often have to speed away just when the queue was forming to escape one of his many creditors.  In the Summer of 1970 he took the Mini Ice Cream Van across on the Dover Calais ferry, back and forth 34 times (purchasing only one return ticket!) and sold his wares in international waters only, avoiding all forms of taxation.  Local journalists gathered at Dover upon hearing of his escapades and hoped to interview him upon his return.  As he alighted, it was clear that he had done well, with piles of pound notes visible through the stickered glass.

In full view of local and regional media he was pulled from his vehicle and kicked to death by a mob composed of creditors, rival vendors, children and the elderly. Contemporary reports of the scene likened the view to that of wild dogs feeding at London Zoo.  The Van was reported pushed into the sea.

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Bedford CF 1.8 petrol

0-60 You have got to be joking


Annie's Soft Scoop Est'd 1905-2001?


Specialist- Screwball Special (fnarr)




Annie's van was a well known spot at Bridlington-On-Sea, a run down shitehole on the north east coast. She was often seen trying to sell her wares to shivering punters, who were looking for shelter from the biting wind and torrential rain. The van had a strong smell of fish, and there were rumours that she was selling her self to the local fisherman. Nobody knows what happened to Annie, there were tales that she was killed when she tried to intervene when a fight broke out between 2 fishermen who were vying for Annie's Screwball Special. Her van to this day still hasn't been found

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GR11 Thread would read again.




''Upon collection it became clear that the money had run out early and the van lacked an engine and ice cream machine.  Not one to give up without a fight, Emilio and the family now carry the van by trailer to the coast and exclusively sell lollies from a promotional Stella Artois fridge powered by a diesel generator''


:lol: :lol: :lol:



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Ford Truck (large), Peters of Americaland, est. 1944

0-60: in the region of 12 minutes

Speciality: bike courier delivery




Not much is known about Peters, an ex-serviceman who came to the UK in 1946 under suspicious circumstances.  What is remembered of him is his coal gas powered truck - a necessity of fuel rationing at the time - and the unusual design of his vehicle.  The rear of the truck was half coal gas generator, half refrigerator and ice cream was dispensed inside the cab.  He would then deliver his 'health food' individually with his crack team of cycling couriers.


Peters ceased trading in 1954 when he got into a parking dispute with Brighton Council which is still ongoing today.  Peters can still be seen cycling around Brighton delivering to a few very loyal, very old customers which helps top up his pension.

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Little is known about Enrique Irwinn and his all terrain ice cream business. Ernie ( to his friends)  can be found in summer months plying his trade on the quicksands of Morecambe bay, but it is in Winter that we see a different side to Ernie - like the birds, as Winter descends its cold icy fingers into the UK Ernie migrates South in search of warmer climes to sell his 99 flake with monkey blood and crushed nuts and to impress upon the natives of far flung tropical lands the joy of a mini milk and FAB lolly. Ernie can also be found selling chilled cans of Lilt to the tribespeople of the Amazon.


The 6 wheel drive comes in handy when Ernie has to climb rocky outposts to sell his produce - he once scaled the north face of the Great Wall of China to sell a Magnum 


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It has been known that, in the deep and distant past that is the south, errant shiters will track down old ice cream vans to imbibe themselves of many synthetic frozen creations using the method of travelling in time machines vaguely disguised as american cars of long forgotten times.




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With all the weight over the arse end, wheelies weren't uncommon with these old Commers, coming to a full stop however....


attachicon.gifKarrier BF Mr Softee 836UXB.jpg

Used to work for rowhedge Garage in essex when i first left school.

Had dubious privilidge of looking after the owners fleet of these complete with paraffin fueled ford sidevalve engine in back powering fridge.

Most were so worn out that we had to pour meths down carbs to start from cold.

used to love the smell though.

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Good old TVO. I dread to think how much an old school friend of mine's brother spent restoring his Commer, it needed a total rebuild of the ash framing and the interior and brand new machine & Genset were fitted by Whitby Morrison of Crewe. You can see the van in Roundhay Pk most days

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sivoris south manchester still going - dont live down there so rarely see them now




when they did the rounds when we were kids the vans werent two tone - just beige :D


Sivoris are indeed still going, their kids got my school bus.

They do a pretty good trade from overpriveliged shits at Manchester Grammar School, seeing as they somehow have a van parked up on the school grounds every lunchtime. 

