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Does anyone know what these are?

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Yes, Co-op milk checks,  You bought them in the grocery store and put out the number for the required pints, along with the empty bottles.

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They are milk checks I've no idea why the called them that, does anyone know why ? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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At the time, a clever invention for maximising cash flow, as it meant that the dairy actually got paid for their product, before they actually delivered it to the consumer.

As the dairy typically paid for the ex-farm milk supplied to them by the Milk Marketing Board, roughly one month after the date of delivery to the dairy.

And as the consumer typically bought their milk checks at least one week in advance.

It meant that the dairy typically enjoyed the benefits of the money in the bank, earning interest for somewhere between four and six weeks.

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Remember too that the customer had a co-op number she used every time she spent. My mother's was 6054. My mother in law's was 71700 but I cannot recall my own. Every so often they could spend their 'divi'. A bit like a points card really I suppose.  

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I can also remember my mother collecting Co-Op stamps (Green shield?) in books, which I believe she would use a coupons against purchases?

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Woollens Signs in Love Street made these by the thousand.

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Wasn't Green Shield stamps the forerunner of Argos? There used to be a redemption shop on the Moor for Green Shield. 

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The S&E Co-Op went over from the divi books to it's own stamps in the very late 60s. The filled books could be traded for goods or a lesser cash value.

When the local branch finished training the staff to use the machines, us kids got whole reels of blank 'stamps'. :)

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We also used B & C Co-op milk checks in the 50s, I think the colour denoted the type of milk - blue being a pint of pasturised ?

I think the word 'check' was also used for the dividend chits showing your divi number and amount spent.

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17 minutes ago, rover1949 said:

We also used B & C Co-op milk checks in the 50s, I think the colour denoted the type of milk - blue being a pint of pasturised ?

I think the word 'check' was also used for the dividend chits showing your divi number and amount spent.

You are right, but the colour actually denoted more than that.

The Co-op dairies had large stocks of different coloured milk tokens, and when the retail price of a pint bottle of milk changed, then a different colour of milk token was sold through their retail outlets, and those different coloured milk tokens already in circulation were withdrawn on their return to the dairy, (to be put back into store and re-circulated, at a later date, when the milk price changed again).

When the retail price of a pint bottle of milk changed, and you were still holding onto the 'old-price' tokens, you were expected to deposit the cash difference, (either a penny, or a half-penny), in the empty bottle, along with your 'old-price' tokens.

As a post-script, it is interesting to note that the Government, in their inestimable wisdom (sic) are presently talking about introducing a refundable deposit scheme on plastic bottles returned to the supermarkets, (they will not love that idea at all).

Yet, that is exactly what the dairy companies of this country had previously done for decades, until the retailers thought that it would be a good idea to sell milk in one-trip, blow-moulded, plastic bottles.

A traditional glass milk bottle typically has a life of somewhere between twenty and thirty return trips, dependent on geographical location, and the level of abuse that it endured. After about thirty trips, the wear and tear becomes apparent, necessitating their withdrawal by the dairy, but even then, they could be returned back to the glass manufacturer for further recycling. 

AND at that time, nearly all of the liquid milk consumed in this country was delivered by environmentally friendly electric-vehicles, (what a good idea). Amazing really, how we have to relearn that which we knew before.

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17 minutes ago, Unitedite Returns said:

The Co-op dairies had large stocks of different coloured milk tokens

I see you call them milk tokens, I was surprised to see them called milk checks on here, I worked as a milk roundsman for B&C and we always called them tokens, I can't remember the word check ever being used, I wonder if it was different parts of town or even S&E. You mention the electric floats, the older roundsman would say you can't lick a horse and cart, the horse would know the round so the roundsman could take a crate at one end of a yard and when he appeared at the other end the horse would be waiting.

 

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1 hour ago, boginspro said:

I see you call them milk tokens, I was surprised to see them called milk checks on here, I worked as a milk roundsman for B&C and we always called them tokens, I can't remember the word check ever being used, I wonder if it was different parts of town or even S&E. You mention the electric floats, the older roundsman would say you can't lick a horse and cart, the horse would know the round so the roundsman could take a crate at one end of a yard and when he appeared at the other end the horse would be waiting.

 

I and people of my age always referred to them as Milk Checks (1940s -50s )

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2 hours ago, boginspro said:

I see you call them milk tokens, I was surprised to see them called milk checks on here, I worked as a milk roundsman for B&C and we always called them tokens, I can't remember the word check ever being used, I wonder if it was different parts of town or even S&E. You mention the electric floats, the older roundsman would say you can't lick a horse and cart, the horse would know the round so the roundsman could take a crate at one end of a yard and when he appeared at the other end the horse would be waiting.

