Friday, February 4, 2011
Compulsory pasteurization after the war finished off ll the small dairies in Wolverton as I have discussed here.
Only the Co-op was big enough to manage this and post war they had the milk monopoly. Their dairy was at the back of the Co-op grocery on the corner of Jersey Road and Church Street. There was also stabling for the horse.
The picture above is not exactly like the Co-op milk float of the 40s and 50s, but it has many of the same features - rubber wheels, a cab for the delivery people at the front and a flatbed dray for the milk crates.
Each morning, very early, Mr & Mrs Odell would don their brown smocks, load the float and harness the horse (Dobbin?) who would patiently haul the load through Wolverton's streets.The float itself was silent. Only the chink of milk bottles betrayed any sound. Often, outside our house, the horse would arch its tail and leave a pile of steaming horseshit in the middle of the road. Within minutes someone would come along with a shovel and bucket to recycle the offending pile as manure.
The Co-op had a system of milk tokens. You would buy these from the Co-op groceries on Church Street or the Square and leave them on the doorstep - the number depending on how many pints you needed that morning.
Bottles in those days had cardboard tops. On very cold mornings the top would freeze and push ff the lids as it expanded.