British Milk Churns
There were three main churn manufacturers in the UK.
- Grundy of Teddington
- Swiftcan (Swift's) Scarborough
- DESCO (Dairy Supply Company) London.
The most sought after churns are the aluminium 10 gallon and the smaller 5 gallon churns.
Stainless steel, mild steel, copper and plastic churns were also used. Aluminium is lighter and of course is corrosion resistant.
Over the years many churns have become separated from their lids as lids where often removed and used for dog water bowls, chicken feeders and a multitude of other uses and so a churn with a lid will usually attract a higher price and lids themselves are in high demand as people seek to replace a missing lid on a churn they own.
Many churns have the markings of the Milk Marketing Board was a producer-run product marketing board, established by the Agricultural Marketing Act 1933, to control milk production and distribution in the United Kingdom. It functioned as buyer of last resort in the milk market in Britain, thereby guaranteeing a minimum price for milk producers.
Carriage of milk by churn eventually ceased in 1979, the Milk Marketing Board had been trying to get small milk producers to invest in chilled tanks and bulk collection for some considerable time, even offering bulk tank rental for £27.00 per month for the first 3 years then a nominal rent of £1.00, or a 20% grant for the purchase of a chilled tank which then would have cost around £1000.00.
Bulk tanker collection was first introduced in 1955 but did not really catch on until the 1960's. By 1973 about 68 per cent. of all milk was being collected in bulk, but this represented only about 38 per cent. of the total number of farms in England and Wales.
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