Remembering the days of free school milk

Back in September 1978, Dawn Scott, 10, of Laygate Junior School, samples the return of free school milk.
Back in September 1978, Dawn Scott, 10, of Laygate Junior School, samples the return of free school milk.

As a lad, I always looked forward to the clank of crates being bumped along the school corridor, signalling the arrival of our daily bottles of milk.

Every pupil in the juniors was given a little bottle of the white stuff – until 1971 when Maggie Thatcher, who was education secretary at the time, ended free school milk for children over the age of seven.

Mind you, according to the caption on the accompanying photo, Dawn Scott, 10, of Laygate Junior School, was pictured in September 1978 “sampling the return of free school milk with her classmates”.

Posting the photo on Facebook recently, I posed the question as to whether readers liked or loathed school milk?

Sue Leggatt took to social media to say: “It was nice in the winter, not so nice in the summer,” while Carol Smith said: “Sorry no, I didn’t like school milk.

“Even hearing it clattering in the crates along the corridor used to put me off, along with the thick cream on top.”

Denise Jopling Faill told how she “loved it then, don’t now”, while Cheryl Davison said: “Drinking it at school put me off milk as it was always warm”.

A definite fan of the free daily helping was Lisa Ball who said: “Loved it and loved my turn as milk monitor.”

The same was true of Susan Sinclair and Lynsey Freestone.

Peter Watt commented: “Loved milk biccy and story time then the milk snatcher came along.”

Karen McCormick Thomas got in touch to say: “It put me off milk for life,” while Lianne Douglas said simply: “It was disgusting!”

What about you, did you enjoy school milk or did the thought of drinking it make you cringe?

Please drop me a line with your thoughts about this and any other memories associated with your school days.

Another photo posted on Facebook, this time featuring the Lord Clyde pub, also sparked readers’ imaginations.

Agnes George took to social media to say: “Loved it on a Friday after work at John Colliers. Had a great atmosphere in those days.”

Jack Pearce recalled that “in the late 50s and early 60s, they had a parrot. It used some pretty strong language”, while Paul Cooper said: “My uncle Bob and auntie Grace owned it for years, I went from being born I think, used to love it.”

Sidney Williamson commented: “I love to go on Robbie Burns night, that’s when Bob and Grace had it.”

James Sanderson recalled the late 70s, early 80s saying they were “absolutely brilliant, the jukebox had some cracking rock tunes”, while Kathleen Anderson said: “I used to go there in the late 60s and in the 90s, used to love it on a Sunday.”

Sarah Robson told how: “My nana used to work there in the 70s” and Sheldon Langley “worked there, I loved the place”.

Stephen Burr said: “It was a good public pub,” while Dawn Alderson posted: “Went in once, had the bell rung at me when the lad snogged me!”

Meanwhile, the recent article about comics and magazines of old prompted Enid Richardson to list the comics she used to read, namely, Film Fun, Radio Fun and Girls Crystal.

Another reader, Lee Hughes, got in touch with a request for help in tracking down some old photographs.

This is what he wrote: “Would any readers have photos of The John Wright Centre fancy dress parties.

“My late nana, Ada Hughes, was a volunteer for many years, and we have lost the many photos that she had.”

If anyone can help, they can contact me and I’ll pass the details on to Lee.