Blackburn ain't big enough for the both of us: Mr Creamy and Mr Whippy at the centre of new ice-cream war
Don't worry, it's rather more vanilla than Glasgow in the '80s
Behold, the Great British summer. Lawnmowers, jet engines and the faint tinkling of "Yankee Doodle" on the breeze. Drugs? Frozen treats? Either way, the pitter-patter of tiny feet follows.
A shadow hangs over the UK's ice-cream van industry. In the east end of Glasgow, Scotland, during the '80s, peddlers had a notorious side hustle away from their supposed target audience. Turf war ensued, van windows were blasted with shotguns, people died.
Now a similar ugliness has returned to the streets of Blackburn in northern England – minus the narcotics.
Two vendors – Mr Whippy, aka Mohammed Mulla, and his former padawan Mr Creamy, aka Jahangir Rashid – are locked in a comparatively vanilla turf war, each accusing the other flake of following them around the same streets, harassment and "breaking council rules over parking their vans at least 150 metres apart".
The Lancashire Telegraph got the scoop, reporting that the dispute boiled over into an altercation outside Troy Street Mosque.
"They have also had arguments in front of parents and children," the local paper sighed. Children? Aren't we supposed to think of them or something like that?
It was all caught on Mr Whippy's onboard CCTV one balmy June evening. Mr Whippy seems to be minding his own business, doing his rounds, when suddenly Mr Creamy swings, shark-like, into the rear-view, swiftly accelerating to catch up with his erstwhile master.
A frantic 30mph (we hope) chase then breaks out, with Mr Creamy perilously tailgating Whippy for a good three minutes until he appears to force Whippy to pull over with a PIT manoeuvre of sorts.
There's no sound, but the pair can be seen angrily gesticulating out of their side windows.
The incident was repeated the following night outside Cedar Street Mosque, The Telegraph said, tracing the feud's history back to 2015, when Creamy split from Whippy and bought his own van following "a bitter dispute" over takings and wages.
Further footage uploaded to YouTube allegedly shows more instances of Mr Creamy "harassing" Mr Whippy.
Whippy, 48, told The Telegraph: "On 21 June Mr Rashid followed me, overtook me and blocked me with his ice cream van. He has done this before and has harassed me repeatedly. This is serious issue and could lead to collisions and put children at risk. I have reported this to the council and police. Mr Rashid is talking nonsense."
Creamy, 56, retorted: "I have not been harassing Mr Mulla. He has been harassing me. I did follow him on 21 June but that was to try and resolve the matter. I do not follow Mr Whippy around but he has followed me on several occasions. I have never tried to obstruct his van. This is a small and petty matter that has got out of hand."
It's not the first time Mr Whippy has found himself in a tight Cornetto with other ice-cream sellers. In 2012, one Mr Yummy was caught on video taking a tyre lever to Mr Whippy's driver-side window. Mr Whippy responded by ramming his van into the rear of Yummy's.
Cops shrugged: "We have received a complaint of nuisance," while the council said: "We are aware two ice cream sellers are involved in a dispute. We are taking steps to resolve it."
Meanwhile, relations between Whippy and Creamy remain frosty. ®