This photograph taken by Charles Wardell in 1968 shows Toni’s Café at 2 West Street, the site being about where the library entrance in the Chantry Centre is today.

It is another old building of indeterminate age that may have been subject to much alteration over the years.

Notice the chamfered corner, enabling lorry traffic of the 20th century to manoeuvre the bend more easily, the result no doubt of multiple scrapes.

Toni’s (not Tony’s) was a well-loved establishment, often cited as one of those ‘iconic’ places of old Andover that were lost in the cause of development.

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Toni himself was Vitantonio Vitale, Italian-born in 1880 and coming over to England a short time before the turn of the century.

We can first trace him in 1901 at 8 High Street, Chichester, where he was boarding with the ice cream manufacturer Michele Jannece and his family.

Toni was later to become noted for his homemade ice cream but it was as a street organ grinder that he first made his living.

In fact, there were four organ grinders living in the same house – two boarders and two of Michele Jannece’s brothers.

From Chichester, Toni next appears at Holborn where, in 1905, he married Maria Guiseppe Cozze and from the birthplaces of his children it is possible to place him in Worthing for the next few years where he must have continued as a street organ grinder until coming to Andover in 1910-11 where, still plying the same trade, he lived at 155 New Street.

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By the early 1920s Toni had ceased to be an organ grinder and had become an ice cream merchant, no doubt having learned some skills from his Chichester landlord of 20 years before.

The family by then were at 10 New Street with six children – five girls and one boy.

They had recently been joined by Maria’s brother and his wife, Samuel and Louisa Cozze, though only Samuel was Italian; Louisa was a local girl of the Stockwell family, sister to footballer Freddie Stockwell who was considered the best player to ever come out of New Street.

It was a few years more before the Vitale family went to West Street and opened their café.

Certainly, they were there by 1927.

The ice cream was made in a building to the rear and, besides being sold in the shop itself where the family attended the customers, Toni spent most of his time pushing his ice cream barrow around Andover selling ice cream to the children who were playing in the streets at a penny a go.

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Apparently, he was always in the right place at the right time to make the best of his round.

At the end of the Second World War, Toni and Maria retired to Weyhill Road and one of their daughters, Mrs Florence Abbess, ran the café until 1956 when another daughter Phyllis, with her husband Lionel Goodfellow, took it over.

Lionel had been an assistant at jeweller L T Humphries’ shop in Bridge Street up till then but the couple revitalised the old family café and introduced changes to make it a paying concern.

One innovation was a pinball machine that became the subject of a court case, revolving around the provisions of the Betting and Gaming Act 1960 which had only recently been passed.

When first installed, the machine was used for amusement only, in that although any player had to pay to use it, there were no prizes.

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The proprietors wanted to give prizes of chocolate or cigarettes if a certain score on the machine was reached and for this it was necessary to obtain a permit from the council.

This was refused and the café owners appealed the decision which was heard at the Andover Borough Quarter Sessions.

After long arguments lasting six hours, the appeal was allowed and Toni’s café was able to have its pinball machine with prizes.

In 1968, because the site was required for the new shopping centre, Toni’s café was demolished.

The Advertiser reported in July of that year that Albert Ash, the Goodfellows’ first customer when they took over 12 years before, was to be tasked with pulling it down.

Mr Ash was sorry about that and thought the café would be much missed by the working men of the town as there was nowhere else like it.

However, Mr and Mrs Goodfellow, together with their golden labrador puppy Jason and their marmalade cat Rusty, were moving on to take over the Globe Hotel which Mr and Mrs Richard Davies had been running for some years.

But a more glittering career now beckoned for the erstwhile proprietor – on ITV as sports presenter Dickie Davies.

Mrs Goodfellow was taking lessons from their friends at the Angel Inn on how to run a bar and they were confident that they ‘will soon become as good publicans as they have been café proprietors’.