Clink of milk bottles returns to Peterborough streets grows during pandemic

While the coronavirus crisis has seen quieter roads and streets, it has seen a resurgence in milkmen completing their early morning rounds, with hundreds of Peterborough households waking up to the comforting clink of glass bottles after signing up for deliveries during the pandemic.

Tuesday, 5th May 2020, 5:10 am
Updated Tuesday, 5th May 2020, 5:57 am
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Milk and More, who provide a service in Peterborough, have been so popular they have had to stop new sign-ups, and launched a recruitment drive for more milkmen and women.

Andrew Kendall, Deputy CEO of Milk & More, said: “We have been at the heart of the communities in which we serve for over 100 years. During this time, we have faced many challenges from big to small and have managed to come through them all by supporting each other and working together.

“We understand we have a responsibility to our customers especially the most vulnerable ones - and their communities, and we want to reassure everyone that it is our intention to continue to deliver to all our customers over the weeks and months ahead.

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“The health, wellbeing and safety of our customers and staff is our priority. We have seen a high level of self-isolation from our staff and this combined with regular illness we have seen our teams reduced by 15% and this is increasing daily.“ In order to cover this shortfall, as well as the huge increase in new sign ups and customer demand, our dedicated milkmen and women are working flat out to make all of their deliveries. We have also launched a major recruitment drive to find 100 additional milkmen and women.”

It is not just milk that has been popular with customers - the sale of bread has doubled during the pandemic, with artisan bread seeing a large rise. Eggs and fruit and veg have also proved to be popular with customers.

Mr Kendall said: “Our customers shared concerns about our elderly and vulnerable customers and asked us if we can do more to restrict the number of lines each person can buy. We have listened and will now be limiting the number of items a customer can order of any product to two (excluding dairy milk). We still have enough food for everyone, however, we ask that customers only buy what they need for them and their families.

“We do appreciate that these are very difficult times for our customers, but we do want to do all we can to deliver everything that is ordered, which is why we have also moved the cut off time for online customers for amending an order, or placing a new order, from 9pm the night before a customer’s next delivery to midday. This will allow our very hardworking teams the time they need to process the vast number of orders we are currently receiving on a daily basis.

“We would like to thank our customers for their understanding – we have received many supportive messages thanking the team for continuing to make essential deliveries at this time, despite the challenges we are facing. Our thanks also to my team – both those on the road and those who are supporting them back in the office. Together we will do our very best to support the communities in which we are proud to deliver.”