The Demise of the Milkman’s Horse

May 29, 2008 at 10:58 pm 7 comments

by Loraine Ritchey

That is when I have decided things have gone topsy turvey in this old world and you no longer know where you are anymore…for me it was the doing away with the Milkman’s horse.

I was very , very tiny but I can remember “Charlie” the Milkman’s horse – even though we lived in London – in a semi detached.

Every morning the clinking of milk bottles and the clip clop on the concrete meant I would be able to feed sugar lumps and apples to a great beast of an animal. ( He probably wasn’t that big but to me he was magnificence personified).

I wasn’t alone all the kids and mums in the street would be out, rain or shine, getting their milk, turning back their freshly washed milk bottles ( no forced recycling- times were tough – this was no throw away society) . Neighbors would chat –

How is Mrs. so and so doing – I hear Joes’ mum is poorly- Joanie you had better watch out for the Fredericks chap he is a rotter-

You knew where you were what was respectable behaviour , what would be acceptable – what would not be tolerated – It was a time when “society” made the rules – not into what legal category poor behaviour fell- and how you you get away with this but not that ..

You were sent to Coventry by society – the blind eye was not turned- your neighbors gathering around the Milkman’s horse saw you kept your nose tidy .

And then came the mechanized milk cart-
the children no longer delighted in their milkman , the horse was replaced by puppets on TV – Muffin the Mule

Bottles with notes left on the doorstep for the milkman to collect- slowly the neighborhoods went into their own little houses – cut off from a neighborhood society due to the loss of the Milkman’s horse-

Then supermarkets and big plastic bottles caused us to “progress ” further into civilization and with it the ambiguity of what is acceptable. Society has suffered due to the demise of the the Milkman’s horse – Bring back the Milkman’s horse – I want my guidelines back!


Entry filed under: Brit take, commentary, opinion.

My baby’s getting married —– F.O.P Fundraiser

7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Paula  |  May 30, 2008 at 12:27 am

    Does anyone remember the Milkman in Lorain? We had to use one for Goat’s Milk when Jean was lacotse intolerant in 1980.
    Did anyone have a farmer come down their street with vegetables?
    Charlie Chips?
    Ice Cream Man?
    Ahhhh memories.

  • 2. Kelly Boyer Sagert  |  May 30, 2008 at 12:57 am

    I remember the Creamery delivering milk to our house . . . my grandmother would have Charlie Chips delivered to her house . . . and we would chase after the ice cream man down the street every summer . . .

  • 3. muley  |  May 30, 2008 at 1:31 am

    ….I can remember swiping a bottle of milk from Andy’s hardware on sat mornings on the way to “hot waters” for a day of fishing. This was about 1962 or so. Can y’all remember the tricycle ice cream carts? My uncle ran Sealtest on 28th and Broadway, it was my first job.

  • 4. renee dore  |  May 30, 2008 at 7:56 pm

    My Dad was a Charlie Chip delivery man here in the area in the 60’s. I used to go with him often on his routes. I still have one of the cookie cans from the first time they were offered.
    I remember the horse from the Lorain creamery- our street was one of the last neighborhoods he visited. I remember visiting my grandmother in another state and she had paper milk cartons- I wouldn’t drink milk from the them. It had to be from a glass milk bottle. The milkman to me resembled Captain Penny from TV. That was the hilight of my day- when the horse would come down the street. it broke my hear when he didn’t come around anymore. Renee Dore

  • 5. renee dore  |  May 30, 2008 at 7:58 pm

    oops- that was “broke my heart” when the horse stopped coming down our street. Renee

  • 6. Jan Steinman  |  September 10, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    It’s “back to the future!”

    Although I don’t use a horse, I make twice-a-week deliveries of raw organic goat milk to a small village about 10km from our farm.

    Where can I get one of those spiffy milkman uniforms?

  • 7. Judith Fortus  |  October 9, 2011 at 10:22 am

    I’m afraid it will take more than bringing back the milkman’s horse to reestablish the guidelines! Although it’s a lovely idea.
    The only one I remember is the old rag and bone man who gave you a yo-yo in return for whatever your Mum handed over.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed

Recent Comments



Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 190 other followers

May 2008
« Apr   Jun »