local food column In September 2015 I challenged readers to track down their local milkman/woman and get to know them  and their products.

This challenge was set after I discovered that the online presence of milkmen and women is zero. It is c  clear that there ARE a number of milk floats drifting around Lancashire in the early morning. But…Who  drives these milk floatsWhere do they source their milk from? Where do they deliver to?  How can you start getting a deliveryWhat products do they offer other than milk? How  much does it cost to get a delivery?’

 The milkman challenge hoped to answer some of these questions and contribute information to LESS’s online local food directory, to make it easier for local residents to find local food delivery schemes.

I had a number of great responses all of which can be found on the Growing Our Local Food Economy’s (GOLFE) blog. One of my favorite ‘reports’ was from Sue Parish: 

I live up in Moorlands, and I’ve had a succession of brilliant milkman over the past twenty years, including Stuart (a tall bloke who wore proper clogs, looked a bit like John Wayne, and got my milk onto the doorstep even when there was so much snow the buses weren’t running…), and several others, all excellent”.

 “The round seems to periodically get handed on from one milkman to another, usually seamlessly”.

 “My current milkman is called Mark Seward and he’s absolutely marvellous. Never gets an order wrong, and even delivers on bank holidays. He does all kinds of milk (including organic), eggs, fruit juice, and other things as well, especially at Christmas”.

 “Years ago the milkman used to come round every Friday to be paid, which I rather liked, and it may be that for some customers that’s still the way it works. These days I send my orders by text and pay my monthly bill by BACS. So the other thing about Mark is that not only is he brilliant but I have no idea what he looks like!”

“A few months ago I also spotted a real, old fashioned electronic milk float, drifting with a gentle whir up East Road late at night. I was so intrigued I did stop them, and discovered that, as the milkman was unwell, two colleagues were helping with his round that night as well as going on to do their own the following day. The sound of a milk float, which is indeed rarely heard now, was wonderfully nostalgic.”

To contribute information about your local milkman/woman to the milkman challenge please email food@lessuk.org

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