Friday, 7 August 2015

Milk Bottles.. . . Yes, "Milk Bottles"!

I'm pretty much confined to barracks at the moment, having hurt my back, meaning I can't get out and about very much. No monitoring of moorings for CRT and I've even had to turn down the offer a day or two's boating on Jubilee with Halfie.

But I can still sit behind a computer (as long as I don 't do so for very long), so here goes.

Like a lot of men - and it is mainly men - I have the urge to collect things. I think it's the last remnants of the hunter-gatherer instinct in us. I started with stamps and then engine-numbers, which led to bus numbers and then bus tickets (and to a very satisfying career in public transport!) and there have been other things along the way.

So, after we'd moved to Lancaster and arranged a daily milk delivery to the house (we had no choice: Colin, the milkman, had delivered to several previous occupants and wasn't going to lose a sale without a fight) I couldn't help but notice the variety of branded bottles that the milk came in. 

I don't know whether this is a new thing - it is with beer glasses in pubs  - and in Hereford our milk came in plain clear glass bottles, but I found it fascinating.  I like to believe I'm mature enough now not to actually collect the bottles, but I'll confess to photographing them.

Here are a few

Creamline of Eccles
and Kendal
Joylan of Preston
Kay's of Wigan
Jackson's of Hazel Grove
Morton's of Maghull

Wells Fram of Bradley, Staffs.
Shepherd's of Catterall
White House of Knutsford

 The milk itself all comes from a farm in Warton, north of Lancaster but the bottles come from a wide range of locations across Lancashire, Cheshire, Westmoreland and even Staffordshire. I think most of the dairies concerned are still in  business, so it's not a case of buying up surplus stock but perhaps milk bottles have developed a method of migration around the country?!

Incidentally, if you are concerned about the way in which supermarkets are forcing down the incomes of dairy farmers because they can buy cheaper milk from Europe the best way to support them is to buy your milk from your local milkman. We pay 63p a pint (£1.11 a litre) for organic semi-skimmed. That's 30p a litre more than the same stuff advertised on Tesco's website today (and they claim to be supporting farmers with higher prices) but for that we get it delivered to the door and the satisfaction of knowing we are keeping a local dairy and a friendly milkman in business.

Makes a change from blogging about boats!


Mark Doran said...

We get a thrice-weekly milk delivery but only in standard unmarked "southern" bottles. The labelling of individual dairies' bottles makes me wonder if there's any central collection point to repatriate bottles that have gone astray. Or perhaps like 16-ton mineral wagons in 1948 they've been agglomerated into a nationwide common-user pool despite still showing the names of the collieries, or in this case dairies, that previously owned them? Another analogy might be ale casks the ownership of which are indicated by variously-coloured stripes, but in that case the breweries only collect and will only fill their own. A fascinating subject Jim!
(Incidentally, when I worked at Arpley Marshalling Yard we handled sand traffic from Oakamoor to the CWS milk-bottle factory at Bamfurlong)

Davidss said...

I'm another who is pleased to get milk delivered in bottles, 4 times a week in my case. I had noted the variation in labelled bottles, but hadn't thought to collect examples, even photographically.
I had also wondered how they migrated; but not for many seconds.
I rinsed one out yesterday that said it cost 15p, so please return it rather than bin it.