Archive pictures capture heyday of doorstep milk deliveries

Members of the Thomson family in the 1980s

Jack Thompson with brother Reg’s van in the 1940s

Bottling half pints at Keldgate, Beverley, in the 1950s

First published in News York Press: Photograph of the Author by

A NEW exhibition has been launched to reflect on the work of North and East Yorkshire’s milkmen in years gone by.

More than 50 years of images and documents from the archives of Beverley-based Thomsons Dairies will be on show from this month, including these photographs.

The archives run from the 1940s to the early 1990s, and include pictures of old milk floats, from a time when early- morning doorstep deliveries of glass bottles were essential, before increased availability of milk in supermarkets.

Sam Bartle, collections officer with the dairy, said: “As generations come and go, these archives will act as a reminder of the days of the milkman, and teach us about what was once a way of life for millions.”

Thompsons Dairies was first established in 1882, and was originally a small scale operation in a yard in Keldgate, before growing to the main supplier of milk and other products in the area, and a competitor to Dale Farm, until it ceased trading in 1992.

The exhibition, at the East Riding Archives & Local Studies Service in Beverley, aims to “preserve the cherished memory of our friendly milkman”, and also contains daily logs of deliveries made to schools throughout the East Riding, and sales records which show exactly what was sold by the business on a weekly basis – not just milk, but bread, fruit juice and other non-dairy produce.

The archives can be requested to view in the Research Room of the Treasure House, Champney Road, Beverley.

Comments (3)

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9:29am Thu 9 Jan 14

smudge2 says...

The good old pint bottle ....frozen cream in winter and bird pecked in summer..Happy days..always looked forward to my 1/3 rd of a pint bottle at school with a straw..still everything has to change or mobile phones would still be two cocoa tins with a bit of string in between .!!
The good old pint bottle ....frozen cream in winter and bird pecked in summer..Happy days..always looked forward to my 1/3 rd of a pint bottle at school with a straw..still everything has to change or mobile phones would still be two cocoa tins with a bit of string in between .!! smudge2
  • Score: 6

11:02am Thu 9 Jan 14

Grey Lady says...

smudge2 wrote:
The good old pint bottle ....frozen cream in winter and bird pecked in summer..Happy days..always looked forward to my 1/3 rd of a pint bottle at school with a straw..still everything has to change or mobile phones would still be two cocoa tins with a bit of string in between .!!
I can still hear the chink of the bottles and the clunk as they we're put down on the step.
[quote][p][bold]smudge2[/bold] wrote: The good old pint bottle ....frozen cream in winter and bird pecked in summer..Happy days..always looked forward to my 1/3 rd of a pint bottle at school with a straw..still everything has to change or mobile phones would still be two cocoa tins with a bit of string in between .!![/p][/quote]I can still hear the chink of the bottles and the clunk as they we're put down on the step. Grey Lady
  • Score: 2

2:22am Fri 10 Jan 14

Magicman! says...

I can still remember the hum of the milk float as it glided down the street at 7am... and this was only about 20 years ago, maybe slightly less.
I can still remember the hum of the milk float as it glided down the street at 7am... and this was only about 20 years ago, maybe slightly less. Magicman!
  • Score: 0

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