Edinburgh & Dumfriesshire

Dairy Co.




Bob Henderson

Burdiehouse, Edinburgh

Thank you to Bob Henderson who wrote:

Milk Bottle Top

"I thought this might interest some of our older readers. I found it in some ephemera I was sorting through.

Edinburgh & Dumfries Dairy  -  Cardboard Milk Bottle Top from the 1940s

©  Bob Henderson, Burdiehouse, Edinburgh

It's an Edinburgh & Dumfriesshire Dairy Co. Ltd. milk bottle top from the 1940s.  It has a diameter of 1-5/8th inches."

Bob Henderson, Burdiehouse, Edinburgh:  March 28, 2012




John Murray


Thank you to John Murray for adding this message to the EdinPhoto guestbook.

John wrote:

Horse and Cart

"I delivered for the Dummy (Edinburgh & Dumfriesshire Dairy) round Colinton Mains, first with a horse and cart.  The horse's name was Mick and the driver's name was Fred.  He was on that route for years.

We would start where the Tesco store stands now  on Colinton Mains Drive, do every street including Stark's Cottages and the prefabs, and finish at the junction of Colinton Mains Drive and Colinton Mains Road.

You did not have to tell Mick that we were finished.  He ran all the way back to Harrison Park where the stables used to be.  He even knew his own stall and would walk right in to it after being all unhooked, then we had to run home and go to school, myself Tynecastle."

Milk Floats

"I've just been reading about the milk deliveries including the old milk floats.  I started to deliver by milk float after delivering by horse and cart.  The floats were battery-powered and had 3 wheels.

There is a very sad part about when we started to use the three wheeler milk floats.  I delivered the milk with a very good friend, Tommy (Tam) McGarry.  We were close pals.  His sister and a whole bunch of us kids all hung around together every day."

Colinton Mains

"Poor Tam was killed when the 3-wheeled milk float flipped over on him.  I still think off him to this day, but the world keeps turning and time moves on and Colinton Mains, as we knew it, has got bigger and bigger.  There are no longer the fields with cows, potatoes, turnips and  hay.  It was a great place to live."

John Murray, Canada (formerly Colinton Mains, Edinburgh
Message posted in EdinPhoto guestbook:  April 11, 2013




Edith Caulfield (née Cavanagh)

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Thank you to Edith Caulfield for posting a reply to the message that John Murray left in the EdinPhoto guestbook.

Edith wrote:


"John:  I was good friends with Tommy and Mary Mcgarry, and remember very well when Tommy was killed."

Edith Caulfield (née Cavanagh):  message posted in EdinPhoto guestbook on  April 12, 2013,
in response to a message posted in the guestbook by John Murray on April 11, 2013.




Dave McKinlay

New Zealand

Thank you also Dave McKinlay, New Zealand, for  posting a reply to the message that John Murray left in the EdinPhoto guestbook.

Dave wrote:

Milk Deliveries

Before School


You bring back fond memories. I was also a milk boy when I was living in Bingham.  My brother and I would meet our electric milk cart at the Right Wing (Gordon Smith's Pub) at Northfield.

We would deliver to all the prefabs and the Milton Road area, get home, then run to Niddrie Marischal School.  We did it for two years When I think of the winter mornings in 1950-52, God, we were tough wee boys!  Maybe that's why I am so fit and active today."

Dave McKinlay, New Zealand:  Message posted in EdinPhoto guestbook:  April 11, 2013
in response to a message posted in the guestbook by John Murray on April 11, 2013.




Peter Hoffmann

Highlands, Scotland

Thank you to Peter Hoffmann who wrote:


200 Blogs

"I've been looking at the recent comments above from John Murray and others.  I thought this link might be of interest to some of your followers."

Stair 6, Oxgangs, Edinburgh

The everyday life of eight families living on one of the post-war housing schemes  on the south side of the city, set in the lee of the Pentland Hills, between the years 1958 and 1972.


"There are about 200 blogs on this site.  I created this site last summer, then updated it every day until Hogmanay."

Peter Hoffmann, Highlands, Scotland:  April 14, 2013




Robert Laird

Longstone, Edinburgh

Thank you to Robert Laird who wrote:

Milk Boy

"I was reading the contributions above this morning, and found myself turning back the years to March 1961 when I got a 'job' as a milk boy with Edinburgh & Dumfriesshire Dairies

I wasn’t twelve until the beginning of June.  You you were supposed to be twelve before you could work, but Martin (our van man) delivered our milk and was a friend of my dad, so it was a done deal.

Our Milk Round

"I got on a bus at 5.40am along to Alan Park where I met with the milk float and the other two boys.  From there we delivered into Inglis Green Road, up into Redhall and then into Longstone.  Our day ended when we reached Longstone Cottages, round about 8am.

In the three and a half years I did “the milk” I cannot remember the weather ever preventing us from making our deliveries.

Someone mentioned that we must have been tough.  Well, I can remember times when the empty bottles were frozen to the doorsteps and we couldn’t get them off."

Our Milk Float

"We hung of the back of that little three-wheeled electric float, like monkeys.  It barely ever stopped; we ran from start to finish, taking it in turns to run back and forth.

Saturdays were really hard going, you had a double delivery because no milk was delivered Sunday, and you also collected money that day which took up time. It was always close to mid-day before you finished on a Saturday.

Our driver gave us our wage from the Dummy - seven shillings and six pence (37.5p in decimal money).  Then we’d count up all the tips.  These were pooled, the three van boys each getting an equal share.

My mother always took the seven and sixpence off me, which she said helped her make ends meet, leaving me with the tips which usually amounted to two and sixpence (12.5p)."

The Workers

"In his memoirs, my dad told me that Martin (I can’t remember his surname) worked in the Capitol Bingo Hall in Leith.  He was one of the kindest men I ever met as a boy.

Rob Ross was one of the lads who worked with me back then, but for the life of me I can’t remember the other guys name.

I know I took over from Stuart Wardrope who I think had just started secondary school at Carrickvale.

Days never to be forgotten!"

Robert Laird, Longstone, Edinburgh:  April 17, 2013




Donald Grant

Penicuik, Midlothian, Scotland

Thank you to Donald Grant who wrote:

Wedding Cake Receipt

"My wife and I were going through some of her late parents' old documents last night and we came across this receipt for their wedding cake from 1951.  The cake was supplied by the Edinburgh and Dumfriesshire Dairy."

Reproduced with acknowledgement to Donald Grant, Penicuik, Midlothian, Scotland

"It's a little piece of social history from Edinburgh’s past.  It shows that even 60+ years ago, a wedding cake was an expensive item.  At £6 17/0d, it  probably cost more than the average weekly wage.  I only got £5 2/9d when I started work, aged 16, in 1969!

Donald Grant, Penicuik, Midlothian, Scotland:  June 19, 2015


St Cuthbert's
Milk Deliveries

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