AUDIENCES at Altrincham Garrick will miss a

face they have known for 25 years.

He is Brian Moore, 82, their ice cream seller from Timperley. who recently retired.

Vanilla was the favourite flavour although he stocked other flavours plus cornettos, magnums and choc bars. His wife, Ann, is a diabetic so he ordered diabetic ice creams and, in the kiosk, sugar free sweets.

He was responsible for obtaining ices from two different companies.

The children loved him but he gave them only two choices at pantos – vanilla or vanilla!

“Sometimes there were 200 children. I couldn’t spare the time for them to choose even though I had another seller with me. The interval was just 20 minutes,” said Brian.

Brian’s association with the Garrick goes back to the sixties

In 1966. he had driven his fiancée, now his wife, to an audition for the panto, the Wizard of Oz

He said: “Quite unexpectedly they called me for an audition, too. Although I hardly knew what panto was, I got the part of the Scarecrow.”

Playhouse Manager, Neville Roby was also in it.

It was the theatre’s first panto with a professional director

“He was very strict and asked one person to leave because he arrived late”

Since then Brian has appeared many times including twice in Dad’s Army. In the episode about German submarines, he played the Brigadier.

One of his last stage appearances, four or five years ago was as an interrogatory lawyer in the Crucible.

This brought back memories because, in middle age, he gave up a job as North West Regional Manager for Raleigh Industries Gradual Payments to take a B.Ed at Didsbury Teacher Training College. He eventually taught at a secondary school in Cheadle.

Whilst at college, he won the part of John Proctor in their production of the Crucible.

“I worked myself to tears. That is one of the best male parts there is,”

Way back he starred in the now defunct North Cheshire Amateur Operatic Society just as they began to appear in big Manchester Theatres, two of their shows winning prestigious awards.

I meet my ice cream customers in the street,” he said