Monday, 26 March 2012
Bearwood All-Star: Ken The Milk
In a much simpler time before our current world of 24/7 convenience, when you couldn’t just pop down Bearwood High Street to buy a pint, milkmen were real heroes serving the local community and making sure that Bearwood got its daily quota of milk, cheese and cream etc.
Paul Flower’s dad, Ken, (aka 'Ken The Milk') delivered milk in Bearwood for over fifty years – the man’s a legend! The top photo is from the Sunday Mercury and was taken when Ken celebrated his fiftieth year of service. He’s standing next to one of his loyal customers, a lady who used to live in the Merrivale Road area. Do you recognise her? We’d love to know who she was.
Paul told us that his dad used to work like a Trojan and on his rounds covered the end of Bearwood around the school on both sides of the road and all then all the way towards Hadley Stadium. That kind of work ethic’s hard to find now!
"The area of his round covered a sort of triangle from Thimblemill Baths down to Smethwick Old Church and up around Bearwood to that side of the Bear Hotel - sort of the more Smethwick half of Bearwood I suppose. I imagine there's still a lot of people in the area who'd have grown up with their milk being delivered by 'Ken The Milk'."
Paul also remembers his dad driving a horse-drawn float like the one below.
Paul wasn't sure exactly where this photo was taken but he does know that it was on 15th June 1957. Wow, what a memory! The photo features the last horse-drawn Co-Op Milk Float to serve Bearwood. The horse's name was Marvel.
You may remember Paul too – he used to man the CND stall by St Mary’s Church on Saturdays in the very early 80s!
P.S. Bearwood's milkmen are still doing a grand job! Bob Piper told me about MoreFresh on the Bearwood Facebook page. "There's still a great milkman in Bearwood now, Lee gets the milk on the doorstep fresh around 5am most mornings. And you can pay, order, cancel, amend online at the milkandmore website."
Kate Slade also added "There is (more) than one milkman as I get mine from Morefresh. I think there might be 3 different firms around. I find it really reliable and useful."