Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Milk delivery by horse and cart

I never wanted to be a milkman in the first place. My father was a milkman and I remember getting up early when I was about nine years old and going out into the freezing cold to earn some pocket money. In those days the milk was delivered by horse and cart and it was fun climbing up onto what seemed a seat on top of the world. The horse knew the round and would follow my dad as he delivered, so there was no necessity to actually jump up and drive the cart. We would deliver to a farm (obviously not a dairy farm) and the horse would have his food and a rest while we had a cup of tea. At that age a milk boy’s life was not for me and I soon found alternative ways of earning some pocket money. This was in the fifties and I can remember the sadness as the horses were retired and electric milk floats were introduced. The milkman had to take a driving test in one of these if they did not have a licence and they all seemed to pass. This enabled them to drive a lorry if they wanted to and I can remember my dad’s first car and how badly he drove it and how frightened my sister were to become passengers. That was my first experience of milk delivery and many years passed before I returned to it. The story will continue.


  1. And that was before cows were kept in small confined areas only to be milked by machines. Sounds like an interested read you have here. Best of luck to you!

  2. There was strong competition among us young lads in the 1950's to be allowed to help Horace, our local United Dairies milkman in Hatch End. He would allow two of us to help him deliver and in return we were given a one third size bottle of orange squash and a ride on the seat on top of the cart at the end of the round! It was frighteningly high up!