When we step up to buy an ice cream, we never consider the process that brought it to us.

The ingredients are milk powders, butter fats, vegetable fats, sugar stabilisers, emulsifying agents and flavouring, reported the Yorkshire Observer in 1955.

The sugar is generally provided by cane or beet sugar and honey.

Bulk ice-cream is then taken into hardening rooms. Extrusions and family packs are conveyed into hardening lockers where they are close to refrigerated shelves, helping to reduce the temperature quickly and evenly.

To make the ice cream bricks that we are still familiar with today, the ice cream was taken from the lockers and placed in an automatic cutting and wrapping machine usually within three hours of their leaving the freezer.

In this photograph, ice cream bricks are being wrapped at the rate of one a second. It looks very labour intensive compared with what I imagine today’s manufacturing process would be.

The finished product was transported in insulated or refrigerated vans. If it is sent long distances by rail, wooden insulated chests with dry ice would be used.

The report described how 14 trade experts descended upon Southport to find Britain’s finest ice cream in the annual competition run by the Ice Cream Alliance. It attracted a record entry that year, says the Observer, adding: ‘It is a sign that manufacturers are not resting on their laurels after the best season since 1947.’

More than 400 samples submitted from manufacturers across the country were tasted by the judges - a task which took them more than 15 hours.

A number of Bradford names are present among the winners, including Carr Ice Creamery in Idle, The Ice Cream Factory in Silsden, and Busby’s in Manningham Lane, Bradford, who all received diplomas of merit.

Diplomas were awarded to companies including Rossi Brothers of Sunbridge Road, Frank Bagshaw of Hirst Farm, Shipley and E. Robinson Ltd, Ice Cream Factory in Shipley.

Leading entries were so finely divided that rejudging of the half-pint samples in their refrigerated containers was necessary to decide the premier award winners.

So what sort of ice cream did people like best back then? Manufacturers are in no doubt, reported the Observer, that ‘despite many excursions into the realms of new flavours, vanilla ices are the most popular.’

It adds: ‘There is always a steady demand for choc ices and those flavoured with strawberry or coffee.’

A chocolate-coated bar of ice cream goes through its own process, and are dipped into liquid chocolate heated to more than 100 degrees. The extreme cold of the ice cream sets the chocolate in seconds. It can then be foil-wrapped very quickly.