Does anyone remember the milkman delivering soft drinks in a crate?

Welcome to our Coffee Break forum! Here you can chat to other members, not just about cooking, food, ingredients and recipes, but anything that takes your fancy. Share your stories, culinary or otherwise. So. What’s on your mind today?


Previous | Page :  1  2
Esther R

I remember the coalman

I can remember the coal man and remember in that freezing winter of 1962 that the real fear for us was running out of coal. The state of the roads didn't bother us too much as my parents worked within walking distance of home and not many people we knew had a car. I understand that in the awful winter of 1947 it was much worse because of rationing. I remember a story of my mum's friend bringing a bucket of coal over to her by bus because of the shortages.

This is a long way from the tales of the milkman bringing soft drinks!

Queen of Puds

And the rag & bone man?

I have a vague recollection of the rag & bone man, but nonetheless in my living memory...


Rag & Bone

I remember the rag and bone man that used to come round and you could buy, I think they were called 'donkey stones', for whitening the doorsteps. I also recall a Betterwear man that came round and he became an acquaintance even attending my brother and mother's funerals some 40 years after he began to call round with his wares.


violet eyes

who remembers the chimney sweep?

On the morning he came we had to roll back the carpet, cover the table and chairs, remove all the ornaments because they would be covered in soot otherwise. If I was at home I would look to see when the brushes came out the chimney. All the soot was put into bags, and that was a messy job. We had coal and coke delivered, the coke was for heating the kitchen which I think heated the water.
The Corona man came on a friday evening,just in time for the weekend. We had 3 bottles of orange fizz. Also remember the small bottles of orange from the milkman. It was nothing like the orange that we get from cartons nowadays, but I liked it.
Hated milk at school it was too warm and even now I can only drink really cold milk straight from the fridge.


Chimney sweep

I remember this well, Violet. And yes, they were very messy.

What a contrast to today. I first booked a chimney sweep here a few years ago and laid out tarps etc. What a shock when he turned up and swiftly cleaned the chimney, leaving not a sign of the task on either himself or my home. A very welcome discovery!

It has just occurred to me that I have a wood burning fireplace here versus coal etc. I wonder if that makes a difference to the cleaning process in term of residual dirt?

Essex Girl


Milk was delivered every day - no soft drinks, though - and so was bread. I remember the huge bread basket Ena the bread lady carried on her arm. We always used to have a white sandwich load and occasionally brown but I didn't like the brown. Now and then a fish and chip man used to stop in our road and ring his bell. Whenever coal was delivered I was made to sit at the window and count each sack as the coalmen delivered them as my mother had heard that they sometimes short-changed people! Every year my father used to have a trailer load of manure delivered and I had to help take it down the back garden in a wheelbarrow! I remember gypsies selling pegs at the door and I was always a bit frightened of them. My father bought his own set of brushes and swept the chimney himself. I used to go outside and watch the brush come out the top of the chimney.

violet eyes

remembering the past

Also on friday evening the insurance man called, he always said "hello duck" to my Mum. I don't know if this was the same with you all but everyone came to the back door. I think the only person who knocked on the front door was the rent man on a monday morning.
I do recall that in the summer holidays when all us kids would be playing in the street we would see a man coming down the road carrying a suitcase. He would've come up from London by train. We would all run like ants into our houses warning our Mums not to answer the door.
And yes the coal bags had to be counted.
Happy Days.


Coal man

Interesting that you all seem to have had coal sacks. At my home, the coal men took the coal themselves right round to the back of the house, where they emptied it directly into a coal cellar. I used to sit by the coal cellar as a child, loving to watch the coal tumbling down.

This brings to mind a very clear memory from when I was about 5. I recall telling the coal man that we were going to Spain the next day and would all be gone for 2 weeks. Not something I suspect my ma and pa would have wanted me to share with strangers!!

