To accompany the fab photo of the Capaldi’s ices van parked in front of the factory, here’s another lovely image. It can be enlarged.
This looks like the 1950s (early 60s?). These happy-looking ladies have just bought their ice creams from Carlo Capaldi’s van.
I’ve been pestering Jamie, who sent me the photos, for more information on the history of Capaldi’s ices.
Guiseppe (Joe) Capaldi came to England on his own in 1912, at the age of fourteen, settling initially in Manchester where he worked as a chef at the Midland Hotel. He moved with the railway to the Royal York Hotel, where he met his first wife, who worked there as a domestic. They married in York and settled here, having 5 sons – Tony, Vinnie, Ramon, Carlo and Nino.
The ice cream company was founded around 1927, starting with a business bought from another Italian family.
The Capaldi’s ices business expanded, with cafes on Micklegate and Tower Street.
The Fetter Lane factory made not only the standard vanilla ice cream, but apparently more exotic sorbets – red wine flavoured, and champagne flavoured for the nearby Viking Hotel on North Street. The warehouse of Red Rhino Records was also on Fetter Lane, and I’ve heard that records were frequently traded for ice cream.
I hope these ice cream van pictures are providing cheer and thoughts of warm summer days, with perhaps the tinkling sound of ‘Greensleeves’ playing as the ice cream van approaches.