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Bradburns Ice Cream
by Stan Briggs

The Bradburn’s business was established in Pontefract by Harry Nolan Bradburn’s mother, Annie, who began selling hot peas in winter and ice cream during the summer months from her horse and cart outside the Blackmoor Head Inn on Corn market, Pontefract in the early 1930’s.

The business was later continued by Harry, his wife Mary Ellen (Nellie),
and their family, at 22 Granville Terrace, off Tanshelf Drive, Pontefract.

Harry and Mary Ellen had four daughters: Peggy, Annie, Kathleen and Rita.


bradburns ice cream
Kathleen Bradburn aged 14 years and one of the drivers in Pontefract Park 1946. 
Does anyone recognise the driver in the photograph as Kathleen has forgotten his name?  The writing on the van door beneath the cornet reads‘22’ Granville Terrace, Tanshelf Drive, Pontefract

After the outbreak of the Second World War and for its duration from 1939 until 1945 there was a sugar shortage, and the family business was put on hold.  Harry got a job at the Prince of Wales colliery and later went down to Stanton St John (Oxford) and worked on the construction of an airport, believed to have been Killington Airport of today.

Peggy enlisted in the land army, and later joined the WAAF’s.  Annie went to work in a munitions factory, while Kathleen was just seven years of age, Rita was born in 1942.

blackmoor head inn..... bradburns
The photograph above shows Annie outside the Blackmoor Head with her cart.  We have no knowledge of where the horse was stabled. 
Kathleen's grandmother Annie with
Kathleen's sister Rita
and an unknown boy

bradburns ice cream

After the war the family re-established the ice cream business.

My wife Dorothy (my girlfriend at the time) and Kathleen were best friends at Northgate School for Girls.  During the summer they used to sell ice cream from a kiosk parked near the putting green in Pontefract Park on weekends.

kathleen bradburn and dorothy briggs
A trip along the prom in Blackpool
Kathleen Bradburn (on the left) and Dorothy Berry (Briggs) on the right

Annie and Kathleen Bradburn were well-known in Pontefract, they were often seen zooming around town on their motor bikes, a real head-turner at the time as girls were never seen riding motor bikes. Dorothy has often told me about some of her hair-raising moments on the back of Kathleen's motorbike.

Harry sold ice cream from his patch outside Burton’s in the
Buttercross on market days and at weekends.

Eventually all the family moved to Blackpool in 1947 where they ran a successful ice cream business close to Blackpool Tower.  Kathleen and Annie still live close to each other in Blackpool.  Peggy died in the 1990’s and Rita moved to Australia.  I am very grateful for the photographs she has sent us from Australia.

My wife and I are still in touch with Kathleen and her husband Ray, who have been married for fifty one years.

The ice cream business is still being operated from the same premises off Tanshelf Drive by Gallones.


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