The Glasgow ice cream van wars that took 9 lives

Ice cream vans are associated with deals with, however for neighborhoods in a few of the poorest parts of Glasgow in the 1970s, these vans were a lifeline.

Bring not simply ice cream, these vans were efficiently the basic shop on wheels due to the fact that the council had actually constructed high-density living without the essential facilities.

The paths through these estates ended up being extremely profitable, and criminal habits occurred, culminating with the death of 9 individuals.

Robert Neill, the director of BBC documentary The Ice Cream Wars which aired today, signed up with Moncrieff to go over the questionable case.

Social real estate

After World War II, the federal government wished to eliminate tenement homes in Glasgow’s city centre and move locals to brand-new suburban areas.

Mr Neill stated that the strategy was a “problematic” due to the fact that the brand-new locations didn’t have the centers to support such a population.

No stores were open after 6pm and clubs were not part of the strategies as the federal government wished to dissuade drinking.

As an outcome, ice-cream vans ended up being vital and eventually “too popular for their own great”.


Business would complete on ice cream van paths to get a monopoly on that location’s organization.

The competitors intensified to violence, consisting of smashing windows and mirrors and even the killing of a guy and his household.

“Rivalries got so extreme, there was efforts to truly press other motorists off the roadway”, Mr Neill stated.

“Some individuals are definitely persuaded that drugs were being offered from these vans.”

“People who’ve actually studied this case claim that they’ve never ever seen any proof that drugs were offered”, he stated.

“But they remained in and of themselves extremely financially rewarding and they did bring in individuals who saw a chance.”

Andrew Doyle

One business purchased a 2nd van to increase sales and eject rivals.

The brand-new motorist, Andrew Doyle, underwent intimidation, which was reported to the authorities at the time.

One night Mr Doyle’s household house was set alight while 9 individuals were within, including his brother or sisters.

6 individuals passed away of smoke inhalation, consisting of an 18-month-old infant.

“They remained in a flat on the 3rd flooring so there was truly no place out since the fire was begun at the door”, Mr Neill described.

“One bro did leap out the window, however there was actually no other way to get away quickly.”

The cops is stated to not have had a great relationship with locals of the location.

“It would have been challenging for individuals most likely to inform the cops excessive about what they understood”, he stated.


7 males were implicated of conspiracy to murder and ultimately 2 were founded guilty.

The 2 convicts rejected the allegations “really actively”.

“They decreased 2 various courses in keeping their case in the public eye”, Mr Neill described.

“Thomas Campbell took appetite strikes, he grew a long beard, later he would shoot video from his cell discussing his project.”

Joe Steele, the other found guilty, left jail 3 times, gluing himself to evictions of Buckingham Palace on his 2nd effective effort.

Listen back to the complete discussion here.

Main image reveals individuals queueing for ice cream in Glasgow, Scotland. Photo by: William Arthur/Alamy

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