Ice Cream Vans part 3

  • I Scream, You Scream, We all Scream for Ice Cream and other ice cream cultural references

    As I was writing last week’s post this phrase popped into my head.  I had no idea where it came from but I’m sure it was something my Dad would have sung to me when I was a child.  And sure enough, a quick google and I discovered it was a hit song from 1925.  You can listen to the original recording by Waring’s Pennsylvanians here. Its great fun.

    South Bank, near Royal Festival Hall

    South Bank, near Royal Festival Hall

    The second phrase that bubbled up from my memory is “tootsie frootsie ice cream.”   I knew was from a Marx Brothers film but which one?   I enjoyed watching the scene again on Youtube; its from A Day At the Races.  This was another gift from my Dad who was huge Marx Brothers film fan.

    The third reference is one I’d totally forgotten. Its from a 1980s film that I saw on release but I realise have forgotten the detail now.  Its Jim Jarmusch’s film Down By Law and in it is this brilliant, funny surreal moment when the three main characters who are in prison start singing I Scream, You Scream.  It must be very popular as its the first item on google when you search for the song.

    The domestic fridge and freezer effect on ice cream van sales

    After last week’s post a friend made a pertinent comment that domestic fridges and freezers could have killed the trade of the travelling ice cream van.  So that prompted me to do a bit more on-line searching.  If wiki is correct, the fridge was first mass produced in 1927.  And thats around the time of the ice cream song.  And that in the UK, it wasn’t until 1995 that most households had domestic freezers.  And this could be why we both remember hearing those ice cream chimes in the 1960s and 70s on a regular basis but why they have virtually died out now.

    St James' Park

    St James’ Park

    The “Day Out”  ice cream van sellers

    One glorious summer’s afternoon, I was out with a friend and we meandered along by the River Thames and passed some of central London’s landmarks.  Of course, tourist spots are the perfect locations for the static ice cream van sellers.  I doubt you’ll be surprised to discover that on Westminster Bridge which is the one nearest to the iconic London landmark Big Ben, that there were three vans on the day I strolled across it.  There was so many people that day it was impossible to get a shot of all three vans in one.

    Big Ben Clock Tower in background

    Big Ben Clock Tower in background

    How Many Ice Creams?  photo sequence

    Putting together the pictures for this post allowed me to share a sequence where a grandmother and her grandson were buying ice creams for their large family on a day out at the London Eye.  You can follow that in this week’s gallery.  The final shot which was snatched on a way home one evening is to complete the survey.  This static pitch near Trafalgar Square sold ice cream at night but only in the summer. I notice that its not there now in chilly November .

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