Mr Yummy battles Mr Whippy in Blackburn Ice Cream War

Hostilities erupted this weekend between two ice cream truck operators in Blackburn, England, leaving both their vehicles damaged. According to a local quoted by Lancashire Telegraph, children watched in horror as "Mr Yummy jumped out of his van and smashed Mr Whippy’s window."


  1. Did anyone else catch the quintessentially British “Sorry!” just as Mr. Yummy drives away?

  2. So, are we going to learn of the dark undertones of drug dealing, shootings, and eventually murder-by-arson of the Glasgow original? Or is this just garden-variety road rage?

    1. I know, right! I was really hoping this would turn out to be a trailer for a documentary about the Glasgow Ice Cream Wars… ( ) I only learned about them last week!

      1. Ever see Bill Forsyth’s 1984 film COMFORT AND JOY (about the ice creams wars, but without the murder-by-arson)? Worth a watch, absolutely!

  3. So he caved in the front of his own van causing a lot of damage, and barely dented the van in front – silly arse!

  4. Apparently demolition derby isn’t as popular in the UK as it is in the USA.  The rear is what you want to ram with, not the front.  He should have just scraped it down the side right good, or got out and stabbed him with a rocket pop.

    1. And then when it melts, no one would know the cause of death.  Unless they can figure out why he has excessive artificial colouring in his blood stream. 

    1. Might be closer than you think. I learned from GTA:Vice City that people sometimes deal drugs out of ice cream trucks. (Might not be an authoritative source…)

      1. The Scottish developers of GTA: Vice City would have been well aware of the so-called Glasgow Ice Cream Wars of the 1980s (in which a number of people actually died), a turf war fueled at least in part by the sales of drugs and stolen goods from ice cream trucks.

      2. I learned that in Somerville, Massachusetts at about 4:30 in the morning. :D 

        (No, I never purchased or solicited, but we had some REALLY truly skeevy ice cream trucks running around at horrifying hours of the night.)

      3. Our neighborhood had an ice cream truck with the Grateful Dead ice cream picture. He didn’t deal drugs, but he would accept drugs in exchange for sweets.

  5. always loathed ice cream vans. that awful fucking music they play is effectively advertising directly aimed at kids. my heart goes out to parents who try their best to keep their kids off the sugar, then have this music play outside their window 5 times a day.
    and as for the video above, if yobs like that can get into the ice cream game, what assurance do we have peado’s aren’t getting into it as well? while they might not assault your kids while out selling ice cream, they will get to know their names, their favourite ice creams, where they live, where they go to school etc.

    1. I remember hearing about someone whose parents told him that when the ice cream man was playing his music, that meant he’d sold all his ice cream & didn’t have any left.

      1. My former mother in law told her kids ice cream can ice cream was made by the drivers at home in the bathtub. She preceded the “horrors of home meth labs” PSAs by decades!

        Edit – ice cream VAN ice cream

    2.  When I was a kid, they rang sleighbells.  Now, in my town, they have a horrible midi version of “Turkey in the Straw.”  I also once heard one playing “Windmills of Your Mind.”  No kidding.  My 8yo son called it “scary clown music.”

      1. I feel lucky, around here it plays The Liberty Bell March.I always imagine I’m going to see a giant foot driving around selling ice cream.

    3. It introduced me to the old pop song “The Band Played On,” which took me 25 years to learn the name of because I never heard it anywhere else until (somehow) the Internet found it for me. I would pay good money for the 70s vintage ice cream chimes that played the song from the trucks in my neighborhood. Kind of a Rosebud thing.

    4. In the UK there are legal restrictions on the length of time chimes can be sounded (4 seconds only) the frequency (no more than once every two hours in any one street) and the times (between 12-19pm). It was reported on the BBC world service last week that a driver in Peterborough was banned for playing his chimes too long.

      1. I wish someone had told me that when I lived on the 16th floor of a Newcastle tower block and had four-minute bursts of ‘match of the day’ title music (Mr Whippy remix) played at me, unoccluded by walls, every damn day.

