Frozen in time: mystery find at ice cream parlour

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A town centre ice cream parlour is serving up mysteries about its past.

The owners of Notarianni’s have discovered decades-old documents and artefacts while refurbishing the top floor of the building.

A wafer-thin piece of paper, with what appears to be Chinese writing, has been found under the floorboards, alongside a rubber comb, a hairpin and a pill box

Dino Rossi and Gemma Coultas want the public’s help in providing information about the history of the building in Prince Street.

Dino said: “It was bombed in World War II and the street was knocked down up to our building. At the back, there are lots of doors which lead to nowhere.

“Since the 1950s, the first two floors have been used as stock rooms and offices, but further up has been derelict.”

While transforming the top floor into an art studio for Gemma, they made the discoveries.

Cleaning up after a new roof and windows were put in, they found the historic items.

“I was sweeping and got the brush caught,” said Gemma.

“I lifted the floorboard up and expected to find it was full of muck.”

The building dates back to the late 1700s, and has been in Dino’s family since 1935.

It was previously a hat and coat shop but details of parts of its history are flaky.

“It was built as a merchant’s house so they could bring their wares from the boats ,” said Gemma.