BRADBURN'S ICE CREAM
Researched by Stan Briggs with Information and Photographs from Kathleen Bradburn & Family
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.
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
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.
After the war the family resumed the ice cream business and began trading once
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
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.
right: Kathleen Bradburn on the left and Dorothy Briggs on the right at
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