On cold frosty mornings you may think that a milkman’s job is not the best in the world, especially when some of the milk starts freezing and expanding out of the bottle pushing the foil cap off, but after the initial shock first thing in the morning and picking up the first few frozen empty bottles the finger get used to it and get a warm tingling feeling. It helps if you wear fingerless gloves (mittens) and run up and down the garden paths to keep warm. My milk float had no doors and no heating so it was pretty draughty as well. I had heard of one milkman who jammed a brick on the accelerator and ran alongside his float to keep warm. They did not move very fast but knowing my luck I would surely have crashed if I tried that little trick.
One day it was suggested that I should wear a pair of my wife’s tights under my trousers to keep warm. It works well, too bloody well as my legs were getting red hot and I had to rip them off without taking my trousers off. Mr Bean would have been proud of me.
In all I much preferred the colder weather as it was possible to keep warm but in the summer there was no way you could really cool off, the heat would make your gold tops (Channel island milk) go off, even although I used to keep them protected from the sun under empty crates in the middle of the float.
Then there is rain, terrible stuff for the milkman. You put on a raincoat and some good waterproof leggings and it is like your own personal sauna except the rain eventually gets everywhere, down your neck and in your boots. It was no good wearing wellington boots as they would slow you down and chaff your legs.
To this day when I am working inside and see it raining outside I think to myself “This is one day I would not want to be a milkman again” but it does not rain every day and I think I could easily return to being a “milky” again