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 Hygienic Dairy, New Milton, Hants

It all started with...

Cutting from Western Gazette
Advertisement from The Western Gazette 1934

1st advert from New Milton Advertiser 1934In 1934, my father, Mr William Bailey, moved from the village of Martin, about 10 miles from Fordingbridge, to Hordle Lane, Downton.
There, in response to an advertisment in The Western Gazette, he bought a one-round business from Mr Fred Parker, for the sum of £250.

The acquisition came complete with one roundsman, Les Haines, and a motorcycle and sidecar.
The business was called Yeatton Dairy, named after Yeatton Farm, and occupied buildings rented from Fred Parker. Initially, deliveries were made from a large churn mounted in the motorcycle's sidecar, the total output being 8 gallons a day.

Design on wide-neck 1 pint milk bottleAt this time my father was lodging at the Downton Post Office and General Stores, about a quarter of a mile away, which was owned by Les Haines' mother.
After a few months, my father bought a small Singer van in which he and my mother, then Winifred Grant, went to Ringwood Market every Wednesday to buy eggs. In the following year, my mother moved from Ibsley, near Ringwood, and they married and moved to a bungalow in nearby Sky End Lane.
Within a couple of years, Yeatton Dairy progressed to using bottles, these being wide-necked pints and half-pints made by United Glass Bottles, printed in red, and sealed with cardboard caps. Included in the wording on these bottles was "....and at The Beehive, Station Road, New Milton". This refers to an arrangement with the three Misses Haynes, Amy, Violet and Mabel, whereby The Beehive, a cake shop and café which commenced business in 1934 and closed in 1994, sold and advertised Yeatton's milk, and in return the Dairy advertised The Beehive on its bottles. Dairy accounts could also be paid at the shop. This alliance lasted until 1961.

Design on wide-neck 1 pint milk bottleThe business grew steadily and in 1938 the leases on both the Dairy buildings and the bungalow expired simultaneously, necessitating a move to other buildings at Ashley Common Road, Ashley, New Milton, (this land has flats built on it; the lane which originally led to the Dairy is now called Poplar Road, and there is also a cul-de-sac called Bailey Close).
This property was rented from Mr Norris, a farmer who had been forced to give up work due to illness.

At this time the name of the business was changed to Hygienic Dairy, this being seen as a more descriptive name of a business which relied on a reputation for clean milk and hygienic conditions.

My parents' house was adjacent to the Dairy and they kept chickens and a few cows to supplement their supply. The Dairy also bought in butter, magarine and lard from Fairoak Dairy in Eastleigh.

Horse-drawn milk floatBy the time the Second World War started, the output was up to 100 gallons per day and four horse-drawn floats were in use, as well as the Singer van.
In 1941 the three roundsmen, Les Haines, Eddie Rouse and Les Warren were called up for National Service, and land girls were brought in to deliver the milk. Land girls were quite often town bred with no experience of horses, dairies, or country life in general, the result being that my father, in addition to his other duties, had to harness up the horses and floats every morning.
Needless to say, the land girls' inexperience led to the occasional incident, such as the time when a milk float approached the Dairy at high speed and obviously out of control. Every horse worth its hay knows its way home, and so when it reached the yard entrance, the horse executed a sharp left turn, resulting in the float overturning, the horse ending up on the office doorstep. Apparently the horse was alright, but the land girl needed a few stitches! Land girls continued to work for the Dairy until the 1950s, and two girls, , stayed for the rest of the life of the Dairy.

Cardboard capDuring the War, the Dairy still bought in supplies from Fairoak Dairy. This was rationed to two ounces of butter, two ounces of margarine and one ounce of lard per customer. In 1943, the area was divided up between the local dairies, ('zoning'), and each one served the nearest vicinity. The customer had no choice of dairy, and the dairy had no choice of customer!

Also during the war, Hygienic Dairy started supplying its milk to four local schools in embossed 1/3-pint bottles.

Shop at ParklandFrom 1940 to 1948, the Dairy had its own retail outlet, in the form of a small (8' x 6'!) shop on a local caravan site called Parklands, at Old Milton, now a housing estate.
As well as selling milk, cream, butter and all the usual dairy produce, the shop also sold ice cream, cigarettes, sun-hats, sand-castle flags and toys.


New Year Advert from New Milton Advertiser 1934In 1948 my father bought and moved to a dairy premises a short distance away, in Ashley Road, along with a farm at Lower Pennington, called Manor Farm, both from Mr Albert Browning.

At the farm he kept Guernsey and Jersey herds which, together with milk collected from other local farms, made up his total output, now up to six rounds plus some wholesale supply. Sterilised milk was bought in from a company called Pridoux, now part of Unigate.

Article: Theft From DairyThe Dairy grew with the purchase of several smaller dairies, some of which didn't actually have a name, but were individuals delivering milk from their own farms or smallholdings. Butter and cream were made from surplus milk, these being very popular and selling well - I remember the butter being a deep yellow colour, something today's butter lacks.

The milk floats were mainly Morrison electrics, with the addition of two Morris Commercial J-Series vehicles, and a Ford 8 van (a black one bought from a local undertaker!). Generally the Dairy's colours were a cream background with green lettering. The two remaining horses, Trixie and Queenie, had been pensioned off in 1955.

June 1961 advertAt the time the Dairy was sold to Edgar's Dairies on 30th March 1961, milk sales were 800 gallons a day, spread over 13 rounds.

One employee, Phyllis Phillips, who had started work at the Dairy in 1945, went to Edgar's with the sale, and remained with them until their demise at the end of 1993.


Dairy buildings - present dayWhat was once the Dairy yard is now called Ashley Mews, and all the original buildings remain, although some of the loading ramps and other structures were demolished. The buildings are listed and have been fairly tastefully converted to offices.

Author: Malcolm Bailey

This article first appeared in the Winter 1991 issue of Milk Bottle News.

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