Dottie May


Lovely stories - I'm thoroughly enjoying them all. One other thing I remember was when someone in the village died, a certain elderly lady would come to the house and "lay out" the person. The coffin was made by the local Carpenter. I expect these days all these jobs are covered by Undertakers.

Tricia C


I don't remember those crates, but I do remember small milk bottles containing a vibrant orange drink that tasted like a very strong orange squash. Goodness knows what was in it!

sam from worthing

Home delivery memories

we regularly had the rag and bone man come down our street - a week felt like a month in those days - so he probably came trundling along once a month every 6 weeks, with his grand old shire horse and flat dad was one for following the cart up the road to collect deposits that old nag left behind - but he had competition with several other neighbours, i do remember having to wait at the bottom of the road, and running home to yell he was coming.

The coal man, is another blast i had forgotten, our coal cellar was actually a little brick built shed thing in our front garden with a massive (or so it seemed) heavy lid, that they opened and poured the coal in - and then the coal shelter had a tiny door like a big cat flap, that we had to shovel it out from.

I also remember the bin men coming down the back passage (oooh err mrs) to collect the old tin dustbins - that literally did just contain dust, and i am only talking late 1970's - the bin was never filled with carrier bags or packaging or veg peelings!

I remember the insuranc eman coming round once a week too.

Also the pools man (no not swimming pools, the little woods football pools.... I remember watching the football results show, and telling my dad when it said 1 or 3 points after the results....after watching big daddy and giant haystacks wrestling.

Biggles !

The Good Ole Days ???

Remember them well as far back as the 50's. I remember we had the occasional delivery of Tizer, more often Cream soda which Mum would float a scoop of ice cream in on a hot summer afternoon; such a treat. Twas not the milkman. Must have been a different delivery to the milk. Beautiful thread though; gawn back to me childhood, as I sort of remember it probably through rose tinted glasses. But not the day the Sweep came. I well remember the carpets over the washing line and having to be beaten, and watch for the brush out of the chimney. Good days but I do think life might be just a bit better now, No scraping the heavy jack frost from the inside of the window panes, etc, etc.....

violet eyes

rose tinted glasses

Biggles I think I'm guilty of seeing the past through the same coloured specs as you. I'm sure life wasn't all fun and laughter for everyone in the 'good old days' and the sun didn't shine all the time even though it seemed like it did.
Anyone remember buying a quarter of lemonade powder the sort you mixed with water to make a cheap drink. By the time I got home my finger would be a strange yellow colour from dipping and licking the grainy powder out of the paper bag. Bet I wouldn't like it now.

It's good that James started this thread because I think many of us of a certain age are happy to talk about the past and it helps if we are wearing those 'rose tinted glasses'



Yes, terrific thread!

As a young boy in the 1960s at a time when we had the pig-bin collected by the local farmer and a REAL rag-and-bone-man with shire horse I remember Job's Dairy delivering on electric floats. There were six in my household and I think we had 2/3 crate of Jersey milk a day (!!). I think the milkman also delivered bottled orange juice, potatoes, eggs, and bread? I was very young so might have been mistaken. Certainly the milkman didn't just deliver milk and not long after Ringo Starr got in the papers for buying a milk float for himself for fun at home. I believe that Benny Hill was actually a milkman at one time (though I don't suppose he delivered to us).

But what sticks in my memory the most was milk in tall clear bottles with a crown cork on (like the top of a beer bottle). I believe it was called 'sterilised' milk and as a child I loved it though the adults detested it having had a shortage of fresh milk during WW2 and later.

Can anyone confirm that it would have been sterilised milk, and whether it had an unusually rich flavour compared with fresh?


Home Deliveries

Yes it would have been Sterilised milk, I used to like it but only ever had it when we visited my grandmother's house. Although I think Mum used to use it for making milk puddings, Rice etc.
Yes it was richer than ordinary milk and had quite a distinctive taste.

I agree, good thread James .

Previous | Page :  1  2

Return to Homepage
Visit the Delia Online Cookery School



CMS solutions by