50th Anniversary Celebrations with Albis UK
July 6, 2018

Austin with the newlyweds – Gerard and Kelly Ryan

We were fortunate enough to take an amazing trip down memory lane recently, when groom-to-be Gerard Ryan asked us to be a part of his wedding day.

As you know by now, we love a good wedding! But this one was extra special, because our ties to the Ryan family go back decades. When our founder and namesake Austin first began working a mobile ice cream vendor back in 1986, his main rounds took place in the Partington area of Trafford. His glorious selection of ices proved to be an instant hit and Austin soon began building a base of regular customers, getting to know many of the local families in the process. One such family was – you guessed it! – the Ryan family. A lovely couple with three sons and four daughters, it was always a joy to bring them a weekly helping of Mr Whippy.

The bride and company looking splendid

Eventually, Austin would begin a new round in a separate area of Greater Manchester, and he sadly lost touch with the Ryans. That all changed roughly a year ago, when they found each other again over Facebook. It was great to reconnect with them all, but things took an even happier turn last month when the eldest son of the family, Gerard, got in touch to see if we’d like to be involved with the imminent nuptial celebrations. The thought of seeing everybody in person again after all these years was simply too good to miss, and we accepted the job right away!

The wedding itself took place in Whitworth Hall, a gorgeously ornate building owned by the University of Manchester. It’s a truly stunning venue, even boasting its own courtyard, which provided the perfect setting for photos after the ceremony. The were also stalls with games and refreshments dotted around, meaning guests could enjoy their own private fun fair. While we would’ve loved to share in the festivities immediately, we were actually parked a short distance away, making sure to stay well out of sight. We don’t normally shy away from attention but, prior to the big day, we had been busy hatching a plan with Gerard. At just the right moment, we were going to turn up completely unannounced and surprise his unsuspecting family! The groom even managed to slip away unnoticed, so that he could race round the corner and join Austin on his pristine ice cream van.

Guest LOVED our new Austins Ices selfie frame!

Seeing Gerard for the first time in 20 years brought up a wave of nostalgia and made for quite the emotional moment. But that was only the beginning, as there were many more reunions to come throughout the afternoon. As we drove onto the courtyard playing the Tony Christie classic ‘(Is This The Way To) Amarillo’ – the groom’s choice, but one we fully supported – it was such a pleasure to see the shock and delight on everyone’s faces. Some of the girls even shed a few tears! (Don’t believe us? Check the video evidence at the bottom of this post.)

We spent the remainder of the day serving up an assortment of chilled treats and reminiscing with the family. We met Gerard’s beautiful bride Kelly and even became acquainted with the newest generation of Ryans, as some of those little boys and girls Austin used to serve have started families of their very own! It was an unforgettable day that will forever hold a big place in our hearts. Jobs like this are few and far between, but they are definitely one of the reasons we can wholeheartedly say that we love what we do. Our sincerest congratulations go out to Gerard and Kelly, as we wish them a lifetime of love and happiness together.

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