When I first bought my larger family house in Brighton back in about 1985, we had milk delivered every morning. The children were still at school and required copious amounts of milk for their morning cereals, etc.
The milkman drove one of those electric milk-floats which were mostly silent other than the sound of rattling milk bottles in the metal crates. Milkmen, in those days, were all called 'Ernie'.
He arrived at our house at exactly the same time each morning. I had no need for a bedside clock; the milkman served as one. I got up as soon as he'd been by, which gave me time to do all that was necessary before trying to get the kids out of bed, washed, dressed, and fed.
I had imagined that daily deliveries of milk in glass bottles had finished, but I was pleased to see the above recently. Some traditions may not be used by all, but the expression 'use it or lose it' is very apt in the case of Milkmen.
If a Milkman passes your front door, get him/her to deliver daily. It not only keeps a tradition alive, but it is far more convenient than rushing off to the corner shop (in dressing-gown and slippers) for a pint of semi-skimmed in a tetra pack.
Your post making me quite nostalgic. I remember my earliest years, going to the village dairy shop (huge wheels of cheese) to fill up the silver shiny milk can. How proud I was first time I was entrusted with this errant all by myself, when I learnt that there is little use crying over spilt milk. Not that I ever did [spill the milk].ReplyDelete
My grandparents and I spent our summers at a lake in deepest countryside. Two dairy farmers. In the morning milk directly from the cow, still warm [the milk that is] complete with the odd cow's dark hair. It was disgusting [to me] but no doubt made me into the robust not easily perturbed person that I am to this day.
Fast forward. England. I hold those glass milk bottles, delivered to the door, in deep affection, the comforting silent hum of the milk van early in the morning. Can't remember now when door delivery wasn't viable any longer and it all came to an end. Early 200.? It's a shame not least because you returned the bottles for re-use instead of adding all that plastic to be "recycled". Yeah, pull the other one.
Some people sneer when one mentions "the good old times". Sometimes the good old times WERE the good old times, most certainly better than today, pestilence notwithstanding. Maybe those times were more labour intensive, yet simpler.
When I first moved to France, I used to visit my neighbour each morning with my small one litre milk-churn. It would be filled with fresh milk, and I'd pay for my 7 litres at the end of each week. Then the herd caught Brucellosis, and I stopped. In France we now buy 6 packs of long-life milk in plastic. Such is life.Delete
I don't know about country towns, but here in the cities and bigger towns, milk hasn't been home delivered for decades now, unless you order it with the rest of your groceries from the supermarket, which doesn't really count, it isn't the same at all. I last remember milk being delivered when my youngest was two and three (now 40)and we had to pay extra because the neighbour children stole the money we left out for it.ReplyDelete
That was (and probably still is) a problem. I used to go down to collect the milk as soon as it was delivered, otherwise a passer-by might have stolen it. As for the money, our Milkman always knocked on the door for payment.Delete
In the 1970/80s our milkman even delivered on Christmas morning at about 4am.ReplyDelete
That's real dedication! Good for him.Delete
We have ours delivered in those glass milk bottles. It's a lot more expensive than supermarket milk of course and those bottles don't last as long as your 4litre plastic container, but we like to do our bit. Milk and More is the supplier to go to for home deliveries in glass bottles. And loads more besides, they sell virtually everything!ReplyDelete
Unfortunately we're not on the Milkman's route, otherwise I would buy from him, so it's M & S litre plastic bottles for us. It's a shame!Delete
Best to get the milk inside quickly. I can't remember the species but one bird learnt that milk was good and foil caps were weak.ReplyDelete
That happened a lot when I was small. I think it was the Blue-tits who would peck through the top and have a free morning snack.Delete
It’s been a while since I heard the clip clop of the milko’s horse and cart here in my suburb - he was still coming round when we arrived early ‘70s. Being used to not actually seeing the milkman (the electric float where I lived in the UK had been and gone by the time I got up) hearing the clip clop at 6.30am was a comforting almost rural sound…..and I missed it when deliveries stopped a few years laterReplyDelete
I imagine when I was small the Milkman had a horse-drawn cart, but I don't remember seeing it. The poor Milkman also had to walk down a long drive to deliver our milk to the back door!Delete
My milk is still delivered (in town) by a milkman in glass bottles, we have five different milkmen around our area, maybe Lancashire is a better place to live, lol....TillyReplyDelete
You could be right! You're lucky to have so many Milkmen around. I was very surprised at seeing just one; the bottle anyway.Delete
