Chapter 28 – Mr Whippy – stop me and buy one


Ice Cream Vans play a part in everyone’s life. Whether young or old, each and every individual has a fond ice cream memory.

Mobile Ice Cream Vans first appeared at the beginning of the 20th Century and have established themselves firmly in today’s society.

Ice Cream Vans offer you the flexibility of vending in a variety of locations allowing you to take the ice cream to the people. And you are not just limited to ice cream; these custom built vans allow you to sell the exact products your customers want.

Whitby Morrison are the world’s leading manufacturer of Ice Cream Vehicles; established by Bryan Whitby in 1962 in the UK, our products have been exported to 60 countries around the world. A dedicated team of the UK’s finest craftsmen ensure that Whitby Morrison Ice Cream Trucks are the finest available in the world today.

The Whitby Morrison factory is purpose-built with separate moulding, fabrication, refrigeration, vehicle build, paint spray and finishing facilities. Confidential research and development is conducted in our own independent design centre. As the demands of the market develop, so does the capacity for innovation and level of in-house ability. Ice Cream Vehicles are the core product of Whitby Morrison, alongside Trailer Kiosks and Tricycles.

Today, Bryan’s son Stuart is Managing Director and in 2005 Bryan’s eldest Grandson, Ed, became the first from a third generation of the Whitby family to join the Company. These three generations and their workforce continue their work together, with that same belief:

“we produce the very best, or we produce nothing at all”

He scowls down at the child,who is only just tall enough to peer over the counter.
“Whaddya want then?”
The boy who, he can tell from bitter experience,is a ditherer,the kind of kid who will make and change his mind six or seven times,is staring intently at the empty wrappers stuck on to the inside of the van as a make shift menu. He is mouthing the different names to himself,trying them out on his tongue, trying to work out which one will catch.

Funny Feet
Mivvi
Tongue Twister
Everest
Orange Maid
Milk Maid
Lolly Gobble Choc Bomb
Mini Milk
Cider Refresher

The Ice cream man glares at him
“Come on,I havnt got all day”

But he has of course, his pitch at the Country Park on a bitter February day will hardly bring in enough to cover the diesel, so he stick it out, hang around till school chucking out time, hope that some of the yummy mummies will decide that a blast of fresh air is on the agenda today, hope that the pester power will drag at least a few of them towards his van.
” I want…………………” but indecision paralayses him and the childs’ voice trails off.
The ice cream man tries to smile, bares his teeth in what even he doubts is an encouraging expression.
“Come on sonny, they’re all good”
He grabs a handful of lollies from the freezer behind him and displays them fanlike to the child.
The boy scowls, knowing he is being rushed, the delicious anticipation, the choosing , that moment of decision making should be within his control,not this angry loking grown up.

There is a pause, the ice cream man becomes aware of a tingling in his fingers, the bloody ice lollies are making his already cold hands unbearably uncomfortable. Without turning round he slings them back in the open freezer. That will be another complaint at the depot, another crime against frozen confectionairy, not keeping the product trays tidy.

The boy speaks
” I want a 99 with sprinkles, jelly sweeets and strawberry, no chocolate sauce”

He sighs and starts to prepare it and then of course the boy changes his mind and wants strawberry sauce and then fumbling in his fleece, the child is 10 p short, but the product is made and the ice cream man shoves it at him and digs around in his pocket to make up the short fall,thereby avoiding the sin of not balancing the take.

The child walks off, no please, no thank you.It has been a graceless exchange. The ice cream man wonders where his parent is, they are meant to keep an eye on this sort of thing, head office is keen to promote them as the ears and eyes of a community,made them watch a video at the last product launch.

The ice cream man stares and looks into space.There is a lot of space in the almost deserted car park and then a car drives in,one of those tiny Italian ones and parks next to him. There is an explosion of dogs, as three of them attempt to exit the car at the same time. They are huge, the biggest alsations he has even seen and at their middle is a short blond woman, well wrapped up against the biting cold. The dogs leap, bounce, frisk, all wagging tails and smiling mouths and the woman is smiling too,enjoying their chaos,their excitement.

She looks up at the ice cream van,the man slumped over the counter,picking his teeth.
She smiles at him,her face lit up with joy,
“Isnt it a lovely day” she says and then she and her pack make their joyous way towards the park gates.

The ice cream seller sighs and goes back to picking his teeth.

About cathi rae

50ish teacher & aspiring writer and parent of a stroppy teenager and carer for a confused bedlington terrier and a small selection of horses who fail to shar emy dressage ambitions. Interested in contemporary fiction but find myself returning to PG Wodehouse when the chips are down View all posts by cathi rae

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