Web Page No 2322
26th November 2016
Top Picture: A milk machine
Middle Picture: The instrument panel
Bottom Picture: The Jubbly
The Milk Vending Machine
What a strange concept this was! They suddenly appeared on our streets and just as soon disappeared again. The only one that I used regularly was the one set on the pavement between Francis Fish and Chip Shop and Masons the Sweet Shop in Drayton near the New Inn.
But these were the days when not everyone had a fridge at home and with most shops having closed by nine in the evening, and the days of the late night store or all night shopping was yet to come, so buying your emergency milk for home from a machine made sense. I remember being sent down to the milk machine in Drayton on my bicycle when Mum ran out of milk of an evening. There was also the social side when a group of us would go into the chip shop for a bag of chips and then share a carton of ice cold milk!
Of course getting the carton open once it was delivered was another matter, how many times did you splash milk down your shirt front in an attempt to open the carton?
Along with the cigarette machines, chocolate machines, postage stamp machines and bubble gum dispensers the milk machine was just one of those bits of street furniture you took for granted. As for the milk vending machine I rather think they began to vanish in the late 1960s to the early 1970s, possibly in the wake of the supermarket revolution along with cheap fridges. For who would want to stand at what was often a shabby and knocked about machine, fumbling for the sixpence only to discover the coin had got stuck, the machine refused to accept it or worst still there were no cartoons left but the machine still took your money, so removing the machine could have been a blessing.
When they were new these machines were very smart in a livery of white and light blue with an illuminated sign advertising ICE COLD MILK. But the machines, after a time suffered from their positioning at the roadside. Frustrated customers would hit or kick them, dirt from the road and pavement collected on them. Odd indescribable items were often found stuffed in the delivery draw and what dogs did against them does not bear thinking about! So very often these machines were far from clean and I would suspect that a modern Environmental Health Officer would take a look and ban them immediately.
I suppose at the time they fitted into that new high tech way of life that was prevalent in the late 1950s and 60s, and I have to say that thinking back to the period it does look ultra-modern for the time. Plus there was something novel about getting your milk this way instead of from your regular milkman. Not of course that the milkman visits many houses anymore (mine still delivers three times a week) and I hear today that more and more newspapers are about to become only electronic. As someone who grew up in the 40s, 50s and 60s thinking that milk delivered to the door step along with a daily newspaper was the hall mark of civilized life its demise, as with other things, all seem a little sad. Then of course there was always the security aspect but a 6d a time there could never have been very much money held in the machine.
I suppose that someone must have filled, emptied and serviced these machines but I cannot ever remember seeing it done. There was a time when our local machine offered three sorts of drink from the machine, milk, banana (or sometimes strawberry) flavoured milk and orange juice, a Jubbly. I don’t like flavoured milk or orange juice so it was always just plain milk for me.
Unfortunately I have never managed to find a photograph of the machine in Drayton so all the pictures this week come from elsewhere.
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On this Day 26th November 1960-1965
On 26/11/1960 the number one single was It's Now Or Never - Elvis Presley and the number one album was South Pacific Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was Take Your Pick (AR) and the box office smash was Psycho. A pound of today's money was worth £13.68 and Tottenham Hotspur were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 26/11/1961 the number one single was Little Sister/His Latest Flame - Elvis Presley and the number one album was Another Black & White Minstrell Show - George Mitchell Minstrels. The top rated TV show was Sunday Night at the London Palladium (ATV) and the box office smash was One Hundred and One Dalmations. A pound of today's money was worth £13.25 and Ipswich Town were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 26/11/1962 the number one single was Lovesick Blues - Frank Ifield and the number one album was Out of the Shadows - Shadows. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Lawrence of Arabia. A pound of today's money was worth £12.89 and Everton were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions. The big news story of the day was First broadcast of That Was the Week That Was.
On 26/11/1963 the number one single was You'll Never Walk Alone - Gerry & the Pacemakers and the number one album was Please Please Me - The Beatles. The top rated TV show was Conservative Party Political Broadcast (all channels) and the box office smash was The Great Escape. A pound of today's money was worth £12.64 and Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions. The big news story of the week was JFK shot dead in Dallas and we all remember where we were on then!!!.
On 26/11/1964 the number one single was Baby Love - Supremes and the number one album was A Hard Day's Night - Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Dr Strangelove. A pound of today's money was worth £12.24 and Manchester United were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 26/11/1965 the number one single was Get Off Of My Cloud - Rolling Stones and the number one album was The Sound of Music Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was Take Your Pick (AR) and the box office smash was The Sound of Music. A pound of today's money was worth £11.69 and Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions. The big news story of the day was Mohammed Ali beats Floyd Patterson In Las Vegas.