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Electric Milk Floats

cookie273uk

master brummie
Horsencart, still deliver up our Road (Conway Road, Chelmsley Wood) I have had same milkman for 20 years until we fell out last year, I now go to the local supermarket, much cheaper but less convenient. Eric
 

Bill Parker

master brummie
Up until about two weeks ago our milk was delevered by an electric float, unfortunately I still have not got around to taking its photo. However over the last week or so we have a different roundsman and he is using a Ford transit!!

There is another roundsman in the area still using an electric float and the way things are going in the middle east I think it might be a good idea to hold on to them, as they may well be the only vehicles on the road soon. As we alol know if someone sneezes in the oil field area up goes the price of a barrel of crude!!!
 

terryb18

Gone but not forgotten R.I.P.
I think some of the problem may be that these days fewer and fewer people are having milk delivered and therefore milkmen have to travel further and further afield to keep their sales up. I know that electric floats can do up to about 20/25 miles on their batteries (when new, possibly more) and you have to take into account travellin back and forth to the depot plus doing the rounds. These floats have a limited distance they can go, but as usual I could be wrong.:) What was wrong with the horse and cart anyway:D
 

Bill Parker

master brummie
I never thought I would be enthusing about milk floats but I have seen quite a few about. Some of them have chassis that are amazingly old and have recieved new float bodies. I suspect they have recieved other upgrades as well because they seem to have gained quite a credible turn of speed, far faster than when I was a mere callow youth!!

We recently re started having milk delivered , althought its probably more costly its convenient having it delivered and its also keeping people in work. I also dislike supermarkets and we will decline from buying milk from them for as long as possible.

If there is a vehicle heaven I think you will find plenty of innocent usefull clean and green milk floats in there!
 

Simon4130

master brummie
There is an excellent collection of electric vehicles including many milk floats at Wythall Transport Museum (Bammot). If there is an electric vehicle heaven this is it!!
 

Bill Parker

master brummie
Our milk is now back to being delivered by electric float. There are at least two, probably more in operation in this area. Im no ex[pert on these matters but a few years back I followed one going through Wolverhampton, on the ring road, and it was travelling at a very fair rate of knots. Presumably the chassis, many of which have had new bodies fitted, have had various electrical upgrades from time to time and battery technology has almost certainly improved over recent years, so should we right the eletric float of just yet??
 

Bill Parker

master brummie
Hi 6918,

I believe Mr Roger DeBoer had aquired a milk float and had to lower his garage floor in order to accomodate it, this I like.
 

Simon4130

master brummie
Sounds like something I would do Bill!! I remember growing up in Dublin that the city was full of electrics usually as milk floats, bread vans and laundry vans. Birmingham and other cities would have been the same. Then from the early 1980's they died a death. The main grievances with them were that the batteries were very large and extremely heavy and that their operating range was limited per charge of battery. I was always a fan of them so enjoyed exploring them at Wythall.
 

glynis

master brummie
The University of Birmingham bought a small fleet of them many years back. They use them to transport teaching and technical equipment all over the site.
 

Astonian

gone but not forgotten
Midland counties dairyies had a load of them years ago i used to drive them around handsworth on my milk round
and incidently this topic and loads of pics of these and stories was done about two years ago on this forum when the houghtons ran the forum before jim taken over so may be jiom did not get them all still its good to hear they are being revived by our members keep them coming guys
have a nice day every body best wishes astonian
 

oldMohawk

master brummie
I'm not sure whether this would be called a 'Milk Float' it's electric and carrying a lot of milk crates, and a friendly BCS (Co Op) milkman meets my brother-in-law's sister in Cavandale Avenue Kingstanding/Great Barr. On the back of the photo is written 'isn't he a smasher'.
FamilyPhotoMilkFloat.jpg
 
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BernardR

Guest
That is a cracking photgraph and adds to my knowledge as I had never seen those in Brum but often saw them when visiting my relatives in Ilford and Epping when a lad.
 

Bill Parker

master brummie
Lets not forget that the Birmingham Co-oP had a fleet of electric bread vans as well, there is one at the Wythall Bus Museum. Up until its closure Wordsley hospital (Dudley health Trust) had a number of moden electric atriculated "Tugs" that were coupled to various types of trailer for servicing the various parts of the hospital. Presumably when it closed they were either transferred to Russells Hall Hospital or more likely sold for a pittance and then scrapped.

Never right off electric vehicles like these, they are ideal for "sensitive" areas and tend to have a long service life, electric motors are inmant respects far superior to ICEs with only one moving part and for a given power output, far more compact.
 

Rupert

master brummie
I think that these things may be having a comeback now. Great use for off peak electricity IMO. No deliveries in Canada and am suprised that it is still carried on in the UK. Freeze on the step here at 40 below in winter and go off in high temps of summer. The vehicle in the photo seems a bit smaller than I remember.
Just looking at our daily milage in our small ICE car and it would seem that an electric vehicle would suit us for most of our journey's. Prices are a bit high yet though and not many available. Still, a great use for off peak windmill power...when there is a wind. Looking at the program 'Blown Away' though...location is the thing...and bedside manner of the proponents.
 

lesr1

master brummie
Hi Old Mohawk,Photo that raises a few questions.I think the horse and cart had been phased out around early 1960s,certainly by 1964 when I started at the Co-Op dairy on Kingstanding Road.However I cannot recall any floats like the one in your photo and it would definately have come from Kingstanding. Got my licence to drive a float whilst there and used it to get a car licence here in Oz.Great photo,Les
Family_Photo_2.jpg
[/QUOTE]
 

Simon4130

master brummie
Really interesting photo. Thought I knew a reasonable amount about milk floats but this is a new one on me. The driver has to walk in front rather than travel on it, the controls being on the top of the tiller exactly like those rubbish carts that are used in cities today.
 

mewla4

proper brummie kid
What about the electric vans that the co-op laundry at Clay Lane used to use. There was always a large humming when we walked passed at the w/e from woodcock lane across the canal bridge.
 

oldMohawk

master brummie
Hi Old Mohawk, I cannot recall any floats like the one in your photo and it would definately have come from Kingstanding.
Hi Les,
The photo belongs to my brother-in-law and I will chat with him and get more details, he can remember it because it ran over his foot. It was taken in Cavandale Avenue off Dyas Road see Google maps. It would be an uphill journey back to the depot so the milkman would need it to have well charged batteries !
He used to earn 3 pence a bucket off a gardener for collecting what Co Op horses used to leave on the roads.
oldmohawk...:biggrin:
 
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