An agreement was reached with the owner’s wife that enabled us to give the van the care that was needed to ensure that it would attract customers. The wine bar visits stopped and all our spare time was devoted to the restoration of what had fondly become known as Betty. Evenings after work and weekends saw Caroline and I slaving away trying to get Betty to look as good as the ice cream vans that were always parked on the sea front.
The work took two months but we were both overjoyed at the results of our efforts. All the money we had had been used to buy Betty so it came as a shock when we found out that more money would be needed to get our investment through the required tests and make her roadworthy. But Caroline’s Dad came to the rescue and gave us what he called a business start up loan and an old empty box of cream chargers to inspire us.. With the loan came a statement that he was impressed with our commitment and this was the reason that the funds were available for us. Obviously we were pleased as punch and we thanked him time and again.
Ten weeks after we first bought Betty the previous owner’s wife waved goodbye to us as we drove it out of her garage. She emotionally kissed us both and wished us luck in our new venture.
The organisation of what we planned to sell took a further week as this involved locating suppliers of cream chargers and fine tuning our proposed products. All that remained was to take great delight in telling our employer what he could do with both of our jobs. This was met with shock and a number of questions that we both refused to answer. Our plan was in place and nothing was going to deter us from what we wanted to achieve. We had reached the point of no return so we couldn’t wait to get started.