Enjoying a treat at Minchella’s - the cream of the crop!

Romano Michella, centre with cousins, Trevor, left and Michael as they sample the ice cream that won them top honours in Paris.
Romano Michella, centre with cousins, Trevor, left and Michael as they sample the ice cream that won them top honours in Paris.

With the weather being as warm and sunny as it is, it’s the ideal time to enjoy a cooling treat.

So today’s picture, showing Romano Minchella with his cousins, Trevor and Michael, sampling some of their locally produced ice cream.

A poster for visiting South Shields.

A poster for visiting South Shields.

The picture, taken in 1971, was snapped by a Gazette photographer after South Shields’ very own Minchella’s scooped top honours at a competition in Paris.

And they certainly got the vote of readers when we posted the photo on Facebook recently.

Tony Schofield declared that Minchella’s vanilla is the best on planet Earth. Great photo” while Viv Marley said: “best ice-cream in the country MMMMMMM!”

Suzanne Smith took to Facebook to say: “Loved working in Minchella’s on Ocean Road, best ice cream ever and the coffee’s not bad either” while Michelle Gabriele told how: “my grandfather’s wafer factory, Gabriele Brothers in Maxwell Street supplied the wafers suger cones.”

In a message to Liz Wing, Kate Swinscoe said: “Told you - Shields institution!” while Jacqui Whitelaw pronounced: “ Best ice cream yumeeeeeee.”

Jennifer Hudson gave a shout out to John Bradley to say: “Your favourite ice cream!” and Joan Young commented on the “fabulous photo”.

Ste Caddy, however, has a different favourite, saying: “Layla’s is so much better.”

Stanley Stoker posted: “I actually like McDonald’s ice cream. And it’s available when I fancy one.”

Meanwhile, Jennifer Pearce, Linda and Tina pointed out: “Look how young Trevor was in this x” and Kerrie Katopodis and Elliott Leighton said simply: “Awww Rom’s face man!”

Talking of ice cream and the fact that, at long last, we’re getting a summer to write home about, how many of you remember buying ice cream footballs?

Now I don’t know whether it’s the heat, but I recall spending my pocket money on these palm-sized plastic footballs; inside of which was vanilla ice cream.

I don’t remember the ice cream being up to much, but the plastic balls, which had a press on lid, made great water bombs – just the job for throwing at your mates!

There were no nerf water guns (super duper toys that kids today can soak each other and you with) in those days, just water pistols – that never seemed to fire very far – or even better, home-made water squirters.

Made from old washing up liquid bottles, they held more water than pistols; cutting down on the time spent refilling them.

These days, there are so many different types of paddling pools to choose from, but going back over the years, there was nothing quite as refreshing as getting soaked with the garden hose. Now that was a real seasonal treat.

What are your memories of having fun in the sun when you were younger?

Did you make your own ice lollies? What about the time you spent on the sands?

As ever, I’d love to hear from you, so please get in touch.