Dickie Bird's Ice cream

Object number

LDVAL 2013.18.1

Date

after 1933 – before 1963

Description

Enameled tin plate sign advertsing Dickie Bird's Ice cream. The factory known as Dicky Bird's produced a range of different products from 1937 to the early 1960s - from ice cream and lollies to novelty Christmas crackers. In addition there were cold storage services and oxy-acetylene welding facilities.

Dicky Bird's was established in a factory in Alfred's Way, Barking after 1933 when Ice cream had become popular throughout the world in the second half of the 20th century, after cheap refrigeration became common.

Dicky Bird's were well-known for were their delivery force which rode three-wheeler box cycles and later, motor bikes that took ice cream from door-to-door throughout southern Essex.

In January 1963 MICA (Ice Cream) Ltd was created from Dicky Bird Ltd and in the same year, Lyon's refrigerated food specialist, Douglas Minto was made a director and chief executive of the new company. The small independent Barking firm of Dicky Bird thus became part of the J. Lyons & Co. food empire.

Physical description

Rectangluar tin plate sign. Yellow background with a grey bird (pigeon?) wearing a top hat, tailed jacket and blue pinstripe trousers, blue bow-tie and carrying a walking cane. Text is written in red, black white and blue.

Condition

Fair

Type

Advertisement

Size

Whole length: 607mm
width: 456mm

Collection type

Social history, Industry

Inscription

Text Enameled On both sides: DICKY BIRD'S / Delicious / ICE CREAM / for HEALTH ENERGY / AND PLEASURE

Looking for records

Objects that are not on display in the museum can be viewed by appointment at the discretion of the Museum Curator. To find out more about accessing the collection please email: valencehousemuseum@lbbd.gov.uk or telephone: 020 8227 2034

20 thoughts on “Dickie Bird’s Ice cream

  1. Remember dickie bird lollies, the best ever!…banana, spearmint and chocolate, lovely and milky!!…I lived in Walthamstow at the time. It’s interesting to know they were made locally.

    1. Please confirm that the lollies you are talking about were Glo Joy Lollies Susan?
      Who has the recipe for Glo Joy Lollies now?? My own view is that if they were brought back into production, they would out sell any other lolly on the market.. Would love to know if that i9s a possibility, or a non started ??

    2. Incredible coincidence. I was talking today about their lollies and cited the same three, banana, chocolate and spearmint. I can still remember the taste and nothing else comes near it!

  2. I remember Dicky Birds coming round Burnway in Hornchurch Essex where I lived. It was a cream coloured van with the Dicky Birds motive on the front, placed middle above windscreen. The new idea of a Choc Ice on a stick was great.

  3. Loved Dicky Birds ice cream. When the Dicky Birds man used to come down our street we all lined up for our ice lolly. Spearmint and banana were my favorite with chocolate a close third. Wondered what happened to them. Now I know – they were taken over by Lyons. Does anyone know who the owners over Dicky Birds were and did they end up as millionaires?

  4. Hi, I lived in East Ham and remember the 3d Glo Joy lollies our treat as kids during the 1950`s
    I worked in the factory in 1963 for a short time when it was then called Lyons Maid.
    And also in William Warnes rubber factory over the road and Reynolds Packing also nearly opposite Lyons Maid on the other side of the road.
    It was easy to switch jobs in those days when i was a teenager.
    cheers/Chris

    1. Hi Chris I am volunteering for the East end Women’s museum and we are currently looking for women who worked in factories in Barking and Dagenham to see if they would like to.be interviewed. You said you worked at different factories as a teenager we woukd love to hear your stories the date is up to 1968. If you would like to contribute, we would love to here from you, further info and contact email fani@eastendwomensmuseum.org or 02085533116. Hope you get in touch.

      Gill Coombs

  5. I loved the spearmint glo-joy the most, from a shop on the corner of Clarence Road and Derby Road in Grays, which is about 20 miles from Romford. Those delicious memories will last for ever.

  6. Yes back in the late 1950s we lived at caravan park Green acres one local pub nearby ,The Hand in Hand had a small grassed area along side in one corner thwas a grewn painted kiosk which used to be open in the summer to sell ice cream, Dickie Birds, of course there was a metal sign saying so on the front. Happy thoughts of those times. Noel Child . Godalming,

  7. Dickie birds glo joys the best ever, have just been talking about them and as a 76 year old remember them with great affection.

  8. I used to walk from Sutton primary school and my mum used to buy me a glo joy at a shop just opposite Hornchurch station. My favourite was the banana one

  9. My brothers and I have been reminiscing about our schooldays in Seven Kings. We went to Downshall School and left for Canada in 1953. One of our best memories is the Glo Joy treat. Any one else I have spoken to who is from England didn’t know of them but I now realize it was a “local” product.

  10. I lived in one of the houses backing onto Dicky Birds factory from 1942 until I left when I got married in 1964. I also enjoyed their ice cream, lollies etc, but I didn’t enjoy living in close proximity to the factory because they worked 24 hours and in the summer I was kept awake most nights due to the refrigeration unit and noise of the workforce shouting above their factory noise. I had many heated arguments and correspondence with the management over my teenage years for which they were most sympathetic.

  11. I lived at 48 Suffolk Rd Barking, born 1946-left to marry in 1966.
    My 3d a day pocket money was spent in the summer in the late 50s at Mr Calshalls one of 3 shops in our road. All 3 sold sweet.
    I think Glo Joys were supplied in mixed flavour boxes. My husband from Caledon Rd Eat Ham bought them from his corner shop .Our favourite flavours Chocolate and Banana the best ever.
    Found out from your website they were made in Barking. So was I.

  12. Oh wow! I remember well the boys on their delivery tricycle things coming down our road (Marston Ave, Dagenham). They used to call out “Dicky Birds Ice Cream, Choc Ice they’re loverly!” The boys (I never saw any girls) got the lollies and ice creams out of their cold box on wheels. Cooling was effected with solid carbon dioxide (Cardice). I moved out of area a long time ago. Does anyone remember me? I’m 75 now rather than 7, ha ha!

  13. I often talk about the Dicky Bird man who used to stop outside my house in Clayhall, Ilford, Essex. (as it was then)
    Spearmint and banana were to die for. Someone somewhere must have the recipe. Great childhood memories.

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Gallery

Metadata
Start dateafter 1933
End datebefore 1963
InstitutionValence House Museum
TypeAdvertisement
Collection type
Social history
Industry