Tuesday, 4 January 2011

A Fine Tradition

And one that is unfortunately on the point of dying out - I think we are possibly the last people in our street to have our milk delivered by the Milkman to our doorstep early in the morning.
Organic full cream, semi-skimmed and orange juice.
The full cream is great on cereals, muesli, porridge etc and in REAL coffee, the semi-skimmed in tea and the orange is the best type.  OK it may be slightly more expensive but at least it's really fresh, you don't have to lug it home from the supermarket in plastic containers that end up in landfill.  The bottles are taken away, cleaned and bought back full.  It used to be delivered in one of these...
...a non polluting, electric powered milk 'float' by Fred the friendly, whistling neighbourhood milkman.  Unfortunately he retired and it now comes on a Transit.

Any other blog readers still have their milk delivered?? 

Remember - Use it or loose it.  It's a bit like the traditional crafts or buying wine that has a real cork in it (although that's getting harder and harder).
* * *
Apropos of this I was once told a lovely story by Trevor Austen the Kentish Rakemaker who sadly passed away on Christmas Day after 5-6 years suffering from motor neurone disease.

In the 1960's he found he couldn't really earn enough money from making wooden rakes to support him and his family so he took on a milk round in the morning and made rakes in the afternoon.  His round took in Chilham Castle in Kent and one day in the 80's he turned up there to deliver the milk to find that they were filming Rod Hull's Christmas Special.  The director spotted him and thought it would be a great idea to have Rod and Emu arriving at the castle in Trevor's milk float.  He got permission from his boss and went back later in the day to film it.  Well, Rod and Emu jump off the milk float, say goodbye and thanks to Trevor and Rod grabs a pint off the back.  Trevor said quite indignantly "They never paid me for that pint either!"

See Stuart King's film of Trevor making a rake here.
And on the Museum of English Rural Life website his brother, David, demonstrating on Trevor's behalf - note the milkman's overall which they always used to wear in the workshop.


Mark said...

Great stuff, we still have a Milk man around here, and sometimes we still see the old three wheeled electric float in use - magical, the other thing we have around here again after many years, is a traditional coalman and his flat bed truck, oaded up with sacks of coal, but also incresingly loaded up with sacks of firewood, it's great to see these things again and on a regular basis too.

Seanhellman said...

Happy new year Robin, we have recently decided to get local organic milk delivered.

Gorges Smythe said...

We haven't had milk delivery in my town since sometime in the 70's. Check my blog in a couple days and you'll find a piece I wrote last week on the subject.

Keith said...

I left that behind when I moved to Australia. I remember the bluetits used to peck through the tops to get at the cream!

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year Robin!
We used to get green top delivered when I was a lad, TT tested it said and there was a picture on t'bottle of a finger post which read "TO HEALTH via MILK" I misread it for ages as "Heath".
A note of caution on electric vehicles - although the vehicle is clean, the electricity is produced somewhere and not necessarily in a clean way - out of sight out of mind? (Or 'invisible lunatic' as a computer once traslated that motto).
We stopped getting our milk delivered when the pasturising got dodgy and we kept getting sour milk. We do recycle the plastic round here though (exactly what happens to it after it's been collected though I do not know)