Wednesday, 20 May 2009


I've recently developed a fondness for cones. Ice cream cones. The plastic ones used to advertise, well ice creams.
I've started taking pictures of them and I'm wondering why I haven't done this already. I've also discovered I am not alone! They have to be a particular type to grab my attention - no cornetto impostors here! Generally these ice cream signs have a 99 or Mr Whippy look to them and seem to be in varying states of disrepair.

They are mostly found in seaside towns outside piers and shops. Although I have yet to search for their urban counterparts, I suspect inland ice cream signs are mostly in the form of the evil cornetto (a parody of an ice cream that lacks the irony of a Mr Whippy and with packaging that misses the point of the cone).

I must admit, I'm not that keen on Mr Whippys, having been spoilt by the yummy Hockings.

But I'm a fan of the signs. I like the simplicity of their design as well as the naive silliness of using giant versions of food as advertising. I guess they resonate with my nostalgic love of anything from my childhood that looks as if it has a diminishing future. These signs I'm sure will gradually be replaced by over-coloured cornettos (you may have guesed I really don't like these!).

But most of all I think it's the incongruity with their surroundings, run down seaside towns, rainy holidays and cold grey days on the coast. And whatever the weather, a seaside ice cream is always something special. Especially a giant plastic one.

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