July 21, 2017

The ‘coolest’ vehicle on the Estate? Say Hello to the Bowcliffe Ice Cream Tricycle

Ice cream tricycle

If you’re a tenant or regular visitor to Bowcliffe, you’re likely delighted but unfazed by the array of remarkable vehicles often found parked up around the Estate. As a notorious aficionado of cars and anything with a great history or particularly quirky, Bowcliffe’s CEO Jonathan Turner is the driving force behind Bowcliffe’s growing group of cool transportation, which to date includes a plane and milk float.

Ice cream tricycle

We’re delighted to announce the latest addition to the unique gang is a beautiful, vintage Ice Cream Tricycle, now painted up in Drivers’ Club green and ready to become a vessel for many delicious things at various Bowcliffe events.

To give you a little background, the commercial tricycle was developed in England in the 1870s. It was commonly used by grocers, bakers, druggists and other tradesmen. As bicycles evolved and, with mass-production, became cheaper to manufacture, most small business needing to make local deliveries used a carrier bicycle or tricycle. As well as delivering goods to and from local businesses, the carrier tricycle also replaced the vendor’s cart that had previously been used to sell products direct to the public.

Bowcliffe’s bike is a lovely 1920s Alldays Ice Cream Tricycle and was essentially the ‘Standard’ Carrier with a more elaborately decorated body, as you can see in the before pictures below…

Ice cream tricycle Ice cream tricycle

Alldays & Onions, established around 1650 next to Dudley Castle, is Great Britain’s oldest existing company. It no longer makes vehicles, but is still trading now, 365 years on. The company started making this style of carrier tricycle as early as 1900, when they were one of the country’s top cycle manufacturers with government contracts for their military bicycles. Alldays adapted their own carrier tricycle’s standard wooden body to make a wooden ice cream box body with insulated interior.

Walls introduced an ice cream tricycle in 1923. It was so successful that they bought a fleet of them the following year. By 1939, in London, there were 4,000 ice cream tricycles.

Now Bowcliffe has it’s very own branded tricycle, bought by Jonathan when he was attending a vintage car auction. “I went to purchase a car, but whilst there fell in love with the tricycle and brought that back to the Estate instead. We have had it restored and the box replaced so we can put ice in it, then beer, wine and champagne for the Drivers’ Club and events. I can’t resist anything that has such charming history and will clearly be a great centrepiece for weddings, parties, Drivers’ Club events and other occasions around the Estate.”