Friday, 4 December 2009

The Ice Cream Man

Here's a couple of more photos taken from our home movies shot in about 1966. The first picture shows the strange little van that would show up everyday at Jalan Wijaya selling ice cream. I think you got free Marine Boy transfers if you bought popcorn from him and that might be the white packets you can see on the back of the van. Looking at the van, I think this might have been the Magnolia Man. Other people have mentioned the Magnolia Man to me but I didn't remember the name. I do remember that he sold Cornetto type ice creams long before they were for sale in England. I was beginning to think that I'd imagined that but when I was putting together my second book of other people's memories of Singapore and Malaya, I came across an advert for Magnolia ice cream and there was an advert for the Cornettos that I remembered! I think the van might have also sold tubs of ice cream which we kept in the top of the fridge. I remember that any ice cream you bought, you had to eat quickly because it soon melted down your arm! My brother remembers buying flavoured gums including Cola ones and I also remember Cola flavoured tic-tacs, mainly because my brother dropped his off a drain we were walking over, went to retrieve them and cut his arm badly. I loved the visits by the ice cream man. As you can see, I'm bare-footed and in my pants which seemed to be the uniform of all service kids in the Far East!
The second photo comes from the same day and I'm in a Rattan chair just by our front door looking out into the street. It's funny how things stick in your memory. Although this was about 43 years ago, I remember exactly what I was doing at the time - pretending to march like a soldier! I wonder if these pictures were taken after school had finished at 1pm or if maybe I was pre-school age? Whenever it was, the Magnolia Man always seemed to know where I was even turning up at the school gates to sell ice cream to kids on their breaks or returning home. Seems such a lovely, happy time looking at these photos. Now, so much later, it almost seems like a different world!

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