AT midnight every morning, Barry Lane gets out of bed, takes his dog for a walk and then heads to work.
Like clockwork, at 1am he leaves the yard at Dairy Crest, and at 1.15am he gets out of his milk float to deliver the first pint of the day.
But from January 28, he can look forward to a lovely lie-in.
Barry, 70, is all set to retire as a milkman after a staggering 46 years in the job, nowadays delivering milk to 500 homes in and around the Manthorpe estate.
Barry, of Harrowby Road, Grantham, said: “I will miss it, but I won’t miss going to bed at eight o’clock and getting up at midnight.”
What he will miss the most are the customers he calls friends. And it is clear how highly they regard him as several people contacted the Journal to let us know he was to retire.
So popular is Barry that he and his wife Carole cannot go shopping in town without him constantly stopping to chat to people he knows.
Barry believes being a milkman is a way of life, a job he kept way past the retirement age of 65.
He said: I enjoy it, although it seems difficult to believe on a cold morning like this. I’m very lucky to be in a job I’ve enjoyed for all that time.”
It was only by chance that Barry found his calling as a milkman. Having secured a job at Vaculug in Grantham to be told he could not start for two weeks, Barry spotted a job advertisement in the Journal for Clover Dairies.
He took the job thinking he could work as a milkman for two weeks, tell his boss he did not like it and start at Vaculug. Instead, he never looked back. He said: “I loved it so much I thought I’d stay.
“The best thing about the job is the customers. I want to say a big, big thank you to all my customers for their loyalty.”
Barry’s wife Carole, 69, said she is looking forward to having him home in the mornings - but he won’t get off too easy.
Laughing, she said: “I’ve got plenty for him to do, I could fill a notepad thicker than yours with jobs! He’s alright as long as he doesn’t get under my feet.”
Diary Crest manager Peter Lowe said he would greatly miss his colleague and friend.
He added: “I’ve known him for 36 years. Nothing’s too much trouble for him. He shall certainly be missed.”
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