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Austin A35 Benchfleet Overflower conversion. Professor Ian Llanyard and sons. Est 1935.


0-60: untested.

Speciality: Diploma Quality Ice Cream.






Proffesor Ian Llanyard and his sons Barry and Gary served their tenure at Northumberland County Council (works and planning department). All had unspectacular careers, all of their lives were drab. One day in late 1935, Proffessor Ian noticed a postcard in the window of his local greengrocers: LEARN ICE CREAM AND MEET NEW PEOPLE. DIPLOMA AVAILABLE. 5 SHILLINGS. CALL 365 AND ASK FOR KEVIN.

Ian did just that and within sixteen months he was a fully qualified (and paid up) member of the Northern Ice Cream Mans Guild.

He spared no time in converting the old family run about to a vending vehicle with the help of his twin sons.

The family took shifts in operating the van and business was brisk. Being the only vendor in the north qualified to vend diploma quality ice cream, their wares were very much in demand.

Of course life in the ice cream trade never runs smoothly and the happy family was driven into the sea by the expansion of the South Scotland Ice Cream Mans guild. The battle was short but effective. The Scotts celebrating victory by eating the hearts of the losing team, as was the tradition at the time. The diploma still hangs behind the bar at the local pub, and many of the older locals still remember Ian and the boys fondly.

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Gr9 Fred!


I find myself using a Matt berry voice when reading this

I wrote it using a Matt Berry voice in my head so I'm pleased that came accross well. Ive just finished listening to the audiobook Toast on Toast, read by Stephen Toast so am a bit fixated by the voice at the moment.
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Low res Austin Meastro van. Micky Henge. Never established.


0-60: 78 seconds

Speciality: Bovril.






Micky Henge found this low res Meastro just inside the gates of a 8 bit breakers yard. Hes a man that knows an oportunity when sees it and he immediately offered 50 pounds for the heap. Within an hour he had paid 23 schoolchildren with empty promises to push it back to his lock up. There was no ice cream maker and no fridge in the low res van, so he connected an extension lead to a ketttle and tried to sell Bovril to passers by. To his delight, every man on the industrial estate loved the salty meaty taste. After a week he had enough money to employ a child to sit in the van all day vending Bovril. Passing Policemen would squint at the van occasionally but could never work out what was going on as the resolution was too low. The business never grew and never developed. The electricity bill for the first year exceeded the money made from selling Bovril by one hundred and seven pounds. The whole enterprise was abandoned soon thereafter.

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  • 2 months later...

An exciting small business opportunity has presented itself for your earest consideration. A motivated, hard working individual is required to take the helm of a business requiring an injection of youth and enthusiasm.


This purchase could constitute the laying of the first foundation stone of an empire. Fortune favours the brave. Be your own boss and work the hours that suit you.


Applicants must be able to weld, weild a machete and must be able to throw a petrol bomb accurately from a moving vehicle.


Clean driving licence and Health and Hygiene vertificate can he worked toward.



Click for full details:




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Established 1984

0-60: occasionally

Speciality: reprints of vintage ice cream stickers


To cash in on the lucrative 'vintage' scene, Pats Ices bought a cheap number plate for their Bedford HA (they're still* producing them, you know) and put the fibreglass canopy from a Mini on it.  The Mini was sold on eBay to a man with a dustpan and brush for £20,845.46 less eBay fees.  All of the stickers are structural holding parts of the van together and the only thing keeping the canopy in place.  They do a brisk trade as both an ice cream vendor and the world's only Museum of Ice Cream Stickers.



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I remember Trillo's when they used a horse-drawn cart.


My wife and one of my mates worked for them.


Wife used to buy stuff from Chris Rhea for Trillo's - Rhea's were commercial ice cream products vendors back then.


Best ice cream I ever had was in York, near Clifford's tower, from an ancient Italian who sold from a trike (pedal, not motorised) with a freezer box on the front.  Yellow as daffodils.

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I worked an ice cream van round the Coulsdon , Purley and South Croydon area back in 76. For those that don't know ( e.g. having not been born ) it was the hottest year for like everaneva. 

I rented the van , which was a Fiat 900, for £80 a week, if I remember right, from a guy who had about 5 or 6 vans and was a Walls agent. A guy I met there also rented a Fiat and had a round in and around croydon so we used to race each other up to Purley. That's if you can call thrashing the shit out them to a max of 50, racing.

