Maurice Murray of NiceOne Ices has reached the pinnacle of the ice cream van world by scooping the Mobiler of the Year title awarded by The Ice Cream Alliance.
The Alliance is the trade body for the UK’s £1bn ice cream industry.
Maurice first started selling ice cream on the streets of Manchester in 1974 before moving to Fleetwood in 2007.
He now runs two vans with his son, Anthony.
Delighted Maurice, 53, of Wentworth Avenue, Fleetwood, said: “I just love the ice cream business – it’s in my blood – and to be judged the best in the UK is just unbelievable.
“As a young boy I was fascinated by ice cream vans and as soon as I was old enough I got a job as a van lad. When I was 18 I bought my first ice cream van and it has continued from there.”
For a while Maurice had a foray into the pub trade, for a time running Fleetwood’s Rossall Tavern, but decided he preferred pouring ice cream to pulling pints.
He continued: “I soon realised that being an ice cream man was all I wanted to do.
“I enjoy being out and about meeting customers old and new,”
Now Maurice’s blue and white vans and teddy bears picnic theme tune are a familiar sight and sound around Fleetwood and in nearby holiday parks.
“I don’t treat selling ice cream as just another job – to me it is a profession and I try to be as professional as I can in everything I do from customer service to hygiene.”
Maurice also finds time to raise money for charity personally collecting £1,250 for Children in Need and a total of £4,500 through a group of fellow mobilers.
“We went to local special schools and gave away more than 4,000 ice creams to children all sponsored by our very generous customers. It was a wonderful event to be part of.”
Maurice was presented with his award by Anthony Birch, director of insurance brokers Slade Edwards & Co, who sponsored the awards.
Zelica Carr, chief executive officer of The Ice Cream Alliance said: “Maurice is passionate about ice cream and his professional approach is a credit to the industry.”