Nomenclature probably does vary from location to location I suppose, and also, I suppose as to which side of the fence you were sat-on. As for horse and cart powered milk distribution rounds, I don't know as to when the Sheffield Dairies finished with theirs (now that is question worth asking don't you think?), but I do remember reading, once-upon-a-time that the last two remaining, Co-op, horse and cart rounds left within the United Kingdom until withdrawn, were two city centre rounds in Glasgow, which were withdrawn around 1979/1980, when the horses were retired and not replaced.

I remember it being stated at the time, that because of the congested nature of these two rounds, that despite extensive trialling with alternative means of mechanised propulsion, that horse propulsion had remained head and shoulders above the available alternatives for a long-long-time. It was only the age of the horses and an apparent lack of suitable replacements that forced the change.

1978/1979 also saw the end of ex-farm, milk churn collection by the Milk Marketing Board.

Post-script - weren't milk checks those paper tickets that got handed out for welfare milk? And by heavens, weren't there a thriving 'black-market' for those things?

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4 hours ago, Unitedite Returns said:

As for horse and cart powered milk distribution rounds, I don't know as to when the Sheffield Dairies finished with theirs

B&C who I worked for at the time phased out horse powered delivery in the 60's. Here are the last of the horses at Broughton Lane Depot in 1966. I seem to remember one horse driver retired at the same time as his horse and took the horse with him.

EDIT - you just made me wonder about what happened in the Great War when horses were requisitioned for the army, I can't quite imagine something like Lizzie Ward  or a camel pulling a milk float.

(C)http://picturesheffield.com/frontend.php?keywords=Ref_No_increment;EQUALS;s16879&pos=10&action=zoom&id=19563

broughton_lane_1966.jpg

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Brilliant photograph, absolutely love it.

Do you know the names of the 'drivers'? Must have been around your time there.

If I remember rightly, the bottling plant was located at Broughton Lane, roughly where the arena car-park now stands.

Wasn't there a B&C depot on the adjoining Coleridge Road, but that might have been the Transport Garage and Depot.

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2 hours ago, Unitedite Returns said:

Brilliant photograph, absolutely love it.

Do you know the names of the 'drivers'? Must have been around your time there.

If I remember rightly, the bottling plant was located at Broughton Lane, roughly where the arena car-park now stands.

Wasn't there a B&C depot on the adjoining Coleridge Road, but that might have been the Transport Garage and Depot.

Sorry I know no more names than are on the Picture Sheffield link. I was based at Woodhouse and though I got the job at Broughton Lane and took the Co-op driving test there ( unfortunately with a diesel wagon, not a horse) I only occasionally went down there afterwards. The last horse and driver retired at Woodhouse a bit before that photo', I remember many faces but very few names, even from Woodhouse.

There was a B&C on Coleridge Road on the corner of Stovin Road.        

Merry Christmas

everyone.

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I wonder if they were milk "cheques" rather than checks, as they fulfilled the same purpose as a cheque.i.e. a safe replacement for cash.

 

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I guess' milk checks' was an casual term, officially milk tokens.

My dad always insisted that the tokens should be left on the doorstep next to the bottles, not inside the bottles.

Otherwise the milkman might get a handful of cold water when he tipped the bottle up to get the tokens.

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18 minutes ago, rover1949 said:

I guess' milk checks' was an casual term, officially milk tokens.

My dad always insisted that the tokens should be left on the doorstep next to the bottles, not inside the bottles.

Otherwise the milkman might get a handful of cold water when he tipped the bottle up to get the tokens.

Now, that was very thoughtful indeed, but very few people were.

One of the biggest issues this time of year, was that when put into the bottle and left outside overnight, the tokens were usually found to be frozen solid to the bottom of the bottle, and needed a little warming in order to dislodge them. Unfortunately, electric-powered milk floats didn't carry cab heating. So, this was a task often performed when back at the dairy.

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I doubt we had adopted the American spelling for "cheques"...so, as a piece of local colloquialism, I would suggest that "checks" is what they were!

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Milk tokens are still on the go.  We buy ours from a newsagents on Woodseats supplied to them by a dairy in Hillsborough.

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2 minutes ago, lysander said:

I doubt we had adopted the American spelling for "cheques"...so, as a piece of local colloquialism, I would suggest that "checks" is what they were!

 

2 minutes ago, lysander said:

I doubt we had adopted the American spelling for "cheques"...so, as a piece of local colloquialism, I would suggest that "checks" is what they were!

I personally think the name " Check" came about because they resembled the metal checks that miners in the area used for going down the pit.

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