Web Page 1192
19th October 2013
Top Picture: Knickerbocker Glory
Middle Picture: Verrecchia’s Guildhall Square
Bottom Picture: Verrecchia’s Guildhall Square
Ice Cream Sundae
One of those things that have totally disappeared from the social scene since the days of our youth, are the once prolific ice cream parlours. They were really popular in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s in fact there was even one in Cosham High Street and that first went under the name of Mary’s Milk Bar and then it progressed to the Palm Court. It was situated just across the car park entrance to the Essoldo (Classic) cinema.
These ice cream parlours, which also served tea and coffee, were places that catered for the children like us, our parents, the newly invented teenagers and also the older cliental. To go into one of these places and have an ice cream sundae was a real treat as it came with waitress service with the actual sundae being served in a tall glass with a long metal spoon to eat it with. To eat one of these sundaes was a real adventure. These dishes came in various combinations and flavours but as I remember it I was only ever allowed a basic one flavour ice cream sundae. Now talking about long spoons immediately leads me on to thinking about the Knickerbocker Glory. Who remembers them? I certainly do but I was never ever allowed to have one when I visited with my parents and by the time I was old enough to go in and buy my own the Ice Cream Parlour had gone. There was no set recipe for this dish as far as I know. It was a typical British 'ice cream parlour' dessert, first made popular in the 1930’s. Served in a tall ice cream glass, it was a mixture of fresh fruit in the base with optional liquer for adults, 3 scoops of ice cream (usually vanilla and strawberry), peach melba sauce, whipped cream and a cherry (glace or fresh) on top. Variations could include variously flavoured jellies in the layers, different fruits, a different sauce or extra toppings such as flaked almonds or crushed nuts; a wafer was also optional.
The term of Knickerbocker Glory fascinates a lot of people, particularly since JK Rowling wrote about one in the first of her Harry Potter novels "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" when Harry's spoiled, overfed cousin, Dudley, throws a tantrum when he complains his Knickerbocker Glory isn't big enough.
No one quite knows the origins of the words and why they became associated with an ice cream sundae.
All sorts of goodies were sold in these shops ice cream fudge, ice cream with hot chocolate sauce, ice cream sandwiches as well as the usual wafers and cones. One of the other very popular dishes was a banana split with lots of cream and raspberry sauce and a fan shaped wafer.
Now here is an interesting less well known fact about ice cream Margaret Thatcher was part of a 1950's research team working for a British ice cream manufacturer looking into ways in which ice cream manufacture could be improved and be made more profitable. The team came up with the idea of adding more air into the ice cream, which meant that manufacturers would use fewer ingredients to produce the same amount of ice cream thus increasing profitability. It wasn't just the ice cream makers that benefited though because the ice cream produced became really popular - a soft serve ice cream which the public loved the texture of and is still popular today.
The one name, which was synonymous with Ice Cream Parlours in Portsmouth, was Verrecchia, I am sure we all remember the one in the Guildhall Square but how about the one that was opened in North End? However I have spoken about these places on previous postings so will now move on.
The other thing that I remember very well about the Parlour in Cosham is that it had the first Italian Espresso Coffee machine in the area. From memory it was a genuine imported Gaggia complete with coloured panels and chromium plating with the tall compressing handles on the top. My parents took me in one day so that they could try this new coffee experience, by this time the place had changed its name to The Palm Court and was decorated in a tasteful(?) pink. After much steaming and hissing they were presented with two glass cups and saucers with ‘frothy coffee’ in them. They were not impressed especially as they could not get their fingers through the small holes in the cup handles. As far as I know they never went in there for coffee again and if they wanted a cup of coffee it was drunk at home using the bottle of concentrated Camp coffee, at least until Nescafe could be found on the shelves in the corner shop!
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News and Views:
On this day 19th October 1960-1965
On 19/10/1960 the number one single was Tell Laura I Love Her - Ricky Valance and the number one album was South Pacific Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was No Hiding Place (AR) and the box office smash was Psycho. A pound of today's money was worth £13.68 and Tottenham Hotspur were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 19/10/1961 the number one single was Michael - The Highwaymen and the number one album was The Shadows - Shadows. The top rated TV show was Sunday Night at the London Palladium (ATV) and the box office smash was One Hundred and One Dalmations. A pound of today's money was worth £13.25 and Ipswich Town were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 19/10/1962 the number one single was Telstar - The Tornadoes and the number one album was Best of Ball Barber & Bilk. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Lawrence of Arabia. A pound of today's money was worth £12.89 and Everton were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions. The big news story of the day was Hyde Park Underpass opens.
On 19/10/1963 the number one single was Do You Love Me? - Brian Poole & the Tremoloes and the number one album was Please Please Me - The Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Great Escape. A pound of today's money was worth £12.64 and Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions. The big news story of the week was Harold Macmillan resigns as Prime Minister.
On 19/10/1964 the number one single was Oh Pretty Woman - Roy Orbison and the number one album was A Hard Day's Night - Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Dr Strangelove. A pound of today's money was worth £12.24 and Manchester United were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions. The big news story of the week was that Brezhnev replaced Krushchev.
On 19/10/1965 the number one single was Tears - Ken Dodd and the number one album was The Sound of Music Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Sound of Music. A pound of today's money was worth £11.69 and Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions. The big news story of the week was Lesley Ann Downey's body found on Pennines.