Sonny Firman started his milk delivery business in 1932 in the Langdon Hills area
Sonny (Seager) Firman started his milk delivery business in 1932 in the Langdon Hills area. Milk was collected in churns from the farmer Dan Markham at Great Berry and then bottled and delivered by trade bike to the customers. Empty bottles where then collected hand washed and sterilised. As the years passed the number of customers grew and the area widened, the milk was then delivered by horse and cart. More staff were employed and in one outlying area, Berry Park, the milk was delivered by a small van.
As time went by milk became pasteurised and was collected from the bottling plant in Laindon, which later moved to South East Essex Dairies in Cranes Farm Road Basildon.
During the 1960s the horse and carts were replaced by small vans, and in turn in the 1970s milk floats took the place of the vans.
Firmans Dairies was a family run business, my mother doing the paperwork, myself, sisters Brenda and Audrey on hand to help in all aspects of the business. Our husbands were also “roped in” to help when we were married. Brenda’s husband Vic decided the milk delivery service was a good healthy way of life and so worked for many years in the business.
My parents retired in 1979, the business was sold to Whife and Slopers, a local company from the Markhams Chase area in Laindon.