THE familiar chink of milk bottles has been a part of Paul Dyer’s life for almost 50 years.
But the time has come for the Branston milkman to park up his float and begin the next phase of his life, as he retires from delivering to people in the Burton area after 46 years.
The 65-year-old completed his last round recently, after career which saw him serving customers from Alrewas to Fauld, and covering large areas in between.
And his deliveries have not always been without incident.
“I have survived twice being punted off the road in my slow-moving battery-powered float and lost the complete load of milk across the carriageway and down into the ditch,” Mr Dyer said.
He escaped largely unharmed from both these incidents, but the second time was enough to motivate him to switch to a diesel-powered van.
Despite the modern wheels, he was often forced to make deliveries on foot, as the van could not make it up steep hills, and he has been hit by the effects of an early morning freeze many a time.
Mr Dyer’s rounds on alternate days saw him leave the dairy at 4am and head out into the countryside to off load the milk, orange juice and yoghurt in the villages.
Through the years, he has worked for a string of dairies, including Northern Dairies, on Anglesey Road, in Burton. In recent years, he has delivered milk and groceries as a franchisee for the Co-op and Dairy Crest.
But the early starts were not all bad, he said. “They provided me with superb opportunities to see the sun rising in every season. The light paints many changing vistas that I captured on my mobile phone, Mr Dyer added.
The artistic milkman was well known on his rounds for his drawing skills, often sharing a cartoon with his customers.
Now he is released from his routine, he plans to further indulge his interests, by drawing more and becoming a guide at Sudbury Hall. He will also pursue interests in architecture and buildings.