76MJ012 OXFORD DIECAST Walls Ice Cream Morris J Ice Cream Van
If it’s Spring, it must be time for an ice cream although I have yet to hear the chimes round my street! And this superb little Morris J Van is a reminder of the excitement of the arrival of that familiar pale yellow and pale blue van where we could line up with our pennies for a delicious Wall’s Ice Cream. And yet, Mr Richard Wall did not start with ice cream. He opened a butcher’s stall in St James’ Market in London in 1786. The ice cream business was started by his grandson Thomas Wall II who found an opening just before the First World War when demand for their meat, pies and sausages was declining. Wall’s was taken over in 1922 by Lever Brothers, subsequently Unilever who still own the business today, having added several ice cream brands to their portfolio.
The Morris J Van was a favourite vehicle for ice cream vendors because of its versatility and style. Launched in 1949 as a 10 cwt van, it was made by Morris Commercial at their Oxford plant. First introduced as a general purpose van, it featured forward control with sliding doors on each side and appeared in both right and left hand drive options. The chassis was passed to many bodybuilders who adapted it for varied uses from Royal Mail vans to milk floats and of course ice cream vans. The J van stayed in production until 1961
Here our Wall’s Ice Cream Van is registered VME 585 and features the original Wall’s graphics printed in dark blue on the pale yellow bodywork. The wings, front, mudguards and bumpers are masked pale blue, while the chrome wheels have yellow surrounds matching the body. The interior is black. Note too, the sliding side window effect, the split windscreen and the pear shaped radiator grille.