Ding Dong, Ding Ding……. Ding!
When I was a kid, almost every day at about the same time, I’d hear that sound.
It was a sound that would stir up a mix of emotions. Would I be allowed one? Could my mum afford one? Will she give me some money? Will I get to him before he drives off?
The sound was of bells, but not real bells. Recorded bells, being played back too loudly, distorted.
Yes, I’m talking about the ice cream van!
Buying an ice cream from the ice cream man in the ice cream van was a real treat when I was a kid. And the faster you could run to get the van, the shorter the queue.
Nothing beat being first in the queue at the ice cream van with a silver coin in your clenched fist.
Ice cream vans in Australia.
So I asked Mrs BobinOz.
“Why doesn’t Australia have ice cream vans Mrs BobinOz?” I said.
“They do!” She replied.
I may claim many things, but being observant is not on the list. Apparently Australia does have ice cream vans, but they are usually quite stationary; outside parks, school fetes, at fairs or at events, not roaming the streets as they did when I was young and living in England.
They were called “street runs” and they are not so popular these days. I think it’s fair to say that ice cream vans doing street runs are a dying breed.
There is a clue in an article I wrote ages ago called Any Old Iron! Any Old Iron! I heard the distant sound of a Ding! Ding! Ding! So I went out into the streets looking for the rag and bone man so I could get rid of some old stuff, you know, broken fridge and rusty cooker.
But it turned out that the source of the sound of those bells was an ice cream selling van, not a “Mr whippy” type of ice cream van, but frozen ice cream and lollies that can be kept in the freezer and given out as treats.
Along with home delivery ice cream, McDonald’s selling soft ice cream in a cone for 50 cents makes a Mr whippy ice cream look really expensive.
Although I don’t know how much they charge, I’ve never seen one, remember?
Okay, I’ll Google it. Hold on.
Here we are.
A double Choc dip cone costs $5; it’s an extra dollar if you want the chocolate flake too.
Of course I want the flake!
A Mr whippy ice cream may cost 10 times as much as one from McDonald’s, but the thrill of running up to an ice cream van as a kid is priceless.
And the ice cream vans themselves are a marvel; they are a work of art.
Anyway, back to the thrill and buzz of hearing the ice cream van approaching. This is what it was like…..
Did that bring it all back for you? It did for me.
But you may have noticed something not quite right. The ice cream van in the video was not selling traditional soft serve ice cream, it came out of a tub. That’s because it was an advert for Nestlé Peters national TV campaign.
The owner of that ice cream van is a guy called Trevor Thornton, who I have now been chatting to since writing this post and Trevor commenting on it.
Trevor operated three original ex Mr Whippy ice cream vans on the Gold Coast during the years of 2001 until 2010, when the business was sold.
Trevor retained one of these iconic vans from the sale and it is presently used for selling Hawaiian Shaved Ice and soft serve ice cream outside the restriction zone of South East Queensland as determined by the business sale agreement.
And that’s the van you see in the advert above. Trevor still uses it occasionally for charity and promotional work.
Anyway, under the terms of the sale of his business, Trevor cannot sell soft serve ice cream in Queensland until April 2013.
So what does he do now?
We’ll all look forward to that.
Here are more pictures of Trevor’s toys…