November 3, 2016
It doesn’t feel five minute since we were looking at the season ahead, full of optimism for some great weather and a general feel good factor around the country. And here we are already, at the season end – and for many Mobilers this time of year has become synonymous with the annual Whitby Event.
2016 represents the seventh anniversary of the Whitby Event, and the fifth in which it has been held at the Weaver Stadium Nantwich; a venue and town popular with all guests (particularly the local Italian restaurant!).
The event was held over 18 and 19 October with more than 400 guests travelling from all over the UK and Ireland to get together. The informal and relaxed nature provided the perfect setting for everyone to catch up and talk about the season just gone, the people we have lost and to look forward to what opportunities may be in sight.
Within the stadium itself, Whitby Morrison displayed a selection of the latest Ice Cream Vans from their range, including a number of the Mondial Lusso SWB which was launched as a prototype just 12 months previously. It was the first opportunity for many of those in attendance to see first-hand what has been deemed by many as the very best Ice Cream Van yet.
There was a change for the heritage Ice Cream Van display this year – instead of the popular Rocket, Morris J Type and Batman Mini, Whitby displayed a selection 9 vintage Bedfords. They ranged from the early 60s through to the mid 80s, culminating in one of the first true Whitby built Ice Cream Vans, the Black Roof.
Rather poignantly, the 2016 event was also an opportunity for everyone to celebrate the life of Whitby Morrison founder Bryan Whitby. Bryan sadly passed away on 1 July and was missed by those in attendance. Bryan’s son and current Whitby MD Stuart led the tributes to his father in a speech to everyone present. He also talked about Sid Cummins, another huge loss to the industry this year. Guests were invited to join in a minutes’ applause to celebrate the lives of two people without whom, the industry would unlikely be where it is today.
Midlands Ice Cream Van enthusiast Vince Iacono brought his own tribute along to the event in the form of the most incredible replica of an original Cummins FG Rocket together with a lovely photo of Bryan and Sid together. The attention to detail and focus of his tribute had to be seen to be believed.
During the event, guests were invited to purchase raffle tickets to have the opportunity of winning a selection of soft ice cream machine spares. Proceeds were to be directly donated to St Luke’s Hospice, the place where Bryan was cared for during his final few days. The generosity of everyone was fantastic with donations over the two days totalling approximately £2,500.00!
The event would not have been complete without the fantastic help and support of he other trade partners in attendance, namely; Caterlink, Chris Copner, Francos, Ice Cream Alliance, Ice Cream Direct, Marcantonio, Oxford Diecast, Oxford Funding, Slade Edwards, Stella and TAS Group – thank you to each and every one.
It really was a great occasion, quite probably the best yet. Thank you to everyone who came along and supported the event. Here’s to 2017!
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