Hunt is on for Wicksteed Park’s unique ice cream recipe

Wartime visitors to Wicksteed Park enjoy an ice cream
Wartime visitors to Wicksteed Park enjoy an ice cream

Wicksteed Park has launched an appeal to find people who can help recreate a famous wartime ice cream in time for the 75th anniversary of the start of the Second World War.

The iconic recipe was created during the war when the park brought in a herd of goats in order to obtain milk for ice cream during the conflict, as wartime rationing meant milk was scarce.

The popular ice cream, a rarity because of rationing, was sold from the park’s ice cream parlour in the pavilion which had been opened prior to the war in 1935.

Now the park is hoping to trace staff who may have worked there during that era, in an attempt to recreate the famous flavours.

If you think you know how the ice cream was made, let us know at the Telegraph.

The park’s managing director, Alasdair McNee, said: “The Wicksteed ice cream was enjoyed by generations of people, but sadly production stopped when the original equipment needed replacing, which was prohibitively expensive.

“However, we have old photographs of staff making the ice cream and would love to trace them or their relatives or indeed anyone who can give us an insight into the recipe which made it so special and the flavours which were produced.”

Mr McNee said the goats’ milk was used to create a variety of flavours.

He added: “We know, for example, there was a chocolate ice cream but are aware that there were many other flavours too.

“It was unique and it would be lovely to bring it back on sale next summer to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the start of the war, particularly as it has such strong connections with that time.”

The ice cream appeal is part of a wider project to attempt to capture the memories of generations of visitors to the park.

The management team want to provide a detailed history of the many innovations which led to Wicksteed Park becoming known as the home of children’s play.

The park team says that one of the main aims of the archive project will be to try to identify and trace some of the key people featured on old photographs, so they can help provide information and insights which have long since been forgotten.

The aim of the archive is to allow people to view historic video footage and photographs, and to also give them the opportunity to donate their own photos or items.

The park is also creating an audio archive of people’s memories.

After the construction of the ice cream parlour, the park built its own ice cream factory in the mid-1950s.

The ice cream parlour itself served a very different purpose during the Second World War, as for part of the war it was a Master Sergeant’s office as the pavilion was used to billet hundreds of soldiers.

However, the factory was later closed when the expensive machinery broke down.