West Yorkshire market town of Pontefract
 
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Pontefract Local History

BRADBURN'S ICE CREAM
PONTEFRACT

Researched by Stan Briggs with Information and Photographs from Kathleen Bradburn & Family

The Bradburn ice cream business was started in Pontefract by Harry Nolan Bradburn’s mother Annie in the early 1930s when she began selling hot peas in winter and ice cream in summer from her horse and cart outside the Blackmoor Head Inn on Cornmarket, Pontefract.

Annie Bradburn with her ice cream cart outside the Balckmoor Head Inn

The photograph above shows Annie outside the Blackmoor Head Inn with her ice cream cart. We have no knowledge of where the horse was stabled. The sign above the window of the Blackmoor at the very top of the photograph reads ‘Concerts Nightly'.

The business was later continued by Harry Bradburn, his wife Mary Ellen (Nellie) and their family at 22 Granville Terrace, off Tanshelf Drive, Pontefract. Mary Ellen had four daughters, Peggy, Annie, Kathleen and Rita. 

The outbreak of the Second World War resulted in a shortage of sugar and therefore the business was put on hold. Harry Bradburn got a job at the Prince of Wales colliery and later went down to Stanton St. John  in Oxford where he worked on the construction of an airport believed to be Kidlington Airport of today. Peggy enlisted in the land army and later she joined the W.A.A.F's. Annie went to work in a munitions factory, while Kathleen was just seven years of age and Rita was born later in 1942.

The photo on the right depicts Kathleen's grandmother Annie with an unknown young boy and Rita, Kathleen's sister.

Kathleen Bradburn

After the war the family resumed the ice cream business and began trading once again.

Bradburns Ice Cream vehicles Bradburns Ice Cream vehicles

Above left: Three of the Bradburn girls and their vehicles. Annie is on the left on her motorcycle, while Kathleen is the passenger in the centre vehicle. The identity of the driver alongside her is not known.  Peggy is the driver of the right hand vehicle. Above right: Kathleen Bradburn and an unknown driver in Pontefract Park, 1946.

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

Kathleen and her sister Annie, were well-known in Pontefract when they were often to be seen zooming around the town on their motor bikes.

Below right: Kathleen Bradburn on the left and Dorothy Briggs on the right at Blackpool.

Harry Bradburns ice cream trailer Kathleen Bradburn at Blackpool

Harry sold ice cream from his trailer where he had a pitch outside Burton’s in the Buttercross on market days and at weekends as seen in the photograph above left.

In 1947 the Bradburn family moved to Blackpool where they established 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.

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

Stan Briggs


 

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