Friday, 5 November 2010

The Milk Machine.

I'll bet a lot of us have forgotten about these. As a small child in the late 1970s / early 80s, I would see milk cooling machines in just about every cafe, coffee-house and motorway service station I walked into. They were a staple, along with Duralex 'Picardie' glassware, bendy straws and individually-wrapped sugar cubes.

They are hardly ever seen now, it seems. I will readily admit I was pleased and excited to see such a familiar sight from the past, when I bumped into this one recently at a woollen mill in Trefriw, North Wales. As far as I can tell, it's still in working order, providing a sterling service, keeping milk cold in volume for everyone.

I love the very clear design of the Milk logo; the bright blue, orange and white making a real statement without being austere or unfriendly. It has real personality, much like the 'Gotta Lotta Bottle' designs, also by the Milk Marketing Board.

I don't know who produced these machines; I don't even know what they're officially called, but in their own way they have been an influence on me for many years.

Look out for them! If you see one, take a photo and let me know. I'd love to find out if they're still hiding in dark corners out there.

- Jb.


  1. Excellent. I'll keep my eyes open. Have you ever seen a milk vending machine a la Billy Liar? I remember one many years ago, also in Wales. The milk was longlife and came in a shirt wetting triangular package. I saw an orange squash machine that had those plastic oranges floating in it the other day.

  2. There's a wonderful milk bar in Wales (Llanrwst) which is still kitted out in the original late 50s / early 60s fitments and equipment. I'm pretty sure they've got one of those vending machines!

    I loved the orange squash machines with the rotating paddles... hypnotic!

  3. A search for pics of an orange squash machine led me to this, which isn't what I was after, but worth seeing (and I imagine the site - the Scottish Screen Archive - is worth exploring further too):