Tributes paid to ice cream man

Luigi Del Grande in his Ice cream truck
Luigi Del Grande in his Ice cream truck
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A well known ice cream man who made West Yorkshire his home has died.

Italian born Luigi ‘Gino’ Del Grande became a fixture across Batley, Birstall and Dewsbury after establishing his business, Gino’s Ice, in the sixties.

Customers were often waiting for Mr Del Grande when he drove up to his old spots such as Wilton Park in Batley.

His daughter Maria Hargill said: “Gino was well known for selling ice cream around the streets of Batley and had lots of loyal customers.

“The family want to say thank you for their custom over the years.

“He was a stalwart figure in the community and we will miss him terribly.”

Settling in Wakefield Mr Del Grande found work as a coal miner. However after suffering a knee injury when a shaft collapsed he left mining to join the Mister Softee ice cream company.

During a night out dancing at Tiffany’s in Bradford Mr Del Grande met his future wife Adele Damato.

The couple married in 1954 and raised six children Terry, John,Maria, Angela, Joe and Peter.

Mrs Hargill said: “He was such a generous man, always making sure we had everything we needed.

“He worked so hard to be able to do this for us.”