Ice cream parlour at Kettering’s Wicksteed Park opens tomorrow

L-R: Tracey Clarke, Aldo Gallone, Ian Horton and Oliver Wicksteed.
L-R: Tracey Clarke, Aldo Gallone, Ian Horton and Oliver Wicksteed.

An ice cream made during the Second World War will be back on sale at Kettering’s Wicksteed Park tomorrow (Saturday).

The popular park brought in a herd of goats to make the sweet treat in the 1940s because cow’s milk was rationed, giving the ice cream a unique texture.

Wicksteed Park's ice cream.

Wicksteed Park's ice cream.

Over the years they stopped making it - but it will be back on sale when the park’s brand new ice cream parlour opens its doors.

Oliver Wicksteed, great-grandson of park founder Charles Wicksteed, said: “It’s going to give people just happy memories.

“They will have the opportunity to experience things their parents did and their parents’ parents did.”

The ice cream is being produced by Cottingham firm Ganders Goat, run by Ian Horton and his wife Lauren.

Staff at the parlour.

Staff at the parlour.

They were approached by the park to make the traditional ice cream - but had no recipe to go off as it was lost over the years.

Working with memories from those who remembered it they began a trial and error process, refining each attempt until they hit the spot.

Ian said the ice cream is lighter on the palate than modern ice cream.

He said: “Because it uses goats milk it’s a bit icier than a modern ice cream and that’s the texture people remember.

Wicksteed Park's factory closed in 2001.

Wicksteed Park's factory closed in 2001.

“It’s been a really interesting project to be involved with.”

The ice cream has no artificial flavours and uses goat milk, free range egg yolks and two types of sugar.

The Wicksteed Ice cream is available in vanilla and raspberry ripple.

Mr Wicksteed, chairman of the Wicksteed Charitable Trust, said: “Northamptonshire has a huge amount to offer and we want to support local businesses.

The ice cream parlour.

The ice cream parlour.

“It’s the people of the county that make Wicksteed Park the place it is and it’s nothing without them.”

Wicksteed Park has a long history with ice cream.

First sold in the iconic pavilion, built in 1922, ice cream was on offer amongst other bygone treats such as Tilley’s Sweets and jugs of tea.

However, it was in 1933 where popularity really kicked in and Wicksteed Park’s very own ice cream parlour was born. The beloved product was then sold from the parlour and tricycles which toured the park grounds.

It came as no surprise that the dessert was a hit with visitors and so 1955 saw the introduction of Wicksteed Park’s own factory to keep up with demand of the sweet delight.

But in 2001 the costs to upgrade equipment were too high and the factory subsequently closed.

Pre-war ice cream staff.

Pre-war ice cream staff.

Tracey Clarke, community manager at Wicksteed Park, said they had been trying to bring the ice cream back since about 2014.

She said: “It’s just amazing to have it back.

“People have waited for such a long time.”

There will also be the opportunity for children to engage with the production process and Tracey said: “When you talk to young people not only are they really excited about having ice cream but also that it’s locally produced.”

Rachel James, head of sales and marketing at Wicksteed Park, said: “We know how much our customers have loved this throughout the years, so we’re excited to be able to bring a touch of history back and remind some of our long serving visitors of the unique taste.”

The ice cream parlour will also sell 22 different flavours from Gallone’s including not-so-traditional flavours such as Lotus Biscoff, banana, Jaffa Cake and Reese’s peanut butter.

Gallone’s owner Aldo Gallone, who helped Wicksteed Park set up the parlour, said: “We have numerous ice cream parlours in and around Northamptonshire so it seemed obvious that we could help.”

Gallone's ice cream is also on sale.

Gallone's ice cream is also on sale.

Wicksteed Park's old ice cream factory.

Wicksteed Park's old ice cream factory.