Never had any trouble with other ice cream sellers although the guy who did Croydon got a few threats but being a brick shit house nothing ever came of it.

One guy in a grotty green Transit soft ice van started selling round where I did but as soon as a few kids got rather sick because he didn't clean the pipes at the end of the day and wanted to use what was left in the can to stick an extra couple of £££ in his pocket the mums wouldn't let  their kids go to him.

The deal on the van rent was, if you sold above a certain amount the rent was waived. Think it was £100 which in that summer I was probably selling twice that a day. Fri,Sat and Sundays i had to go back about 3/4 o'clock to restock. Also sold candy floss.

I was making £80 to £100 a day which was shed loads. Rented a different car every week which I think was about £40 to £50 a week and got properly thrashed as we all know they deserve.

A good summer.

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1947 Chevrolet Panel Van. Luciano DiMatteo, est. 1954


0-60: More than you can handle, baby.

Speciality: Light beer.




'Lucky' DiMatteo moved over here after the war finished, having always felt a little cheated that the other fellers in his crew at USAF Daws Hill had used their excessive masculinity to get first pick of the local women, leaving Lucky with the rejects. Man, did he feel good when their B-24 Liberator got blown all to hell on the way back from Krautland.... no, wait, he didn't feel at all good did he, on account of being signed unfit to fly with a twisted appendix the previous day. Hey, Lucky by name, lucky by nature, yaknowwadimsayin?


Upon his return, he realised that the 'novelty' of being a Yank no longer washed with the locals, especially thanks to the recent spate of children that didn't look nuthin' like their Daddy. Upping his game, he had a '47 Chevy shipped over from the US and used his wartime skills to hop it up with lifted cams, straight-through headers and a sweet blower setup. Yes, he knew exactly what all those things were, whaddya tryin to say, wiseguy? The door removal was a clever little touch, ostensibly facilitating better service, but in reality making for a far quicker getaway when his 'service' got interrupted by an irate husband.


The business thrived for over 2 decades, not least thanks to his crisp white, freshly-starched threads earning him the respect and admiration of the post-war customers who still had to wash their clothes in their own orange urine thanks to water-rationing and widespread beetroot-addiction. Unfortunately, it never reached its full potential as the Chevy's short wheelbase meant that he could only wedge a small box of Fab! lollies and one tub of Neapolitan behind the refrigeration unit. He did, however, become famous for his 4th of July routine of driving inebriated and at dangerous speeds through the suburbs of High Wycombe, hurling frozen yo-gurrt pots at the heads of any children he saw. The tragedy of the resulting casualties was far outweighed by the joy of the spectacle, which was like being at the movies, only for real.


His final hurrah came when he cashed in on the trend for poncy new American drinks amongst the hip young kids who couldn't stand the taste of ale, and couldn't stand at all after half a proper lager. He raked in a fortune dispensing Coors and Bud Light from the back of his now rather battered Chevy, but alas blew most of it on Bladderfort's Old Nobthwacker, the local poison to which he had become addicted in his middle age. One night, while off his face on ale and magic mushrooms, he embarked on a Hunteresque road trip into the Anglian fens, where he was captured by villagers and burned alive in a wicker man. His Chevy can still be seen on foggy nights, beckoning unwary travellers into the treacherous marshes with its twinkling sealed-beams.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Johnny Eldorado esq ices. 1934-1949.


0-60: insufficient legs.

Speciallity: verse.





In 1934 Jonny Eldorado was released from Royal Bethlem Sanitorium in Bromley with full honours and a macaroni callender. The previous ten years of his life had involved incarnation and electro shock therapy. He also wet the bed.

Upon rejoining the community, he aquired a three wheeled bicycle and set about attaching an ice box to the prow end. He traveled the alleys and avenues of old London town, selling cubes of iced cream stuck to the end of cocktail sticks to the chirpy lads and lasses of the Capital.

He was known throughout the town because each purchaser was awarded a poem with each purchase. He plied his trade happily until he was kicked to death by a vendor of jellied eels in a dispute over land rights.

Below lies one of his verses.


Ode to this urchin:


Oh child of the street, with grimy feet.

Take this iced treat and beat your retreat.

I spy a man with a tray of fresh eels snd I fear I know just how he feels.

Go now before ruckus begins, and wipe the iced drippings away from your chin.



Bystanders relayed that he tried to carry on, but was beaten senseless and tossed into the river.

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