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Cream of the crop
These are the men who delivered milk in the Bicester area for many years.
They would set off in the early morning to make sure their customers got their daily pinta.
Peter Robbins, on the extreme right in the picture above, set up Robbins’ Dairy with his wife Joyce after the Second World War.
Later, as business grew, they went into partnership with Fred Richardson, second from right. Mr Richardson’s sons, John and David, left, also worked for the firm.
The picture, taken by the well-known Bicester photographic firm, Harris Morgan, comes from Mr and Mrs Robbins’s son, Phillip, who lives at Chesterton.
Mr Robbins senior had had some experience of milking as his parents ran a dairy herd at Grove Farm, Bletchingdon.
But when he left the RAF after serving in the Far East, Middle East and Malta during the war, there was no opportunity to work at the farm. So he decided to run his own dairy business, first at Weston-on-the-Green and later in The Causeway, Bicester, where the family also lived.
Bottled milk would arrive from County Dairies at Kidlington and the Robbins’s team would set off to deliver milk, butter, cream and eggs in their three electric floats and one petrol-driven van.
They served customers in Bicester, Ambrosden, Launton and other surrounding villages.
The dairy flourished for 20 years from the late 1940s to the late 1960s when Elm Farm Dairies took it over.
Son Phillip, who often accompanied his parents on the rounds, tells me: “It was a thriving business. My mother was the mainstay – she would help with deliveries and did all the book work.”
Any memories of Robbins’s dairy – or any other dairies – to share with readers?