Someone mentioned an ice cream van to me the other day and it brought back memories of the ice cream van of my childhood. It was run by a guy named Tom, or, more accurately since I grew up in West Lothian: "Tam". His was the one and only ice cream van in the village. On Gala Day, he always set up shop at the field where the festivities took place, dispensing ice cream sliders and the latest score from Wimbledon (he had invariably hooked up a TV to the battery so he could watch the men's final). Lots of Dads were happy to go for the ice creams on Gala Day. Strange that.
Anyway, the strangest thing about the ice cream van was the tune. You know, that plinky tinkly music they play to give you enough time to go and pester the living daylights out of your gran so you can get an oyster? I have heard many variations on this music, from sort of sea shanty type tunes to "Greensleeves". I have never though heard any other ice cream van play the music our one did.
The Funeral March. Seriously. "Dum dum de-dum, dum de dum dum dum de dum!" You could spot a visitor to the village by the look of confusion on their face when the van appeared, quickly followed by a look of bemused horror.
I would be very grateful if any of you out there happened to be in West Lothian in the 1970s and can confirm having heard this. Whenever I tell people about it, for some reason I start doubting my own memory*. There must be a generation of West Lothian adults out there who start subconsciously to salivate at the opening bars of the Funeral March. I can't be the only one, surely?
*I actually asked my Mum about this before posting and she confirmed that I am not losing my marbles, this is absolutely true.