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The history of milk delivery in the UK

The history of milk delivery in the UK

Milk delivery from 1860 to 1900 The British milkman first appears in the 1860s when the new railway network begins to bring fresh milk, direct from the farm. Loaded into churns, the milk is delivered from door to door by the milkman on a threewheeled milk pram.

Milk delivery from 1900 to 1939 Without widespread home refrigeration, milkmen are still delivering three times a day for breakfast, lunchtime pudding and afternoon tea. Milk deliveries only drop to two a day in the First World War.

Milk delivery from 1940 to 2000 During World War II milk deliveries are reduced and, with able bodied men being in short supply, the first milkwomen take to Britains streets. Horsedrawn milk carts are still a common sight until the 1950s, but are gradually overtaken by electric vehicles such as the threewheeled Bush Pony.

Milk delivery from 2000 to Today The daily milk delivery goes digital with the launch of Milk and More. You can now go online up to 9.00pm the night before and order over 250 essential daily products, from bread, eggs and milk to washingup liquid, Organic Food and pet food. Next morning, your local milkman will be round with your grocery delivery in timehonoured fashion.

Milk facts

1866. Most Londoners get their milk from the country 1869. The price of milk varies, Babies milk costs 5 pence a quart, while regular stuff just 4 pence 1880. Bottled milk arrived 1890. Pasteurisation is introduced 1990s. Some families have their own milk churns sealed in the dairy before delivery 1920s. The cardboard lids on glass milk bottles become a hit with children 1930s. The first electric vehicles appear 1935. Jazzman Fats Waller records My Very Good Friend the Milkman 1960. Most of Londons milk is now delivered by electric or petrol vehicles 1971. Benny Hills song Emie, the Fastest Milkman in the West is number one in the charts 1984. Bottle Boys, the story of two milkmen, hits the British TV screens 1990s. Infrared scanning for milk bottles is introduced to make sure that theyre always spotlessly clean 2004. Orlando Boom is the milkman who becomes a prize fighter in The Calcium Kid 2006. Because they can be reused up to ten times, the traditional milk bottles still in high demand 2009. Derek Arch, Britains oldest milkman is still delivering at the age of 81 2009. Over 2,500 Dairy Crest milkmen deliver 500 million bottles of milk every year to over 1.3 million homes