My mother was very fond of our milkman. They ran off together back in the 1970s. I think they are still together now. My poor Dad hated that Ernie song afterwards.ReplyDelete
Oh dear; not a comment I was expecting. Milkmen DO have a reputation!Delete
I grew up in a small village in Somerset, each evening we walked to our local farm after the 2nd milking with a small churn, which was filled with fresh milk. My brothers both had Saturday jobs on the farm and the milk was part of their wages. So rich and creamy, made everything taste so good.ReplyDelete
When I went to fetch the milk from our neighbour (see above), little did I know that my dog 'Hamlet' would always eat two eggs whilst I was there. The farmer only told me about this years later; I suppose he didn't mind.Delete
I could have milk delivered here, twice a week only but at 1am - which would wake me up every morning!ReplyDelete
So I stick to supermarket and recycle the plastic bottles
Sadly we are obliged to buy from shops. I would liked to have a delivery but they don't do our street.Delete
I gave up on milk deliveries in the 70s when I reckoned the milkman just plucked random figures from the air when I asked how much I owed him.ReplyDelete
Our delivery was the same week by week, so we knew exactly how much to pay. We never had extras.Delete
We still get it delivered. It's not the service it once was (e.g. he goes on holiday!) and it costs more, but we both think it tastes fresher.ReplyDelete
You can't get the workers these days. They all want time off!Delete
My milkman leaves me a (plastic) bottle every Monday, Wednesday and Friday - pay him once a month.ReplyDelete
Sounds like a good arrangement; no glass bottles up your way?Delete
I remember the milkman. We had an insulated box on the front porch, metal, with a lifting lid. I also remember the breadman. He was my father. The breadman and my mother were married. My father picked up the job while he was laid off from the steel mill. But for years, my father delighted in telling people that the bread man and my mother had a 'thing'.ReplyDelete
It sounds as if the Milkmen and the Bakers were all a bit 'friendly' with their clients. Good for them!Delete
I can buy fresh milk from a farm but no delivery is available. I also remember milk and freshly baked goods (bread & pastry) being delivered to my childhood home daily.ReplyDelete
Back in the 70's we had all sorts of merchants who turned-up outside our farmhouse. A Butcher, Cheese merchant, clothes, and general hardware. They all did their best to sell us stuff.Delete
We gave up our milkman only recently …… we did it reluctantly because , we don’t use much milk. We don’t eat cereal, have black tea and coffee and there are only the two of us now. I buy a pint of milk with my weekly shop for visitors mainly ! XXXXReplyDelete
We hardly use much milk either; a splash in my morning coffee, and that's it.Delete
I love milk... whole milk, not 2% or non-fat. We buy 1 gallon of whole milk every 2 weeks eve now. And it has Vit D in it, so we need that as well as the calcium as we age. And I don't remember the milkman when I was young, but I do remember the milk in glass bottles with the cream on the top. We always fought over that cream. We lived in the city in New Orleans, La. so I'm sure the milk was delivered back then. I do remember a horse drawn cart that came down the streets selling pink taffy in long strings.ReplyDelete
Milk always used to 'full-fat', all this skimmed or semi-skimmed is a modern invention. That lovely rich cream on the top of the bottle was wonderful.Delete
We used to buy milk from a nearby farm when on camping holidays. That was always fun going along with our little Billy can. Nowadays I have almond milk in my coffee and tins of milk for emergencies.ReplyDelete
My youngest's wife drinks non-milk milk; anything from Soya milk to nut milks. They don't appeal to me at all.Delete
I like oatmilk in my morning porridge, extra oaty goodness can't hurt and it does seem creamier, but I use full fat regular milk for everything else.Delete
I am afraid we have bought our milk from supermarkets for many years now. It's much cheaper and I can use the saved money on other things.ReplyDelete
So have we; Pasteurised seems much safer these days, and, as you say, it's cheap.Delete
Our milkman delivered by horse and wagon back in the day. No milk delivery around here for many years.ReplyDelete
I was surprised to see bottles on doorsteps here. I'd imagined all that had stopped.Delete
I grew up on the terraced streets in Leicester and can remember the milkman delivering to our front door step every day.If we were very lucky my Mam would sometimes buy a little bottle of orange juice for us.It used to taste wonderful and I would sip it from the bottle to make it last longer!xxReplyDelete
We've been having doorstep deliveries from our milkman three times a week without fail since we moved to Solihull in 1980. Our previous milkman has just retired and we now have a milk lady who has changed the days but still three times a week. My father lives between two Cotswold villages and his milkman delivers milk from the farm next to his brother in law's three miles away, four times a week. That delivery is around 2pm but ours is normally 3.30am. Our milk round was a lifeline during lockdown as we could order a few things and restrict our supermarket shopping to once every three weeks or a month.ReplyDelete