There was a lengthy discussion on Milk tanks several years ago in the forum. Try out the 'Search' facilities (the 'classic forum' version) for milk tankers in this 'Prototype' division and see what you can find. Some one who responded at that time was going to write a book on the subject... I haven't seen it yet!
Express Dairies had creameries at Cricklewood and at Ilford which closed in the 1970s. The latter was served by a cross-London working from either the Midland Mainline or even further afield.
The Royal Arsenal Co-operative Society (RACS) had their HQ in Woolwich, SE London, where I grew up, and I would think that their tankers would have been seen on the Southern Railway/SR of BR - I must admit I never saw one and certainly Woolwich Arsenal Station never had a creamery near it. But there was a siding at Plumstead Station serving some form of RACS works. I must admit although I model 4mm/16.5mm gauge, I did buy one of the Dapol RACS 2mm tankers out of sheer nostalgia!
I suspect that the tankers running on the S&C would have been heading for Leeds and/or Bradford rather than London.
MMB was developed from arrangements made during WW2 and is more associated with BR days.
United Daries had a plant at Ilford and run milk trains from Halesworth in Suffolk and North Elmham in Norfolk. This traffic probably stopped in December 1963. Ilford depot remained open longer with supplies from the West Country until at least 1978.
Clearing up last year's magazines to the store in the loft, I came across two articles on milk trains in 'Model Rail'.
"Milking it!" Part 1 was in issue 119, July 2008, pages 52-56; Part 2 was in issue 120, Summer 2008, pages 28-30. Both parts are well illustrated with pictures of the prototype trains in various parts of the country.
Unigate had several sidings at it's depots in the West Country. On the Western region there were sidings at St Erth, Camborne probably closed in the late sixties, Lostwithiel; on the Southern there were sidings at Torrington, Chard Junc and Semley. All the above processing sites, except Chard, are now closed. Chard siding is still extant but has not been used for many years. The MMB looked at reopening it but it came to nothing.
In West Wales Camarthen and Whitaland had rail links. If my memoery serves me well all the above, except Camborne, were operating in the Seventies. Semley had been proposed as a major site site but road won the day and Wincanton Transport built the Aldermeads reload depot at Wincanton.
Sparkford, like many small daries in Dorset and Somerset, also had a siding but I have no memeory of that being used, although it is possible to see the site of it at what is now the Haynes Car Manual factory.
Very interesting subject - there was indeed a large Express Dairies depot at Appleby on the S + C.
Most of the destinations we are talking of here seem to relate to the London area as the main destination of the trains - is there any info on the other metropolii in the North and Scotland ..?
Also certainly on the WR trains - pre-churned milk was often also carried in closed vans and bogie GUV's CCT's and the like in the same train usually coupled next to the loco.... - think this may have been for butter and cream production.
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