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Father and son ice cream duo retire after more than 50 years serving Norfolk

PUBLISHED: 10:30 14 August 2019 | UPDATED: 15:13 14 August 2019

Brian Sanders from Brian and Martin Ices selling ice cream in one of his vans. Picture: Brian Sanders

Brian Sanders from Brian and Martin Ices selling ice cream in one of his vans. Picture: Brian Sanders

Archant

The musical chime of an ice cream van coming down the road is a sound that brings back happy memories of childhood.

Brian Sanders and Ines Sanders with one of his first vans. Picture: Brian SandersBrian Sanders and Ines Sanders with one of his first vans. Picture: Brian Sanders

But a father and son duo who have been serving ice cream for more than 50 years in Norfolk are retiring after multiple cancer diagnoses.

Brian and Martin's Ices, ran by Brian, 73, and Martin Sanders, 52, from Yew Drive, Brandon, has stopped trading and their van has been sold after Martin was diagnosed with cancer.

Brian had beaten cancer twice eight years ago and after his treatment Martin decided he was be checked.

He said: "Martin was checked out because I had bladder and prostate cancer in 2011, I had chemotherapy and then an operation to remove both cancers.

Brian Sanders listens to the chimes on his ice cream van at Thetford. Picture: ArchantBrian Sanders listens to the chimes on his ice cream van at Thetford. Picture: Archant

"When I found out he had been diagnosed it was of course upsetting, but hopefully he will make full recovery which could take up to a year."

Brian started selling ice cream when he moved from Lewisham, South London, to Bury St Edmunds in 1966. He was struggling to find work and one of his friends suggested renting an ice cream van.

By 1968, he had a van and was serving families in Bury before expanding to Brandon and Thetford. At one point he had four vans travelling around Norfolk.

The father of eight taught all his children how to serve in his vans so they could earn pocket money but Martin was the only child who kept the tradition going in the family.

Brian's children used to help on his vans to earn extra pocket money. Picture: Brian SandersBrian's children used to help on his vans to earn extra pocket money. Picture: Brian Sanders

Over the years the duo were recognised for their work in the community with customers voting them through to the finals of Mobiler of the Year at the Ice Cream Alliance Annual Conference, in Blackpool, in 2003.

Brian added: "I can't thank enough all of my loyal customers over the 51 years for supporting our business.

"I must have served thousands, the voting online or by post for the ICA Mobiler amazed me, to get to be fourth in the whole of the UK was itself an honour."

Their retirement comes as Breckland Council warn customers of rogue ice cream van traders in the district.

Brian Sanders from Brian and Martin Ices selling ice cream in one of his vans. Picture: Brian SandersBrian Sanders from Brian and Martin Ices selling ice cream in one of his vans. Picture: Brian Sanders

It said to check before ordering that it is displaying a Breckland Council hygiene rating. If unlicensed they face a £1,000 fine.

One of Brian Sanders' early vans. Picture: Brian SandersOne of Brian Sanders' early vans. Picture: Brian Sanders

Brian Sanders van in the line-up with the other finalists' vans in Blackpool during the Ice Cream Alliance Annual Conference. Picture: Brian SandersBrian Sanders van in the line-up with the other finalists' vans in Blackpool during the Ice Cream Alliance Annual Conference. Picture: Brian Sanders

Brian's children used to help on his vans to earn extra pocket money. Picture: Brian SandersBrian's children used to help on his vans to earn extra pocket money. Picture: Brian Sanders

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