Monday, 9 May 2011

Back at the Dairy

You have the milkmen who deliver the milk but you also have all the backstage stuff that goes on in the dairy itself.

Because I took promotion and became a supervisor (it entitled me to wear a blue coat with light blue collar and sleeve ends instead of red) I would often spend a day working in the dairy. During the day you would have the milk deliveries, thousands of pints of milk which would slide down a watered ramp in stacks, eight crates high. The person at the bottom would have a long metal hook that he would plonk onto the crates and swing them around into the fridge. This was a skill indeed as each stack of crates would slide into perfect place in the fridge. Of course I had to have a go and from a slow beginning started to get the hang of it. I gave up when I got overconfident and swung the crates just a little too hard and the whole stack fell over. Broken milk bottles everywhere again.

We had a small shop where the milkman would order and get things like bread, cream, yoghurts, cakes, eggs and many other things. At the back of the building you had the bays for the milk floats where they had to be plugged in to be charged overnight, you were in big trouble the next day if you forgot to do that.

We also had an engineering department where the floats were serviced and repaired. They had a big lorry available to rescue any floats that broke down, most times they would tow a float in but one day as I was chugging up the final hill back to the dairy doing all of 4 miles an hour this lorry crept up behind me, dropped down a gear and with a loud roar of the engine shunted me up the hill at a good thirty miles an hour. I though Old Nic himself had got me as I had been dreaming and not looking in my rear view mirror.

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