Unsung hero: End of a dairy tale as milkman bows out

Unsung hero: End of a dairy tale as milkman bows out

Unsung hero: End of a dairy tale as milkman bows out

First published in News This Is Local London: Photograph of the Author by , Chief reporter

A New Malden milkman has made his last delivery after nearly 40 years of doing the rounds.

Grandfather Tony Giles, 59, from Leatherhead has been bringing milk to the borough’s doorsteps since October 1973.

In fact, he has only missed out on two delivery rounds over the years – one of which being when he was taken away in an ambulance with a broken leg.

Mr Giles said: “It is not without regret that I have decided to hang up my bag. I have fond memories of the years gone by when my three children used to help me, the oldest Robert not even born when I started, now forty years old.

“I bet my grandchildren will be grateful they won’t have to get out of bed to help me.

“I think that mostly the things I’ll miss will be my customers and work colleagues, some I have known for many years.”

He added he would always remember the way the milk business had changed with a pint of milk originally costing four and a half pence when he started as an eager 18-year-old.

Mr Giles said: “It seems hard to believe now, but we had no fridges and any milk left over stayed on the milk floats all night and went out the next morning.

“As most of the milk was full cream then, you would’ve virtually had to shake it out of the bottle.”

He added over the years he had noticed semi skimmed milk had become all the rage.

During his career he worked for Unigate Diaries Surbiton and the Royal Arsenal Co-op in Tolworth.

He did the same morning round in New Malden for 22 years.

On being nominated an unsung hero, Mr Giles said: “It went by a lot quicker than it would seem. I feel very proud to be nominated – I certainly didn’t expect anything like that but it is a nice feeling.”

Trevor Sayer, Wimbledon depot manager, said: “Anthony was the model milkman. I only had the pleasure of working with him for 18 months when I joined the depot but he gave 100 per cent to his customers at all times.  He was always reliable and all that we need in a milkman and more.”

Know an unsung hero? Call the newsdesk on 020 8744 4244 to nominate someone you think goes the extra mile.

Comments (2)

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2:58pm Sun 13 Apr 14

timsburyboy says...

Mr Giles cannot only be proud of his work record,but also the invaluable service he has given to the community during the past 40 years.I have never met him but I know he must be a really nice bloke.May I suggest through your newspaper that you and perhaps other local dignitaries and organisations make every effort to ensure he receives a deserved recognition.These days honours seem to be given away like confetti,well this is an example where a person deserves to receive the appreciation of the local community. We all rely on the Mr Giles of this world so much,and without people like him our local neighbourhoods would suffer.
Mr Giles cannot only be proud of his work record,but also the invaluable service he has given to the community during the past 40 years.I have never met him but I know he must be a really nice bloke.May I suggest through your newspaper that you and perhaps other local dignitaries and organisations make every effort to ensure he receives a deserved recognition.These days honours seem to be given away like confetti,well this is an example where a person deserves to receive the appreciation of the local community. We all rely on the Mr Giles of this world so much,and without people like him our local neighbourhoods would suffer. timsburyboy
  • Score: 1

12:53pm Mon 14 Apr 14

kingstonpaul says...

Nice story. But does anyone still order milk to be delivered any more? God knows how a milkman can compete with the supermarkets. I heard the other day that if you ring up Unigate, you get put through to a call center in the Phillippines.
Nice story. But does anyone still order milk to be delivered any more? God knows how a milkman can compete with the supermarkets. I heard the other day that if you ring up Unigate, you get put through to a call center in the Phillippines. kingstonpaul
  • Score: 0

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