Cowart's Common Room
School Milk

Just wondered if I could pick your brains about school milk...what memories do you have of it (I bet we all have the same) and for those who have children at school now, are they taking part in a school milk scheme? Trying to work out the ins-and-outs of the SMS is a bit of a nightmare - funding wise....Thanks

Posted at 2nd Dec 2008 - 12:13PM   Posted by Mootia   School Milk Comments: 21

Unpeuloufoque's Avatar Being forced to spend entire playtimes standing drinking it in the playground through a waxed paper straw, warm and yucky in summer icy in winter, never could drink through straws without flattering them hence it was torture.

Posted by: Unpeuloufoque on 2nd Dec 2008 at 12:33PM

Preseli Mags's Avatar Why did they have to leave it out in the sun until it was warm? Yuk. How to put someone off milk for life. I remember there were certain parts of the year when the milk was actually drinkable, the rest of the time it was warm, sour or frozen.

Mine get free milk until the age of seven in dinky little mini plastic milk bottles from a local dairy, served CHILLED (lucky them!). After the age of seven they can opt to carry on having milk, but have to contribute to the cost (not sure how much though.)

Posted by: Preseli Mags on 2nd Dec 2008 at 12:40PM

Arosebyanyothername's Avatar I liked school milk (and school dinners too!). During the winter the bottles were arranged around the stove to defrost them so part of the milk was slightly warm with a knob of frozen milk in the middle. Because I liked it I often got to drink other children's milk as well.

Posted by: Arosebyanyothername on 2nd Dec 2008 at 12:50PM

Fennie's Avatar Oh yes, frozen milk. Standing it by the tortoise stove to make it melt. Frost was frost in those days! Drinking through straws and, like UPL, flattening them. Given one straw at a time. I was at school when they still had rationing! Standing on milk bottles (one third of a pint) so they would shoot out from under your feet like a lemon pip and go spinning away across the playground. Blue tits pecking open all the tops to drink the cream. Bottles of sour, congealed milk, weeks old, turning up in unlikely cupboards. I never liked the stuff until I was too old to need it, then I couldn't get enough of it. Mind you, milk was milk in my day, not the namby-pamby white water cholesterol free nonsense of today - and it came in two strengths - full cream or Jersey, with cream that you could scoop out and put on your strawberries. I suppose it was pasteurised - after a fashion - but certainly not homogenised. It came in metal - fancy that! metal! - crates marked property of whoever the dairy was. And then there were all those things you could do with the aluminium tops, washed and flattened. Oh gosh, this really makes me feel old!

Posted by: Fennie on 2nd Dec 2008 at 12:55PM

Unpeuloufoque's Avatar When I was little we'd walk to the dairy to get a can of milk, now we get milk from a local farm here still warm from the cow, I'd proably have my kids taken in to care if I gave them fresh milk in the UK before it has been blasted and b****rised into a thin coloured water. I was given a very old fashioned look when I suggested to a complaining Brit monaing that you couldnt get fresh milk in Brittany that if they wanted fresh milk they patronized thier local dairy farm.

Posted by: Unpeuloufoque on 2nd Dec 2008 at 01:25PM

Salle de Bain's Avatar The milk monitor (a monthly honour) was an important person at our primary school. That child, elected according to the rota (there would be an ink monitor, book monitor, milk monitor etc.) would be allowed out of class a few minutes before the morning break bell went, in order to go down to the kitchens. The milklady (my best friend's Mum!) would leave a crate of Unigate 'dumpy' bottles and silver tops.

The monitor would have to skewer each foil lid with a meat skewer (remember the proper butcher's ones with a twisted stem and a loop at the top?), and then insert a paper straw.

Can't begin to go into the many uses we found for bottletops...but I remember washing them, and how the smell of sour milk always lingered, however careful you were with the cleaning.

One Christmas I had to play the part of a dancing Romany at the Village Hall do. I used flattened school milk bottle tops to make the little symbals on my home made tambourine. I then folded loads of them into quarters and made jangling ankle chains and bracelets.

I remember bluetit holes too, and how the milk tasted different if it had been frozen. I preferred it that way.

Posted by: Salle de Bain on 2nd Dec 2008 at 01:30PM

I remember when they stopped doing free milk except if you had a "health reason". My mother, being a teacher, knew how to work the system and simply wrote "Heavy winter colds" on our forms so the three of us continued to get free milk. Everyone thought we were consumptive!!

Posted by: Expatmum on 2nd Dec 2008 at 01:49PM

Lampworkbeader's Avatar In the 1950s school milk was always frozen solid in the winter and had to be put on the radiators to defrost, making it almost undrinkable. (That says a lot about winters then, rather than milk)The big boys were always milk monitors and had to carry it in the crates from the gate. I remember being terribly impressed by how strong they were.You could use the straws as pipettes and suck up just enough milk to fill a friends inkwell, it would curdle into a lovely blue mass. With a bit of luck, if you were caught, you could spend playtime in the warm, washing out the inkwells as a punishment.In the 1960s, or was it early in 1970, I remember chanting Thatcher Thatcher, milk snatcher at a demonstration. That was when the old bat stopped milk for primary aged children and my kids had just started school.

