Angie Parton: ice cream queen remembered

Jill Waters recently asked a great question in the Pelsall group on Facebook and sparked some wonderful debate and memories about a lost Pelsallian ice cream seller who made wonderful treats remembered to this day by the kids she served.

I took the liberty of posting Jill’s query here, and the memories flowed in; but also on Facebook, too. For those interested, Jill has acquired a photo of Aggie and her husband which she’s kindly given me permission to share here.

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Angie and George Parton: warmly remembered Pelsall characters. Image supplied by Jill Walters.

Jill said this about the image:

Well, I’m delighted to say I have a photo of the lovely PelsalliIce cream maker, Aggie Parton. Sitting on the settee, with her husband George, in the front room of the famous Pelsall artist Arthur Rushton.

She added, later:

My neighbour from when I was small found the photo, it was his uncle, Arthur Rushton, who the photo belonged to.

The whole thread can be read here – it’s well worth a read. Go grab a cup of tea and wallow in the warm, collective memory. I love this stuff.

Jill mentions Arthur Ruston, and indeed, he’s partially discussed in the Facebook conversation. What do we know about Arthur, and is his work available anywhere? I’d love to know more about him.

That ice cream research associate the young David Evans also had something to say about the ‘Wafermaster‘, the aid used by Aggie, which he realls in use by the great Brownhills ice-monger Welwyn Smith. No debt the Pelari family probably used one too, and maybe Mr. Pinchers on his round in Walsall Wood.


David said:

Hi Bob

Thrupenny and fourpenny wafers, Selwyn Smith style…

The gadget was set to one of two depths… shallow for threepenny wafer, deep for fourpenny wafers. A wafer biscuit was placed in the mould and then icecream was ladelled from the tub, using a wooden spatula, to be levelled off and a top biscuit placed to complete the delicacy.


A wafer master, from Bradford on Avon Museum.

This completed wafer was pushed on to a piece of paper and served to the dribbling young lad waiting patiently beside the ice cream van.

Selwyn Smith vanilla, served with a flourish, by Darwin.

Customer now had two choices, to lick the icecream from around the edge of the wafer…slower and risking icecream down one’s wrist or. biting atraight into the biscuit which was faster but risked a squirt from the edge of the delicacy.

Final task… licking fingers clean.

Real ice cream, 1950s style!


Thanks to David, as ever, for that! There’s plenty more memories of this, I’m sure.

You know what to do. Comment here, or mail me. BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com.

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1 Response to Angie Parton: ice cream queen remembered

  1. When I read the original post. It only sort of lightly struck a chord, However, it should have hit me harder and louder because this lady was a very good friend of my Aunt Annie. Now Annie worked across the road in the Bakery, She made and Decorated the cakes for special occasions (Wedding, Birthday etc). Both of her daughters also went into the same trade (Bakery) Joyce is still alive and lives by the Cow. Joan died a couple of years ago. Joyce never did anything else but decorate cakes, at that bakery and at Walsall Co-op. Joan on the other hand worked as a clippie on Walsall corporation, she also did farm work (which was to hard) shop work (which was a bore) but like myself some years later, she loved the buses, the freedom that it gave you. And yes the ice cream was special……

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