AS the summer days get longer - and hopefully hotter - there is an increased demand in Furness for ice creams.

You can buy ice cream from supermarkets these days but many people will look back fondly on the treats offered by van which toured pretty much every street.

At one time, the only choice was between a block of ice cream in a square cornet - vanilla only - or a soft Mr Whippy cone. Now ice cream comes in a bewildering range of flavours.

The Mail, on Wednesday, April 27 in 1994, noted: “Ulverston ice cream maker David Hatton is scooping the market - by whisking up unusual flavours.

“Mr Hatton has served up brown bread ice cream with bread crumbs to wedding guests and has a soft spot for the savoury tomato sorbet.

“He worked as a production assistant for the Windermere Ice Cream Company - which has been in business since 1947 - before he bought the company out and moved it to Ulverston four years ago.

“The company will make just about any flavour concoction you want, as well as serving up a menu full of mouthwatering traditional flavours.

“But why are people tempted by exotic and unusual flavours? Mr Hatton is at a loss to explain.”

He said: “I don’t know the answer. People tend to try things because they are unusual and most people like to have a go.

“I’m willing to try anything, including one-off orders to develop our existing factory to its full potential.”

The article noted: “The factory recently won a prestigious award from the Ice Cream Alliance and Mr Hatton is keen to build on the success.”

He said: “People seem unaware that making ice cream is a craft like any other, but once it has been mastered virtually anything is possible.

“The only proviso is you must be able to freeze the ingredients.”

Ice cream may have started in China but it was first recorded in Europe as being made with a milk mixture in Italy.

The first recorded serving of this rare and expensive treat in England was in 1672.

It was presented to King Charles II and a lavish banquet.

The first English cookery book to offer a recipe for ice cream was by Mary Eales in 1718.

Ice cream in this era was very coarse and it contained ice crystals.

Ordinary people didn’t get to try ice cream until well into the Victorian era.

Italy led the way and immigrants to the United Kingdom brought their secrets to cafes and ice cream parlours.

Ice cream was often sold on shallow glasses which were wiped clean and re-used. They were known as penny licks.

Ice cream edible cones were first mentioned in 1894 by Agnes Marshall in her book Fancy Ices.

The bicycles for selling ice cream were used by the Walls firm in London around 1923.