The 10 best ice lollies

Ice lollies holds a special place in most people’s childhoods, they are tied into holidays, treats and sunny days – but they are also the most transient of treats.

The briefest of research reveals the hundreds of names that have since melted away – Funny Faces, Funny Feet, Rock Around The Choc, Haunted House, Cider Quench, Heart, Dalek’s Death Ray, Dracula, and Mr Men amongst the many.

These ten will never leave me.

Walls Lemonade Sparkle

Oh for simpler times, when the only decision you had to make was who to call for, where to ride your bike and whether to have a lemonade or orangeade Sparkle?

Solid blocks of ice that tasted neither of the actual drinks, nor sparkled – they were symbols of childhood food independence. Costing just pennies, palette-cleansing tanginess has never been so cheap or cheerful.

Walls Orange Fruitie

When I was younger – before foreign holidays were invented – our annual trip to Wales involved a complex operation of cramming our worldly goods into whichever car we had at the time. [This operation reached its zenith circa 1987 when we managed two adults, three children (two of which were teenagers), a car-sick dog, two cats and a rabbit into a red Austin Montego estate]

Occasionally my dad would allow us to stop on our 90-minute journey. The choice of this travel break would be The Ice Cream shop in Knighton, on the English-Welsh border. I’m sure it sold other things but had earned this moniker due to the family getting ice creams when – and if – we stopped.

My choice? The magnificently sturdy Orange  Fruitie. Every time.

Residing in the upper price bracket, it was gravitas on a stick – with none of the flippancies of a Sparkle or the worthiness of a juice-based affair.

I have yet to experience the same surety in anything as I felt when holding an Orange Fruitie.

‘Have you got an ice lolly?’

‘Oh yes. I have an ice lolly.’

Golden Gaytime

Everyone loves a Gaytime – a Golden Gaytime that is. The Australian dads’ choice of ‘Ice block’ is hard to beat. It’s also hard to explain – part ice cream, part biscuit, kind of malty flavoured, kind of chocolate flavoured, frozen, but strangely warm at the same time.

Walls Feast

Every King has his reign and every King shall fall.

How they came in their thousands to see The Feast – some to bite its biscuit-flecked crisp chocolate coating and some to lick at the chocolate ice cream within. But all – every man, woman and child – to worship its solid chocolate core.

Every King has his reign and every King shall fall.

Perhaps it was the lack of a foil sleeve or perhaps it was lack of variety, but inch by inch The Magnums made their presence felt. Unholy alliances were formed with Cornettos, odd shaped sticks were fashioned and the new King rode out of the newsagents into the supermarket freezers shouting, “Middle classes feel the thickness of my coat – I am luxury.”

Every King has his reign and every King shall fall.

And The Feast was forgotten.

Lyons Maid Fab

Sprinkles. Chocolate coated top, dipped in sprinkles. Do I need to go on?

Lyons Maid Zoom

The future is rockets – everyone knows this. Flying cars will be powered by rockets. Trips to school? Rockets. And in the 1970s you couldn’t get a more futuristic lolly than one shaped like a rocket. Some were only one flavour, some were two, but Lyons Maid packed three into their Zoom.

Raspberry, strawberry and banana is probably not the best flavour combination in the world now, but it’s the future!

Walls Romero

There was a time when manufacturers churned out new varieties on a seemingly weekly basis, with comics full of ads for the latest frosty treat – each one disappearing to make way for the latest frozen film tie-in.

The little remembered Romero is best described as a chocolate malt and toffee ice cream based Twister with a crisp chocolate coating.

Making a brief appearance in the late 1980s, it may have only lasted a year – but what a year.

Lyons Maid Superman

It’s hard to remember a time when the only marketing activity surrounding a film was the cover of Look-in and posters outside the local cinema. In the early 80s with the advent of Richard Donner’s film version of Superman, everyone went a bit superhero crazy. The ice lolly ramification was a cola-flavoured ‘Superman’ branded lolly, with a white plastic ‘stick’. Seemingly normal when first unwrapped, further bites revealed that the upper half of each stick was in fact shaped (rather badly) into a superhero. They were all there; Superman, Catwoman, The Joker, Penguin – immortalised in plastic to last forever. Or until your mum threw them away.

Wall’s Dark and Golden

It may not have a stick, but there is something sublime about a choc ice – with the wafer-thin crisp chocolate enveloping creamy soft ice cream.

The Dark and Golden was the dark chocolate offering in Wall’s choc ice range and indicative of its time and place that it was deemed special enough to warrant such distinct branding.

Like After Eights and ordering a starter, there was something distinctly grown up about having a Dark and Golden.

Magnum Infinity Chocolate

Throwing my hat firmly into the middle class arena, the Magnum Infinity Chocolate makes the list. Normally I have no time for the ubiquitous ‘widely available handheld indulgence ice cream’, finding it cloying and dull. The addition of cocoa nibs in the dark chocolate coating and dark chocolate ice cream in the centre however, elevate this way above the rest of the Magnum pack.

4 comments on “The 10 best ice lollies”

  1. Linda D's comment - added on 20th of August, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    The name Ice Lolly sure as hell beats Ice Block any day. I have no idea what 90 per cent of these buggers are, but goodness, what an evocative piece of writing. Geez, I feel like an ice lolly now…

  2. Martin H's comment - added on 20th of August, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    Really pleased to see the Lemonade Sparkle on the list.
    It’s the best refresher for the summer heat and has a bitterness that has you coming back for more.
    However, I would’ve like to have seen the Toffee crumble get a mention.
    It’s a different breed to the cooling ice lollies, I would pitch it against the Feast and probably rate it slightly higher.
    Like all your top 10’s, well research and enjoyable reads.

  3. Jemima's comment - added on 20th of January, 2013 at 11:22 pm

    Does anyone remember the similar lolly to a lemonade sparkle that had two sticks?

    The lemonade sparkle was by far my favourite. I am only a young teen still (14) but I treasure my childhood.

    As I was growing up, I encountered a bubblegum lolly. It was blue, very blue it always made my lips and toungue bright blue. I loved those ice lollies though, I used to and still am a sucker for any bubblegum or blue raspberry flavoured thing, something about that blueness I loved!

  4. Dave's comment - added on 1st of August, 2013 at 9:31 pm

    Found this page when googling the Lemonade Sparkle. They weren’t fancy, but they were my favourite. Ah, happy days. And as a youth I used to work in a cinema so remember selling Fabs and Zooms from my ice cream tray! 🙂

  5. Mandy S's comment - added on 18th of March, 2014 at 2:19 pm

    Oh! You made me laugh out loud, startling the dog.

    I loved the Heart – a choc-ice in that shape with raspberry and vanilla striped, STRIPED I tell you, ice cream inside. Our family used to stop on long car journeys too, at a place called Witney, and Dad would go into a newsagents to buy me a comic and an ice cream. But if I wanted a Heart, I had to get it myself because he was too embarrassed to ask the shop assistant for it…

  6. mandy's comment - added on 1st of July, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    wow just been taken back 3o yrs.the ice cream van only came round at the weekend,on a sunday though it came in the afternoon just before the film started. one of my favourites was the thunderbirds lolly,the top half was chocolate icecream and the bottom was a mint icecream. on a really hot day it had to be the lemonade sparkle as it was so refreshing. i remember also a box of little chocolates that had icecream inside. they were about a 1cm square, i can remember the vanilla but cant be sure if there was orange and mint flavours as well.