The A – Z of my Childhood – why I Turned Out the Way I Did

M is for Milk


When I was a kid milk did not come in cartons or plastic bottles.

It came in glass bottles with foil lids and it arrived on your doorstep in the early hours of the morning.

I remember lying in bed listening to the clink of the bottles as the milkman ran up the path to our door. Then would come the clank and rattle as he deposited them into the plastic container that my mother had placed on the top step.  He would take the empty bottles and replace them with new ones.  Gold tops with the thick layer of cream on the milk and silver tops for the more homogenised milk.

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Every evening the milkman would drive slowly down the street calling ‘Milko!’ so that anyone who needed any extra milk, cream or yoghurt could easily top up their supplies.

At school, every day, milk would be delivered.  Crates of little bottles, one third of a pint, would be brought to each classroom.  Each of us was expected to drink a bottle of milk with our morning snack.  Since the crates had been delivered early in the morning and had been standing in the sun for approximately five hours, the milk was often quite unpalatable.  The teachers didn’t care what the milk tasted like – they didn’t have to drink it.  Their job was to make sure that we drank it. Some sort of government edict was in place apparently. There was no place for lactose intolerance in the fifties. A note from home was required if one wished to be excused from drinking milk.  Some kids managed to wheedle a note from their folks, but mine would not be part of that.  I would drink my milk. It was good for me.

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Fortunately, a new invention made drinking warm (tending toward sour) milk  far more pleasant.


Flavoured straws.  Placing one of these wonderful things into the milk allowed the drinker to enjoy chocolate or strawberry flavoured milk.  Yum!   Sun-spoiled milk problem solved.  

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I still enjoy milk, icy cold, with cookies.  Yum!  

Do you still drink your milk?



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