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
The following pictures illustrate the
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 - 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'.