Saturday 16 July 2022

The Saturday List #353 - My Top Ten Ice creams, Ice Lollies and Ice Pops

 It's hot, hot, hot. I don't have a sweet tooth at all and I don't do Dairy, so much of this list is fond memories which I won't be revisiting. However I did feel a certain pang of dietry lust as I went through these.  I hope you enjoy this list as much as I enjoyed putting it together,

1. The Tonibel 99 flake with Raspberry sauce. 

Pic courtesy

Take yourself back to the long hot summer of 1976. My Dad had a 3 Litre Ford Capri, it came in an anaemic purple colour. It had been souped up for the Pan African rally. It went like a rocket. He resprayed it black with a red go faster stripe. It roared like a monster. The biggest treat of all was when Dad would take us to Burnt Oak in it for a 99 flake Ice Cream from Tonybel with a generous dollop of raspberry sauce and a sprinkling of nuts. Dad insisted Tonibel was the best Ice Cream in the world. I've yet to find a reason to disagee. What I liked most was that it wasn;t fancy. It was just proper, great ice cream. (Sorry I couldn't find a pic of the establishment)

2. The FAB lolly

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FAB was the call sign of international rescue and I loved Thunderbirds. This lolly was the subject of many heated debates in the playground of St Vincents. As it was in three parts, what was the correct way to eat it. The consensus was to nibble off the 100's and 1,000's, then eat the strawberry and finally finish off the milky bit.

It was a proper Ice Lolly. My memories of this are most closely associated with Mill Hill Swimming Pool and long Balmy summers. As I counldn't swim and didn't like cold water, my idea of bliss was lying in the sun with one of these.

3. Coca Cola Ice Pops.

As I've mentioned on several occasions, my Mum was one who liked to save the pennies. If something was cheaper, in her mind it was better. This used to drive my Dad mad. If he bought ham, he'd go to the deli, have it cut off the bone and specify that it had to be extra thick. It was delicious. If my mum bought it, she'd go to Tesco's and buy the cheapest packet. My Dad would point out that it tasted of nothing and was 50% water. She'd say "Go hungry if you don't like it". When Ice Pops were launched, my mum was delighted. No more buying expensive lollys and ice creams from the Newsagents or Tonibel. The thing about Ice pops was that you'd have a quick suck and the flavour was gone. They were terminally unexciting. And then we discovered coca cola ice pops. These were wonderful. For some reason, my mum developed an aversion to buying them, probably because they were a couple of pennys more expensive, but I loved them. 

4. Funny Faces.

For a while this was my lolly of choice. Mostly due to the fact that I could wind up my sister Valerie by singing the TV Ad theme tune at her and tease her about her looks. I suspect she has a lifelong aversion to these. 

5. The Lyons Maid Choc Ice

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For some reason, my Dad was rather partial to these. I felt that if I wanted to get in his good books, I'd buy him one and have one for myself. He'd always be really grateful and give me extra pocket money for my consideration. It was great because it would rile my sister Caroline, who would have neither a choc ice or extra pocket money. Such was the politics of large families. There was an ongoing debate as to whether Lyons Maid or Walls Ice lollies were better. I always went for the Lyons Maid. I used to believe that a company that made Sausages was not really where I wanted to get Ice Lollies from

6. The Strawberry Mivvi

I recall going into Glaziers sweet shop in Station Road with my Dad and him announcing that he'd discovered the best lolly in the world, It was the Strawberry Mivvi. A coating of Strawberry goo on an ice cream base. It was bliss. I think that a Mivvi may well have been the last Ice lolly I bought. They never quite lived up to that first one. Maybe I was just wearing strawberry mivvi tinted spectacles at the time.

7. The Red Arrow.

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For a short period this was the ice cream for every boy of a certain age. It wasn't because the Ice Cream was great, but the free aeroplane with it was a temptation beyond resistance. Like many of these promotions, the free gift was pretty iffy and the fad soon passed.

8. Marine Ices Tutti Frutti Ice Cream

This was a revealation. I was taken their as a treat by my good friends and neighbour Dad Mr Lewis. He was a man of spohistication and a lovely bloke. His son Frank is still a neighbour. We'd all hang around each others houses at weekends and in the Summer Holidays. Mr Lewis had bought a new Citroen and wanted to show us how great a car it was. He knew his beans. He took us for a spin to Camden Town. Unlike my Dad, he did not drive like a maniac and bought the car because it was comfortable and good for carting the family around. We arrived at Marine Ices and he recommended the Tutti Frutti. I'd never had anything quite like it before. It was wonderful. Within a few years, Dayvilles and a host of other ice cream chains arrived. It seemed there was no flavour you couldn't have. But then it was like opening the door to another dimension. 

9. Solero.

Pic courtesy of

This was probably the last ice lolly that I ate and thought WOW! Citrus and Ice cream shouldn't really mix well but this does. When my children were little I'd buy them sweets or ice lollies after Church on a Sunday. I rather hoped it would mean they looked forward to the service. When it was hot like today, I'd have one myself. I don't like overly sweet things, but this really hit the spot. It's sort of like a Mivvi on acid. 

10. Strawberry Cornetto

How Could I complete this list without the Cornetto? I don't mind Cornetto's but this deserves a mention for what must be the best Ice Lolly advert ever. I have a few Italian mates and this used to infuriate them. They felt it was the worst example of cultural appropriation ever. I suspect that it did more for Italian Opera in the UK than just about anything else (apart from Nessum Dorma at the World Cup). I've never noticed before but the Ad finished says "Made outside Italy by Walls" You've got to laugh


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