Milk stirs memories of our past

What is it about milk that stirs our memories? There’s something about the white stuff that takes us back to childhood, before the time when experts [and non-experts] dared to suggest that milk was no good for us.

Before they told us not to drink full cream milk and instead go for skim. Before the days of almond, soy and rice milk.

We’ve been writing this week about the good old days when milk was delivered to our door.

Kahibah’s Daphne Hughes can take this story a step further.

“I'm going back to the 1940s when milk was delivered by horse and cart,” she said.

“My mum used to put out a billycan. Occasionally on a Sunday, the milkman would leave a little bottle of pure cream. Such luxury!

“When this happened, my mum would make an apple pie and the cream would be whipped up into a decadent dessert.

“I still remember milkshakes and many malted milks, which were part of our life at interval at the pictures. I'm sure they tasted better than today.”

Milk Bottle Lids

Donna Norris tells us that many years ago she participated in a competition to collect foil lids from milk bottles.

“I won I think,” Donna, 56, said.

We understand. Memory can be elusive.

Donna continued: “I can't remember the full details, but it was to collect them for the deaf and dumb school at Waratah, near Mater Hospital.

“My grandmother (Ma) and aunt (Amy) helped collect the lids for me. Maybe you could find the Herald paper clip about it. 

“It would have been in the ‘60s.”

Finding that clip might be a tad difficult. But we like your story, Donna.

Milk From A Cow

Edgeworth’s Geoff Masters isn’t happy with milk today.

“What is available today is a very poor excuse for milk,” Geoff said.

“In fact, what you get today is reconstituted milk powder. It could be a matter of a couple of years since it was milk, and all the good stuff that goes to make milk is not a part of it. I refuse to drink it.”

In 1945/46, Geoff’s parents and grandparents ran the dairy at the top of Fairfax Road, Speers Point.

“When I was five years old, I used to go with my father delivering the milk all around the area,” he said.

This was before the days of bottled milk.

“People left out a billycan and on the milk cart, we had ¼-, ½-, 1-pint and quart measuring jugs, which were used to take the milk from the large stainless steel vat to the billycan at the doorstep.

“When the milking was in progress, my dog and I used to lay on the floor under the cow and Dad would squirt the milk into both our mouths. There is nothing like milk straight from the cow.”

Creamy Treat

Reader Don emailed us this yesterday: “Just had a flashback to 1932. Kindy school, Hamilton. The little squat milk bottles had a cardboard top. First thing after taking the top off was to lick off the cream stuck to it. I looked forward to that playtime treat”.

The Milko’s Bible

Neil Coutts was a milko from 1979 to 1981 in the Charlestown/Kahibah area.

“I was the youngest milko at that time, being 19 years old,” Neil said.

He sent us a picture of “the milko’s bible”.

This was “a run book”, with customer delivery records. Milk was 26 cents per 600ml bottle, he said.

“The only other products were skim milk in a carton and a low fat milk called Hi Lo.”