Santini (Gratz) Ice-Cream Vans

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By Elizabeth Hunter

I watched "Who Do You Think You Are" with Tamzin Outhwaite searching in the Isle of Man Internment Camp for her Santini ancestors.

Records showed her two Santini ancestors were from Durham. The next record showed Santini in 4/6 West Calder  - I took a picture but it's not very good.

It's currently on BBC Catch-Up so you could get a better photo showing the name. 

It's interesting that an Ice-Cream Vendor from West Calder was interned in Isle of Man.

This page was added by Elizabeth Hunter on 24/08/2014.
Comments about this page

I remember Gratz and his ice cream van.  My mother May Cassidy loved ice cream so we would always wait for him to get to our house at 37 Mooreland Gardens.  I remember us and our neighbors standing in the snow in our slippers waiting our turn.   I loved the raspberry sauce on the vanilla cone and to this day I love raspberries. 

By Anne Cassidy Hamilton
On 25/08/2014

Ario Santini heraldscotland staff Monday 19 November 2007 Interpreter, art teacher and war veteran; Born July 7, 1911; Died October 8, 2007. ARIO Santini, who has died aged 96, was a principal teacher of art for more than three decades and for many years was an active member of the Educational Institute of Scotland. In the early 1900s, his father, a wine importer from Pistoia, a town about an hour's drive north-west of Milan, left Italy and set down roots at the Kirkgate in West Calder, the heart of West Lothian's booming shale oil extraction industry that flourished from the 1860s to 1962. Santini attended West Calder High School, where he distinguished himself in art, modern languages and athletics. A sprinter of note, he won the SAAA Scottish Inter-Scholastic 100-yards race held at Inverleith in May 1930 by several yards, having come second the previous year at Hampden Stadium. At the age of 18 he was admitted to the Edinburgh College of Art and during his years there was particularly influenced by the Scottish colourist Samuel Peploe, who was then on the teaching staff. After graduating in 1934, he trained as a teacher at Moray House in Edinburgh. During these years of training he continued to involve himself in sport and represented both institutions at rugby. His first teaching post was at Musselburgh Grammar School. On the outbreak of war Santini was called up and joined the Royal Artillery, his first experience of the conflict being on coastal defence duties in Carnoustie and Ayr. Earlier, through a local priest, he had met the clergyman's niece, Irish-born Maria McLoughlin, then living in the west of Scotland and studying at Notre Dame High School in Glasgow. The couple were married in 1941 in Glasgow and not long afterwards Santini was posted to North Africa and assigned to duties at 203 POW camp at La Calle (today known as El Kala) in Algeria, 10 miles from the Tunisian border. Being fluent in Italian and French, and having a knowledge of German, he worked as an interpreter and his linguistic ability was of particular use in military courts. After serving in North Africa he was transferred to the Italian campaign and then to England to complete officer training. On being demobbed, he returned to teaching. He was intensely proud of his war service and was appropriately honoured by being chosen to lay the wreath of Remembrance at the West Calder cenotaph on several occasions, the last time in 2006. Santini first worked as a peripatetic art teacher, based at West Calder High School and nearby St Mary's Junior School, as well as East Calder Junior School. In 1946 he was promoted to principal teacher of art at West Calder High School and he remained in this post, directing an art staff of up to six teachers, until his retirement 30 years later. For a short period he also acted as deputy headteacher. He was for many years an active member of the Educational Institute of Scotland, working to improve the pay and conditions of Scottish art teachers. Santini always maintained a keen interest in guiding and supporting young people in and around West Calder and for many years chaired a committee which assessed the financial needs of youth clubs and youth associations, and distributed funds to them. He also sat on a Lothian and Borders crime prevention committee dealing with local youth issues. After his retirement in 1976, Santini continued to enjoy walking, as well as painting watercolours of some of the beautiful landscapes in West Lothian. An exhibition of his paintings at West Calder in 1986 was well-received. In 2007, he and his wife moved into a respite home in Livingston. Maria died in May this year, at the age of 91, and Santini himself passed away only five months later. The couple are survived by two children, Dr Ario Santini and Anna-Maria, eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

By David Toynbee
On 01/09/2014

There a re a few small factual errors listed on the page and with the follow up comments.  The Santini family referenced in West Calder is my maternal family - and in the WDYTYA programme the family name is Santi and is part of my fraternal family Gonnella line - contact me for all/any information -

By Raffaello Gonnella
On 14/10/2023

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