I scream for ice cream when
the van’s chimes ring out

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Thirty years ago there were hundreds of ice cream vans on Britain’s roads, just as many as there were milk floats, but times and the economy have changed that, along with the constant unsettled weather.

As a child the moment I heard the chimes of the ice cream van I nagged my parents to get their wallet out.

Those chimes do strange things to those under 5ft tall.

Did you see the video on You Tube recently of the four-year-old who was so overwhelmed by the sound of the van he fell off his kitchen chair taking his breakfast with him?

It reminded me of staying at my grandparents’ house at Eastney as a child and rushing out of the door in excitement on hearing that sweet music from the brightly-painted yellow and orange Verrecchia van.

My nan used to take out a mixing bowl and have it filled to the brim.

And we would make our own cones decorated with strawberry sauce and hundreds and thousands.

I also developed a passion for those cherry brandy and cider lollies in my teenage years and a screwball with the bubble gum in it was a prized possession.

And there was nothing like a walk along Southsea seafront clutching a Wall’s Funny Face or Haunted House in your hand.

But times change and people’s habits have shifted, spurred on by the cheaper prices at the big supermarkets.

By the time the bells sound to let us know that the mystical entity of the ice cream van has appeared, most of us have already got it in our freezers for our children.

The ice cream industry is worth £1bn a year.

However, the market has dropped off considerably since 2012 because of the atrocious weather we have been having of late.

Personally I think a Mr Whippy with a flake still tastes just as delicious when you’re parked on the seafront and it’s raining cats and dogs. But there are not a lot of folk who would agree with me.

Old habits die hard, but I will always scream for an ice cream when I hear those chimes.