10 September 1999

No bottling out in green top doorstep deliveries

GREEN top milk delivered come rain or shine, has been the motto of the Mitchell family for 62 years.

Rosamund Mitchell, FWC magazine county correspondent for Yorkshire, started helping her father-in-law 32 years ago and with her husband Raymond and sons Danny and William is still serving the community of Oakworth near Keighley in Yorkshire.

The morning milking is done by Danny in a mistal before the rest of the family start work at 7am. Remembering who has what on which day is only part of the job that takes up 363 days a year.

Until I joined Rosamund on her milk round one sultry morning this summer, I didnt know that there are no level streets in Oakworth – I certainly do now. This milk delivery throws a new meaning on the expression "care in the community" – this family really does care for its customers.

Over the span of so many years they have got to know their customers well and are a vital contact with the outside world to elderly customers who look forward to a chat as well as this delicious unadulterated product, the likes of which I had not tasted since childhood. Always bright and cheerful, the menfolk are always ready with a witty quip and Rosamund always looks very smart.

Back home for a quick coffee it was time to wash bottles but with my usual reluctance to wash up, luckily I could only watch William, leading light in YFC Yorkshire, who has been working for the family business for most of his 27 years.

The bottling process takes place in the afternoons but this was left to the men as Rosamund had plans to show me the Dales. Her octogenarian mother set the pace for walking to see Malham Cove amidst the limestone hills, we had a job to keep up with her – it must be all that green top that makes her so fit.

Jean Howells