West Pilton Grove

Polar Ices

Ice Cream Van in West Pilton Grove  -  Late-1950s

Robert Lettice, Leith, Edinburgh




Rab Lettice


Thank you to Rab Lettice for allowing me to reproduce this photo that he took, in the late-1950s, in the street where he lived, West Pilton Drive.

Ice Cream Vans

"I used to live at 8 West Pilton Drive.  The ice cream vans that were about in our area, West Pilton, Crewe and Muirhouse sold Polar Ices.  The vans were owned by the Dobbie brothers who had a factory in Stockbridge.

Once, another company tried to muscle in with their Capaldi van, but when that van turned up, there were two Polar Ices vans beside it.  It got chased out of the area.

Here is a photo that I took of Jimmy Dobbie's 'Polar Ices' ice cream van in West Pilton Grove in the late-1950s.  Jimmy gave us all a cone if I took a few photos of his van."

Rab Lettice, Edinburgh:  March 23+28+29, 2011




Fiona D'Angelo

Perth, Western Australia

Thank you to Fiona D'Angelo who wrote:

Ice Cream Vans

"Polar Ices was owned by the D'Angelo family of Stockbridge, not (as stated above) by the Dobie Brothers."

Fiona D'Angelo, Perth, Western Australia:  October 2, 2012




Rab Lettice


Following on from his comments in Recollections 1 above, Rab Lettice wrote:

Polar Ices

"I have just been speaking to the lady whose husband made the polar ices, all those years ago. 

It seems she read my bit on the ice cream vans, on the EdinPhoto web site.  The ice creams were made at a small cafe in Stockbridge.

-  Mr d'Nagelo, who passed away last year, used to make the ice creams in the back of the shop.

-  The Dobbie brothers sold the ice cream."

Rab Lettice, Edinburgh:  December 3, 2012




John D'Angelo

Perth, Western Australia, Australia

Thank you to John D'Angelo, now living in Australia, who added:

Polar Ices

"My father and uncles who owned Polar Ices at Stockbridge.  In fact the family home is still in Dean Street.  My father-in- law died in August 2011 at 86 years of age.  He was a well know character in Stockbridge.

There is still a sign on Veitch's Square advertising Polar Ices.  It has been painted over many times but is still visible, including the telephone number which is still their number to this day.

John D'Angelo, Perth, Western Australia, Australia:  October 5, 2012
with my apologies for taking a long time to add this message tot he web site.




Desmond King

Rosewell, Midlothian

Thank you to Desmond King for sending me the two photos below.

Photo 1

Cafe selling Polar Ices

              Betty King (left)      cafe worker     Vince D'Angelo (right)

Cafe selling Polar Ices = Betty King and Vince D'Angelo

  Reproduced with acknowledgement to Desmond King, son of Betty King.

Photo 2

Ice Cream Van

Leslie King (and who else?)

Ice Cream Van selling Polar Ices + Leslie King

  Reproduced with acknowledgement to Desmond King, son of Betty King

Desmond wrote:

Photo 1

My Mother

"This photo shows my mother, Betty King, with a cafe worker (unknown to me).  On the right is, as I called him, Uncle Vince D'Angelo.  As usual, he was was having fun, in this instance having his thumb and hand sticking out from his nose."

Photo 2

My Father and Uncle

"This photo shows my father Leslie King with his ice cream van which sold, of course, Polar Ices.  He and Uncle Vince were great friends for many, many years.  They even took day trips away together to Inverary etc.  At times, my father helped Uncle Vince make the delicious ice cream."


"My father lived at 16 West Pilton Circus and later at Gorgie.  He passed away in 2006 and my mother passed away in 2007.  I passed by the family home a couple of times to say hello to Uncle Vince and his wife, Aunty Cathy, after my father had passed, but got no-one in.

They were great times and great people.  It was a great time in Edinburgh's history!"

Desmond King, Rosewell, Midlothian:  August 10, 2013


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