  6. It’s all just fun and games till someone gets stabbed. Of course we didn’t see what happened after they drove off…

  7. Really, no one has said it yet? Fine, it seems I must bear the burden.

    “Christ, what an arsehole!”

  8. My ex works in a hospital.  One day a grieving extended family was in the emergency room, the elderly family patriarch having killed in a hit and run.  The nurses were having a hard time keeping it together – turns out the old guy had been run over by the neighbourhood ice cream van.  I like to imagine that the van’s song was playing when it happened.

  9. I was doing a few years of contract work at Electronic Arts in their somewhat large, fairly open-air, multi-story campus in Burnaby.  Someone in the Facilities department thought it would be a good idea to get an ice cream cart and wander through all the game teams to sell them ice cream during a few hot summer days.  They had rigged the cart to play the 12 second clip of the ice cream truck music over and over and over and over, and it was LOUD.  Loud enough that you could hear it from your desk during the cart’s entire 2 hour tour through the building.

    The first day they did it, it was somewhat tolerated, because after all, it was ice cream.  By the second day, hundreds of developers lost their shit and were yelling for it to go the fuck away and never come back.

    Even a few weeks later we screwed with people’s unattended cell phones by switching their ringer to that music, and the violent response it evoked in the local devs when it was called was both surprising and entertaining as hell.

  10. FWIW, a few years back a friend of mine had a summer job running an ice cream truck and his experience was consistently, surreally similar to this. Usually, your profit margins on the truck are razor thin–the company basically makes you buy the stock (and gas) from them and then recoup costs selling it. There were maybe 4-5 known highly successful spots to sell. If you grabbed one on a sunny day, you made a ton of money and the whole thing financially made sense; if you didn’t you went home at the end of the day in the hole $40-$50. So things got….turfy. He called the cops on other drivers twice and, on what would be his last day on the job, had one follow him for over 30 miles harassing him. Which is, I guess, a roundabout way of saying: careful out there, kids.

  11. Much more exciting than my own experience in San Francisco in the 80s, when two ice cream truck drivers were competing for the same territory.  My business had been on a route for quite a few months that was the turf of a particular independent contractor with his own truck.  One day, another truck showed up five minutes before the normal guy.  The first day everybody bought their regular ice cream from the new driver, but then noticed the original driver show up with no customers right after him.  The second day, we waited for our regular driver and demonstrated our ice cream truck loyalty.  That went on for several weeks, with the new driver obviously patterning his stops after the first, and trying to usurp his territory.  We had no idea what the final resolution was for that little skirmish, but the net result to us was that first we had one truck, then two . . . and . . .then . . .there . . . were . . . none.  I still tear up thinking about it.

    1.  I love San Francisco.  Where else would people suffer the horror of waiting for ice cream just to support the underdog.

      1. Re: the horror of waiting for ice cream in SF- you should see the line at Bi-Rite on any given evening!

  12. Father always told me that monkey blood was the red sauce topping used on van-bought ice cream.
    So he was right about the blood but wrong about the whole lower primate thing?

  13. I suspect the reality is neither as dramatic as drug turf wars (most of the time) nor as amusing as ice-cream market share.  

    Crappy urban planning (vast swathes of residential — in some cases public — housing, with limited shopping facilities) and poor public health (plenty of cigarette smokers) pretty much = a license to print money.  

    Certainly, growing up in the 70’s in the ‘burbs, on a Sunday afternoon when the shops were closed, the “ice cream van” was pretty much a mobile cigarette vending machine, complete with kids lining up to buy them “for my mum” (cause you could do that in those days….) 

    It’s a low-overhead monopoly business where your customers mostly pay cash (or at least that was the case way back when).  Not surprising that things get a bit out of hand from time to time. 

    1. The ice cream vans where I was brought up certainly never sold cigarettes. The kids had to walk to the shops and stock up on Saturdays just like their parents. Maybe it’s a Northern thing.

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