Posted by: Lampworkbeader on 2nd Dec 2008 at 01:53PM

Wasn't it Barbara Castle who stopped the milk? I was glad, because it was awful, and since those days I have always hated milk.

Posted by: Sueatkilmeedy on 2nd Dec 2008 at 02:08PM

Mootia's Avatar Lampie, you are right about Thatcher stopping milk - she was then Secretary of State and needed to do some cost-cutting and the axe fell on milk for the over-7s...

Posted by: Mootia on 2nd Dec 2008 at 02:56PM

BLEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! School milk, the stuff of vomit inducing nightmares.

As the daughter of a dairy farmer I was surrounded by the stuff, thick and creamy, running down one of those old corrugated coolers, before it was bottled and taken out in our old Moggy van to deliver around the village. As children our job was to put the tops on with a round, hand held plunger thing. My grandpa taught my sister and I our times tables as we developed the rhythm of lid-press-crate. I seem to recall the school milk bottles were gills.
Loathing milk, from the day I was weaned according to my mother, trying to get rid of my daily poison undetected was a major trauma of every school day.

After we sold the milk round, and raw milk straight from the farm was no longer permitted, we had a really snowy winter when the dairy wagons couldn't get through to deliver the pasteurised stuff in bottles. By the same token the tankers couldn't get through to collect our milk from the bulk tank, so my father filled up the old churns we had, put them on a trailer and drove around the village flogging it straight from the churn. People had to bring their own jugs and absolutely loved it.

To this day I never touch the stuff. Blink

Posted by: @themill on 2nd Dec 2008 at 03:21PM

Mootia's Avatar Were those aluminium tops, @ATM?

Posted by: Mootia on 2nd Dec 2008 at 04:01PM

Milla's Avatar I'm with Lampie and ATM. LOATHE the stuff, have black coffee, black tea if anything (but tea v over-rated imo), no cereal. Just cannot bear it. And, yes, I blame those vile little bottles (the thought makes me gag) sweltering in the sun. Me and my friend KN asked if we could mix ours with nesquik to make it tolerable but of course this wasn't allowed. No good idea of a child was ever allowed back then.

Posted by: Milla on 2nd Dec 2008 at 04:05PM

Angel's Avatar What lovely memories.

It made me laugh remembering the warm stuff in the bottles at school.

My Nan always bought 'steri' milk. Imagine how that tasted on my weetabix! If you think school milk was bad you should have tasted sterilised milk.


Posted by: Angel on 2nd Dec 2008 at 05:16PM

They were sort of tin foil I suppose. Not sure if that's aluminium or not. My maternal grandfather worked in the co op dairy and at Christmas used to bring us rolls of the left over stuff that had had the tops cut out of it and we used it for streamers.

Posted by: @themill on 2nd Dec 2008 at 05:21PM

Exmoorjane's Avatar Total ditto to PreseliMags......
Not sure if James has milk at school now but he certainly did at state primary (in the way PM said).
Nesquik brillliant idea....though warm nesquik? Still yukky. Nesquik looks funny - are we spelling it right?

Gold top scrummy though - very VERY cold on cereal. Had it once a year as a treat.

Posted by: Exmoorjane on 2nd Dec 2008 at 05:28PM

Fennie's Avatar I think they were made from broken melted down aeroplanes - the tops that is. Parents handed in their saucepans, they became Spitfires and then later the Spitfires became milkbottle tops and, I suppose, saucepans again. Ah - we knew a thing or too about recycling in those days.

I suspect this is complete rubbish, but it sounds as if it ought to be true. Certainly, we were implored to save milk bottle tops for some grand purpose. Then came the dreaded tetrapak, which came from Sweden. (Not everything that comes from Sweden is good).

Posted by: Fennie on 2nd Dec 2008 at 05:38PM

Elizabethd's Avatar Little cardoard waxy tops in my day. Still yuk though.

Posted by: Elizabethd on 2nd Dec 2008 at 07:24PM

Exmoorjane's Avatar We made our old milk tops into Christmas decorations - small bells if I recall. Didn't we have to collect them for Blue Peter as well at some point?

Posted by: Exmoorjane on 2nd Dec 2008 at 09:57PM

Camilla's Avatar Loathe milk, if I drank it I would be sick, even loathe the smell of it. When I was aged 5 in school the teacher Miss Bell would stand and watch over me during break lessons, when in them days you used to get free milk for children in class that came with a straw, half pint bottles. She knew I loathed milk, but she made sure I drank it, and what happened .............. sick as a dog.!! I hated that teacher.

I tend to have black tea or coffee or lemon tea, the stronger the better.

Posted by: Camilla on 3rd Dec 2008 at 02:27AM

Tattie Weasle's Avatar I remember the little one third bottles they were really dinky. They came in a battered blue crate and if they had been left outside the blue tits would have a go at them and nick all the cream at the top. Strangeley we still had to drink them - thought I think the HSE would have a fit now!
We then got the wax carton one and wait for it chocolate milk!!!! As you can imagaine that went down a storm we ALL ordered it through Matron.
I don't think my boys get milk anymore well certinaly not in those beautiful little bottles - I would love to have some now as they were great for puttig wild flowers in that you picked from the garden...
As you can see I like milk!

Posted by: Tattie Weasle on 3rd Dec 2008 at 11:24AM

Please login to comment

Sorry you must be logged in to post a comment