Sunday, 14 January 2018

Leighton Buzzard's Milk Delivery Dispute Continues

Horse-drawn milk cart from Eli Boarder’s dairy, Leighton Buzzard, c.1900 [Z1432/2/8/3/5]

Monday 14th January 1918: The delivery strike by milk retailers in Leighton Buzzard which began on December 1st is still continuing and appears to be no closer to a resolution. On January 8th the Executive Officer of the Leighton Buzzard Local Food Control Committee wrote the following letter to the milk dealers of the town:
“It having come to the notice of the local Committee that certain people (old persons and invalids) are suffering considerable hardship through the non-delivery of milk, it was decided to prepare a list of such people and approach the milk dealers of Leighton Buzzard to see if some arrangement cannot be come to by them to alleviate the distress of the persons named and for delivery of milk to the same. If such an arrangement can be made the local Committee will make full enquiries and submit the names to the Association of Local Milk Dealers.”
 Mr. H. Rivers of the Leighton Dairy then responded on behalf of the retailers:
 “In reply to your letter of the 8th, we quite agree with your Committee as to the inconvenience and hardship. It is not only to the infirm but also to the general public. But we think your Committee has lost sight of the greatest hardship of all, that in fixing the price of milk at 6d per quart they were taking the living away from the retailers, mostly working men and women. We know quite well that it costs the townspeople quite 7d. a quart by the time they have paid for the fetching, and they cannot always get it done then. The best arrangement we can suggest and the fairest to all, would be for your Committee to alter their price to 7d. per quart, for they know, and the public, too, that for the retailers to pay 1s. 9d. a gallon and sell at two shillings – it cannot be done.”
Source: Leighton Buzzard Observer, 15th January 1918

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