The Following Two Photographs Kindly Loaned By Brenda Parker
Norman Frosts (Felix buses) first Charabanc
The First New Yeates Bodied Dennis Lancet Mk III
The first new Yeates bodied Dennis Lancet Mk III LNU 36 arrived in July 1947 and is seen heading up the trio of company vehicles ahead of BRA 86 and an unknown Bedford on Wharncliffe Road, Ilkeston. This location was used primarily on Saturdays to allow the market place (and usual termination point) to be used by stallholders. However this shot appears too quiet for this and could be a Sunday excursion.
The same vehicle after a complete new body had been fitted in 1956 to the new style of ‘full fronted’. The work was carried out by Yeates and shows the Riviera FC35F design obscured only slightly by long term driver, Basil Flint. Final disposal took place in 1965 after eighteen years service.
THE LAST MILK FLOAT IN WEST HALLAM and Surrounding Areas.
By Jeff Wynch and Elaine Sarson November 2017
The gentle whine of an electric motor and the clink of bottles are not heard very much these days. Not so long ago they formed the soundtrack to everyone’s early mornings as the often unseen milkman made sure that the nation’s cereal bowls never ran dry. The dairyman is not extinct, but he is an endangered species, getting around mostly in a noisy diesel truck instead of an almost silent electric vehicle, serving the dwindling number of customers who out of habit, loyalty or necessity still pick up their milk from the doorstep rather than the supermarket.
Until 3rd November this year the last electric milk float in the area, and as far as I know, for miles around, quietly patrolled West Hallam, Mapperley, Stanley and Stanley Common, delivering 22 gallons a day, four days a week. And yes, milkmen do still talk in gallons. This is a far cry from the late 80’s and early 90’s when Andrew Wint, the owner of the float, was the “Personality Profile” of the month in the July 1993 issue of the West Hallam & Mapperley magazine. Then he employed two people full time and one part time with three floats delivering over 200 gallons a day plus juice, potatoes, eggs and other produce, six days a week. In Ilkeston no fewer than 21 floats glided around the streets: thirteen operated by the Co-op, six by Northern Dairies and two by the Shaw brothers. When Andrew started his business in 1980 there were three independent dairymen covering West Hallam, Mapperley, Stanley and Stanley Common.
Andrew’s milk float and Dave, his roundsman for the last 10 years, both retired on 3rd November, but even in the 1990’s Andrew could see the writing on the wall for home milk deliveries. He had always raised beef cattle and kept free range hens, but now it was time to diversify even further, a step made possible by the purchase of Oakfield Farm on Belper Road. As the milk side slid into a natural decline in the face of competition from the supermarkets and new shopping habits Andrew added turkeys and sheep to his livestock. His wife Karen set up an equestrian business and now has a riding school and tack shop, and runs pony club and other events at the farm. Eventually Andrew opened a farm shop selling his own meat products and eggs alongside fresh fruit and vegetables, plus beer from the Nutbrook Brewery, an independent local brewery which just happens to be based at Oakfield Farm! It is thanks to this diversification that the milk round, which started in 1975, lasted so long.
Andrew’s previous milk float cost him £650 and lasted 13 years. This second and final one started life as a street cleaning vehicle in Brighton and Hove and spent some time as a factory runabout in Birmingham before being used to deliver beer in Nottingham. When its batteries were stolen the owners listed it on Ebay where Andrew spotted it and bought it for £460. Unlike the other local dairymen Andrew never made use of the charging facilities at the Co-op depot on Derby Road, Ilkeston. In the winter of 1992 when the snow and ice brought down the local power lines he towed his vehicles to Heanor so that he could charge the batteries. Not surprisingly Andrew can claim never to have missed a day’s deliveries in his life.
Incidentally the old Co-op charging bays and refrigerated store, although no longer in use, can still be seen in the yard behind what is now the Bristol Street Motors Nissan Dealership. I understand that they are not likely to be there much longer. When they are demolished it will be the end of an era.
But it is the start of a new era for Andrew, Karen and family. Building is underway for a new farm shop, coffee shop and restaurant. They hope to have the new farm shop open before Christmas and the coffee shop and restaurant early in the New Year. Until then you can still enjoy the locally produced meat, fresh fruit and veg in the current farm shop, as well as scrumptious home made cider and Nutbrook Brewery’s selection of locally brewed beers.
Oakfield Farm, Belper Road, Stanley Common DE7 6FP