logo - Join me in the 1900s
logo - from the webmaster

Milk transit from cows to
dairies, early 20th century

YOU ARE HERE: home > shops> services to the home > milk delivery

When the cows were milked at the farm, the milk went into large drums known as milk churns. These were left in a shady place for collection by horse and cart and onward transit to a train station. They then travelled by train to the various stations from where they were delivered - again by horse and cart - to dairies.

The following pictures illustrate the process.


Milk churns waiting by the road-side for collection sometime in the 1970s.

Milk churns waiting by the road-side for collection.

My mother asked me to take this photograph sometime in the 1970s while we were on holiday in a rural area. She said it reminded her of her childhood and was a sight rapidly disappearing. In her early 1900s childhood there was no refrigeration and it was no wonder that the milk went off quickly, standing in metal churns beside the road waiting for collection. Even then it had to travel by train to the cities. Pat Cryer, webmaster

Loading milk churns onto a train, about 1920

Loading milk churns onto a train - photographed from a display in the Swindon Steam Museum. According to the caption: 'In the 1920s, 60 express trains brought fresh milk from country farms to cities and towns every day. Today milk is carried entirely by road tankers'.

to top of page

facebook icon twitter icon

This website Join me in the 1900s is a contribution to the social history of everyday life in 20th century Britain from the early 1900s to about 1960, seen through personal recollections and illustrations, with the emphasis on what it was like to live in those times.