Milk Floats in the Arts

This page covers appearances by milk floats in film and television programmes, and in the lyrics of songs. It also includes poems about milk floats sent in by Milk Float Corner visitors.

Milk Floats in Television

Here, in no particular order, are a few examples of Milk float appearances in TV programmes (there must be hundreds more!):

There was also an advertisement for Lilt a number of years ago featuring "the Liltman" and his Lilt float - a Carribean gentleman driving around a tropical island delivering cans and bottles of Lilt to sunbathers and the like

Thanks to the following for their contributions and suggestions for this section: Russell Woodward, Michael Donovan, Susan Tutt (from California in the USA!) and Kevin Fardell.

Any further details for any of these are welcomed, as are any additional observations to expand this section. "Starring roles" are especially welcome, but any appearance by an electric float, particularly if it is identifiable, will be appreciated.

Milk Floats in Film

And here are a few examples of milk float appearances on the big screen.
Links point to The Internet Movie Database.

Any more suggestions for this section?

Milk Floats in Music

Well known songs featuring milk floats include:

A Town Called Malice by The Jam
Rock and Roll Suicide by David Bowie

Click on the links for lyrics (at LetsSingIt.com).

There was also a 1980s Hull band called Death By Milkfloat. Thanks to Paddy Collis for the link.

At this point, many readers will be thinking "What about Ernie, the fastest milkman in the west?". Strictly speaking, Ernie's milk float doesn't qualify for inclusion on this site because it was horse-drawn, not electric. However I'll make an exception because the song is so well known and loved - here is a link to the lyrics, which were of course sung by Benny Hill.

There's also No Milk Today by Herman's Hermits, which doesn't actually mention the milk float, but clearly refers to the doorstep milk round.

Finally, not entirely on topic, but this site refers to milk floats as "Our Friends Electric", and it seems only fair to credit the inspiration to the song Are 'Friends' Electric? by Gary Numan!

Know of any more? Email me!

Milk Floats in Poetry

All poems sent in by readers!

"Oh, Milk Float Mine!" - an address to a preserved milk float (OKT 38)

I was but "knee high" when first you took the road
Through Dymchurch quiet to E.J. Piper serve -
The dairyman who many time you failed
When breaking down - an undeliverèd load
Of milk: the Kent coast was all the site you saw
Till seven years passed, and, parted from that shore,
To Wolverhampton came - and usèd more by
Imperial Dairies - themselves o'ertaken
by Midland Counties Wolverhampton area
Until eleven years more - out of service
you became - now twenty years your chassis worn !

But this was not the end of your history:
Fourteen years more of unremitting "glory"
With Hills of Horsley Feilds - the ironfoundry -
as "donkey shuttle" 'twixt buildings - two there were -
but when the stores were all in one place confined -
Useless you became - that really was your end.

Bought for preservation, from the scrapyard saved -
Now will MIDLAND name be perpetuated.

7.12.1986 Roger F de Boer

The Milkfloat From Hell

Early in the morning
Before the break of dawn
When the stars still twinkle
And the morning chorus yawn!

A roar - a rush - a sound which grates
The milk float from hell
Comes rattling its crates.

From deepest dark Hampshire
This menace comes round
Disturbing the sleeping
With its thunderous sound

Whilst other milk floats
They softly do glide
This creation so noisome
Comes from the dark side
To deliver its cargo
For those in the need
Whose addiction for the white stuff
Is delivered with speed.

Gill Dixon

Milk Floats

Open like football stands they dread
Damp dawns of cities, giving out
Pintas, taking in the empties,
Rattling and clinking, blue and white,
In grimy streets comes Northern Dairies;
All steps in time are visited.

Then sleepy children feeling bored,
Or women coming from the slops
Of last night's T.V. dinner see
An off-white cream that overtops
The milk they've waited patiently,
As it is carried in and poured,

And taste the cornflake emptiness
That's just like all the lines we write,
And yet again to get it wrong,
So permanently bland and trite,
For clever style cannot for long
Disguise our snobbish bookishness.

Philip Sparrow

(with apologies to Philip Larkin "Ambulances")

Sent by Janet Young

Untitled

On the streets early in the morning
all as we can see people doing is yawning.
delivering milk fast
then at the end I think 'yes at last'

Delivering milk is my job
only thirteen eating a bean.
I like delivering milk
when you spill milk down your pants they go all silk.

Wishing the milk float doesn't run out
if it does I just give my boss a shout.
in the end I get paid money
I spend it all on honey.

Daniel Silcox, age 13

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