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Ice Cream

Index of Ice Cream Products

Midland Counties magazine -
and other publications.

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Menu card of 1927. National Trades Exhibition, Bingley Hall.

Half price ticket given to messrs Woolworth's, Bull Ring, Birmingham. 1930

Carton Ticket. April 1936


.....Midland Counties .Ice...Cream.....


The origin of Midland Counties Ice-Cream can be traced back to 1898 when two brothers, Edwin and James White, left their home in Bury, Lancashire, to seek their fortune in the Midlands. They started a ginger beer business in North Street, Wolverhampton, where they made, bottled it and sold it to the townspeople of Wolverhampton. They were aided in this task by two horses, Teddie and Bonnie which Edwin had driven himself from Bury. Their business prospered and in 1899 a larger staff was required and two more family members joined, Fred White and Harry White. The firm moved to larger premises in Chapel Street, Wolverhampton, and it was to this place that the first outside employee came to start work with the White brothers; his name was Joe Holt who was just 23 years of age.

The ginger-beer made and bottled by the firm grew in popularity and it soon became a flourishing trade. In 1901 two members of the firm obtained premises in Phillip Street, Birmingham, and a new branch of the ginger-beer business opened. Such was their energy and enthusiasm that they built up five rounds in eleven weeks in the Birmingham area. Branches were then opened in Leicester (1902), Derby (1903), and London (1905).

In 1913 (the precise date is not known) an experimental milk bottling plant opened in an annex to the Aston Brook Street premises and the name Midland Counties Dairy was established. With the start of the First World War employees left to serve at the front and Harry White himself went off to Mesopotamia in the Royal Flying Corps. The submarine blockade of the UK caused a shortage of sugar and several of the ginger-beer factories closed but the milk bottling business grew and the dairy side of the enterprise became the principal interest of the family. Diversification started after the war when a range of dairy products were introduced. The bottling of good quality milk, direct from local farms, continued to grow alongside the manufacture of butter and ice-cream (1923) as well as the sale of eggs and cream. Laboratories were established in Birmingham and Wolverhampton and a Farms Inspector Department ensured the quality of milk and other food-stuffs coming from the farms.

The two departments (milk bottling and ice-cream production) expanded rapidly and gained high repute in the Midlands area. In 1963 the business was taken over by Unigate, and in 1973 Lyons Maid bought an 85% controlling share in the business.

Operated from the Birmingham factory as a separate business, Midland Counties Ice Cream had twelve depots in the Midlands, the North; London and the West Country. The 350 staff working at the Midlands factory were supported by a further 264 in the depots.

Manufacturing and technical manager was Mike Vanbergen, who moved from Lyons Maid's Liverpool factory in late 1973. The two main production areas covered 18,000 square feet turning out nearly seven million portions of ice cream or water ices every week. The laboratories in the factory were staffed by a 12-strong team under the control chemist David Bingham who had previously worked at ICI and Allied Breweries. Sales director was Eileen Harris who headed a sales team of 35. She had come through the business as supervisor and district manager before becoming Sales Manager.

Eventually the Midlands factory was closed down as production capacity was enlarged at Lyons Maid's factory in Greenford, Middlesex.


Awarded Gold Medal in1937.

A painting book issued by Midland Counties Ice Cream in 1935.

A picture of the ice-cream cabinet service department

A reconditioned cabinet. A soft ice-cream dispenser can be seen to the right.

The 'Melorol' slicing machine. Lyons made similar products from the American machines and called their portions Polar Maid.


Melorols being produced in batches of 228.


List of Midland Counties Ice Cream products.

1973 Apr

Frosty

A vanilla ice cream for eating alone on with cones. Price 2p.

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Saturn

A rocket-shaped iced lolly for children with a strawberry flavour nose and pineapple flavour body. Price 3p.

Sky Rocket

Also a rocket-shaped ice lolly but with a raspberry flavour cone and mixed fruit flavour booster. Price 3p.

Plain Gold

A vanilla ice cream with dark chocolate coating. Price 5p.

Cornish Dairy Choc Ice

A Cornish dairy vanilla ice cream bar covered in dark chocolate. Price 6p.

Vanilla & Chocolate Flavour Brick

Price 14p.

Strawberry Ripple Brick

Price 14p

Cornish Dairy Vanilla Table Brick

Price 12p.

Cornish Dairy Raspberry Ripple Tub

In plastic packaging and priced at 7p.

Cornish Dairy Vanilla Tub

In plastic packaging. Price 7p

Valentine

A stick confection with a centre of strawberry flavour water ice mostly covered in vanilla ice cream and topped in chocolate.

1974 May

Fizzle

A three stage children's lolly of vanilla kreem ice and raspberry and mixed fruit flavour water ice for 4p.

Toffy Nose

A combination of spearmint and toffee flavour kreem ice, dipped in chocolate and sugar strands at 5p

Popstick

A strawberry flavour ice lolly at 2p.Also came in Cola Flavour.

Coolspell

Designed for the older child. A mint ice cream with dark chocolate coating at 8p.

Strawberri Jack

A strawberry ice cream on a stick with a choc and chopped nut coating at 8p.

Take-Home Bricks

Double Choc Ripple and Raspberry Surprise. Both at 21p.

Homepacks

Take-home ice cream for freezer storage. Raspberry Ripple (39p), Strawberry (35p), Cornish (47p) and Vanilla (34p).

1974 Jun

Home Freezer Lines

Rum flavour with raisins, Tutti Frutti and Cornish vanilla in half gallons. Multipackd of twenty raspberry flavour and lemon flavour ice lollies. Toppits, pre-cut individual portions of vanilla ice cream in a pack of 24.

1974 Jul

Canary Cookie

Blackcurrant water ice with a lemon kreem ice centre for children. Price 4p.

Cavalier

Strawberry and pineapple kreem ice dipped in chocolate and sugar strands for children. Price 5p.

1975 Apr

Ice Warrior

A blackcurrant water ice shell with vanilla kreem centre. Price 5p

Green Demon

A lime water ice shell with lemon ice centre. Price 5p.

Dazzler

A three stage lolly, lemon and lime water ice with a banana ice cream centre and a red strawberry flavour dip. Price 6p

Choc-a-Bloc

A strawberry kreem ice with a choc bar in the centre, dipped in sugar balls. Price 7p.

Rum and Raisin Choc Ice

Rum flavour ice cream with a dash of rum, and raisins, covered in dark chocolate. Price 10p.

Strawberry Swirl

A half litre take-home pack. Vanilla ice cream swirled with strawberry sorbet. Price 33p.

1976 Apr

Chocopotamus

A combination of chocolate flavour and caramel flavour kreem ice dipped in chocolate. Price 7p

Black Jack

A black jacket of mixed fruit flavour water ice with a centre of strawberry kreem ice. Price 6p.

Peach Melba

A new family brick. Peach ice cream between vanilla ice cream ripple with raspberry sauce. Price 29p.

c. 1978

Choc Stik

Ice Cream with chocolate flavoured coating

 
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