Posts Tagged ‘milk’

Doorstep Delivery

August 10, 2014


At Market Lavington Museum we do like to make sure we have a record of the changing scene so today we feature a scene recorded on 25th July 2014.

It’s that doorstep delivery of milk.

The doorstep milk delivery is still going strong in the Lavington area

The doorstep milk delivery is still going strong in the Lavington area

We are lucky still to have a delivering milkman in Market Lavington. Many people now use supermarkets, but for those without a car the milkman is a real essential. Milk is heavy stuff to carry around.

But we are aware that the doorstop delivery of milk may not last for ever, although we hope it’s around for many years to come. We thought we should record what might once have been a common sight – pint milk bottles outside a house.

We can, of course, see potential disadvantages. Those bottles are out in the sun and they are on the side of a street and could be easy pickings for passing thieves. Many of us will remember milk bottles which had been broken in to, via the foil caps, by blue tits!


This is future history in the making. Something so ordinary it could easily be overlooked.

If you live locally, do think to record things before it is too late.

But to re-emphasise – we know of no plans to abandon milk delivery in our area.


West Park Dairy tank wagon

July 20, 2014

Not all items in a museum are old and here is one that is brand new. Back in the 1930s West Park Dairy, based at West Park Farm in Market Lavington had six milk tanker wagons which ran milk from Wiltshire up to London on the Great Western Railway. We have featured a photo of one such wagon in the past. You can click here to read that page but as a reminder, here’s the same photo again.

West Park Dairy tank wagon of the 1930s

West Park Dairy tank wagon of the 1930s

Recently, Hornby produced an OO gauge version of this tank wagon – we’d like to think our blog was in part responsible for this model hitting the market. We have just been given one of the models.

Hornby model of a very similar wagon - 21st century

Hornby model of a very similar wagon – 21st century

And there it is, in its box and packaging – but we’d better take it out for a closer look.

The Hornby 00 Gauge wagon

The Hornby 00 Gauge wagon

We can see that, with the exception of the standard Hornby couplers, it is a pretty good copy of the original wagon. Let’s have a photo to match the one of the real wagon – sideways on.

Sideways view - like the photo of the real wagon

Sideways view – like the photo of the real wagon

It isn’t the same actual wagon and so the differences may be due to that.

What a delightful item to have in a museum – brand new, yet recalling the 1930s.

A baby milk spoon

March 16, 2014

Mother’s milk is usually deemed best for babies, but for some alternatives may be needed and there are plenty of commercial firms who fill the need with formula milk powders. One such company – known for generations – is Cow and Gate. That company had origins as long ago as 1771 when the Gates family opened a grocery store in Guildford. The Gates family turned their hand to milk drying and this became big business – a business involving the cow and the Gates. It was 1929 when the name Cow and Gate became the company name.

At Market Lavington Museum we have a small measuring spoon presumably given by Cow and Gate to aid reasonably accurate measurement. When mixing milk it is important to get the right amount of powder to liquid. Too little powder will mean baby doesn’t get enough of the growth giving ingredients but too much is worse, for the thick liquid doesn’t flow and baby tends to get very little before being worn out by the effort of trying.

Here is our spoon.

Mid 20th century baby milk measure at Market Lavington Museum

Mid 20th century baby milk measure at Market Lavington Museum

This spoon was another of the items which our founder at the museum, Peggy Gye, bought at a jumble sale in the village. It dates from the mid-20th century and is thus about 70 years old now.

The shape and light made it a problem for us to read the writing on a photo, so we resorted to taking the underside of the spoon where the writing is, of course, reversed. But we can digitally reverse the image so it looks right.

The writing embossed in the spoon - made readable digitally

The writing embossed in the spoon – made readable digitally

Obviously it says Cow and Gate in large letters and then the advice that for a full measure you fill to the brim and for a half measure you fill to a line.

From the underside we can see this is a cheaply made item pressed out of tin plate with edges crimped over for safety.

A pint of milk

August 16, 2012

The other day our curator was out walking in the village, taking a path which rises up a steep bank. There had been a lot of rain, washing some of the bank away and revealing a bottle. It was a one pint milk bottle of the older style and had been commandeered by ants as a safe nesting place. Well, unfortunately for them, they lost their nest since the curator thought the bottle could be added to the museum collection. Here it is, with the ants and their fibrous nesting material now gone.

Pre 1988 milk bottle found at Spin Hill, Market Lavington

The bottle has the message that it belongs to Churchfield Dairy, Salisbury.

The bottle belonged to Churchfields Dairy in Salisbury

It is of a type the curator recalls being delivered to his door. It is not of any great age – a fact given away by the flying cow logo.

The bottle has a flying cow logo embossed in the glass

Research (the most useful site proved to be and items at the Wiltshire Heritage Museum, Devizes)  leads us to believe that Churchfields Dairy changed to the newer style of bottle in 1988 so our bottle probably dates from around 1980.

Tarmaccing a drive (2)

January 10, 2012

We looked, yesterday, at the drain cover from our curator’s drive, which was recently resurfaced. Today we look at an unexpected find from under the old tarmac. It is a milk bottle.

This one third of a pint milk bottle must have been under the tarmac for 60 years. Down there it must have been safe from all the movement on the surface and it survived intact. Perhaps more surprisingly the bottle survived the ripping up of the old surface and remains intact. The local firm doing the work told Roger that finding bottles in this way is not unusual. Any found in our area have been promised to the museum.

Here is the bottle.

Milk bottle found under the curator's drive at Market Lavington

We can see, in this photo, the thick, chunky nature of the glass used back in the early 1950s. This, of course, was not an era of recycling. No, it was much better, for things were reused. The bottle would have been returned to the Co-operative Wholesale Society (CWS) dairy, and reused. It therefore paid to make bottles robust.

The only lettering on the bottle is C.W.S. – on opposite sides of the bottle.

CWS - the Cooperative Wholesale Society

The third of a pint bottle was the standard size for school milk. There must have been millions of these bottles in circulation when every child at school was given this drink, each day. How one of them came to be preserved under the curator’s drive, we do not know, but it now finds a home on the kitchen table in the museum.