Bonds of Elswick ice cream shop shuts down as new houses planned for site between Preston and Blackpool
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Bonds of Elswick served its last scoops on Sunday (December 4) before closing for good, with the shop to be demolished to make way for new housing.
But last week, Bonds confirmed its imminent closure in a post on Facebook.
The team said: “It is with great sadness to announce that this will be our final weekend at Bonds. We are open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday in the kiosk and coffee shop.
"We hope to see as many customers, old and new, for one final visit to Bonds.
“Thank you from all the team at bonds.”
What’s next for the Bonds site?
Bonds management added that the closure was brought about by the sale of the building, with the landowners reportedly seeking to push ahead with long-running plans to build housing on the site.
In 2020, the late Preston businessman Simon Rigby - who bought Bonds from previous owner Martin Molloy in 2017 – sought planning permission to demolish the building and build eight new homes.
But he said his intention was to retain the ice cream restaurant and kiosk rather than develop the site, with the planning application acting as an ‘insurance policy’ in the event that Bonds was to close down.
The application sought to restore previous planning permission which had been granted but had expired.
Mr Rigby died shortly afterwards and Bonds ceased manufacturing its own ice cream the next year. The business managed to stay open after striking a deal to sell Lakes Ice Cream and continued to attract visitors from across the county.
‘Another childhood institution gone’
The Bonds closure was disappointing news to those who enjoyed visiting the ice cream shop over the decades.
After the closure was confirmed on Facebook, hundreds of past customers shared happy memories of drives out to Bonds with friends and family.
Chris Sandiford said: “Another childhood institution gone. Growing up in Elswick in the 80s my mum worked there and brought us countless gallons of ice cream and excellent meat from the restaurant.
“We also got to try it from the mixers in the factory which was a completely different taste. It was also the only place open on a Sunday (til 8pm) so cycling round on hot summer evenings to spend our pennies was a rare treat.
“Hope the recipe stays within the Gornall family, as its totally unique.”
David Miller added: “Remembering the old times, every Thursday the cafe was full of local cyclists. It was a weekly pilgrimage. Time moves on, I hope the end works out well for all the staff.”
Whilst Keith Gleeson happily recalled his “memories of Sunday drives out with grandparents for a Bonds ice cream treat..back in the early 60’s.”