Family-run dairy celebrates 60 years of doorstep deliveries

A family-run dairy in Bletchley is celebrating 60 years of doorstep deliveries.

Thursday, 8th September 2016, 8:00 am
Steven and Anthony Taylor

Taylor’s Dairies, based in Dawson Road, was established on September 16, 1956 and today delivers milk and other goods to almost 5,000 customers around the Milton Keynes area.

Anthony Taylor, who now runs the business, said: “We still have the very same battery powered (rechargeable) old fashioned milk floats and still deliver glass bottles as well as other goods like bread, eggs and Christmas hampers.”

Taylor’s employ 10 loyal staff who have served over 150 years’ service between them, including milkman Alan Pearce who has worked for 41 years and not had a single day off sick.

Taylor's milk float

Anthony said: “It is very popular for the elderly and vulnerable who rely on our service, especially during the bad weather.

“We provide a great service where a lot of our customers may live alone and look forward to their weekly chat with the milkman as we collect the money from the doorstep during Thursdays and Friday afternoons.” Taylor’s has also introduced an online service for orders and payment.

Anthony said: “On the anniversary day we are serving some cake to our loyal staff but it will be business as usual as the milkman will be out delivering early in the morning and later collecting money and chatting to our customers.”

The dairy was started by Anthony’s late father, former Mayor of Milton Keynes David Taylor, and is today the only one continuing with doorstep deliveries.

Taylor's milk float

When it was established there were at least 12 local dairies that delivered milk.

Anthony said: “I started helping my dad deliver milk aged eight and have worked there since 1977, the same year that my son Steven was born, and who has also worked as a milkman at Taylor’s dairies since 2010.

“My late father retired in 1988 and I took over the company and we are now the only milk delivery company left that is based in Milton Keynes which delivers milk to the doorstep, which is a valuable service to our customers.”

David started out by helping the milkman in Buckingham when he was just eight years old.

Anthony said: “On September 16, 1956 my father’s dream of having his own milk round became true when he started out on his own around Newton Longville and Taylor’s dairies was established.

On his first day, he delivered 480 pints of Channel Island cream milk in glass bottles to 250 customers, which were all from Guernsey cows.

“He delivered seven days a week as the quality of the milk was poor and very few customers had a fridge to keep it fresh. He introduced pasteurised milk a year later from another local dairy and was once told not to bother with semi-skimmed milk as he was told it would not sell – semi skimmed milk has been always the best seller since being introduced in the 1980’s.

“In the 1950’s every household had milk delivered as there were no supermarkets and it was popular in cooking as well as for drinking, so doorstep delivery was in full demand despite all the competition from other local dairies.

“The price of milk then was strictly controlled by the government and was about 4 pence per pint in today’s money.”