National Dairy Festival 1957

This interesting photograph from the 1957 Times and Recorder shows the many milk suppliers there were in the Laindon area at that time.

There was even a National Dairy Festival held in June and South Essex Dairies had their own Dairy Queen riding on a float in the Southend Carnival.  It’s a shame her name isn’t mentioned.

Here is a link to an article in the Echo from 2007:

Click to enlarge the image
Times & Recorder

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  • This is an interesting point raised by Alan. The newspaper cutting provided by Nina is dated June 1957, the summer we moved down from Barking to a new house in Nichol Road, Laindon. Even in Barking very few people had a fridge. However, the shops there were in walking distance on good roads and the milk delivered by the United Dairies floats every day.

    In Laindon there were many dairies but of a smaller and more local nature. The same for butchers, we used the Co-op butcher in Barking but more local ones in Laindon, depending on how far Mum wished to walk along the High Road, usually with a pram in those early days. Shortly after we moved in we had a brand new Hoover, Hoovermatic washing machine, a Radio Rentals TV and a fridge. What a life for Mum, hoovering, washing clothes, shopping in the High Road and polishing the floor tiles with Johnsons Glo-coat, just like those modern women in the adverts. Our doctor was Dr. Long in the Hiawatha surgery and Mum’s midwife (needed twice during our time in Laindon) was Nurse Broom. As for church, this was St Nicholas Church up on the hill, I clearly remember the christenings of two of my brothers, Rob then later, Chris taking place there and the family coming down from Barking to attend.

    As for the school milk, delicious when cold in the winter, warm and not so good in the summer. Very happy days.

    By Richard Haines (01/09/2014)
  • Why were there so many milk suppliers? Was it in part that milk was a very perishable product, particularly in summer and that delivery (to a customer base that had no refrigeration facilities) had to be daily and limited to a small local area? Did the milk suppliers have other outlets? For example did Howards sterilised milk buy from local producers and then process to a product which would not sour as readily, if at all? Presumably milk production fluctuated depending on the season and other factors. Did the retail prices similarly fluctuate depending on supply? Or did the suppliers have to throw away any surplus? Who was lucky enough to land the contract for supplying schools? Or did each school have a different supplier? Was the contract(s) up for bid every year?

    The number of competitive businesses vis a vis the population in the Laindon area has always puzzled me. The number of butchers in the Laindon High Road was well over ten. Six or more greengrocers, seven or eight grocers, six or seven newsagents. Astonishing! Yet they all somehow seemed to make money and stay in business.

    At the other end of the spectrum there were two doctors, two chemists and four pubs. The number of churches, if one includes every little one roomed wooden shack that called itself a chapel, church, mission etc., was indeed astounding for the size of the population.

    By Alan Davies (31/08/2014)

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