Milking in the 1960s
Memories of Michael Jones
Llys Nini had about 20 Friesian cows which had to be milked twice a day, every day. “The cows were like part of the family and all had names.
The milking parlour was a little way to the west of the house.
There was a stone cobbled roadway leading from the front of the house to milking parlour.
” Llys Nini in the 60s had a compression milking machine “ You had to switch it on, start the air and when it started pumping you put it on the cow.” (111)
There was no refrigeration; the milk was cooled by the action of cold water in a surface film cooler. The water ran through an array of pipes in a metal board and the milk ran over the board to be cooled before being put in churns.
Llys Nini didn’t make its own cheese, “(We) just cooled milk. We would milk the cows and the milk would go into a container, ... (the milk).. would run down a wash board with a tap on, no refrigeration, just the water from the tap to cool the milk. The water ran in the bars and milk into the churns. I used to taste it next morning with the cream on it. They used to take milk off for the house first and top it up but loads of cream on the top – beautiful!” (111)
The full churns were taken down to the stand at the end of the lane on the Swansea Road “ But if we were late doing the milking the lorry would come up but only because he could turn around at the top, there wasn’t many places you could do that. I remember one guy, he was like the world’s strongest man, he could lift a full churn by himself and put it on the trailer.”
The milk was then taken by lorry to the Wales and Western Dairies Ltd creamery, latterly Unigate Diary on Morfa Road in the Hafod area of Swansea.
Photo: Early start, Swansea. Stephen Dowle. (1977), shows a Unigate float in the Hafod area of Swansea close to Dyfatty Flats.
The former Unigate Diary Building was recorded by the Royal Commission in 2000
“Former Wales and Western Dairies Ltd creamery, latterly Unigate, currently closed but intact. Working buildings extended around a 1930s? core, including a deck with remains of a crate conveyor and bulk tank base, pumps, &c. The two-storey brick office block fronts to Morfa Road. It appears that the whole site was extensive, covering some 5.4 acres, much of which is in use by a coach company.
Site visited B.A.Malaws, RCAHMW, 18 February 2000.” 112