Today's younger generation can hardly imagine IT, but many people left school when they were just a few decades early.

And pretty much everyone brought their milk to the front door every day by a milkman.

Among those who left school at the age of fifteen was Daniel Sencier, who clearly remembers his time as a dairy boy in Colchester.

Born and raised in the city, Daniel lived in Finchingfield Way and attended the Monkwick Secondary School, now Thomas Lord Audley School, before joining the co-op in 1966 as a Milky Boy – his first real job.

Here he shares his memories of the then Colchester.

Daniel, now 67, explains that soon after joining Milky Way, he joined the army and traveled the world.

He landed in Thailand, where he works as a writer and divided his time between Cumbria and Cumbria.

"I've reconnected with so many old schoolmates and have been asked to write my story since leaving Colchester.

"I am sure it will set many memories of the winter in the sixties in motion, when all have left school to start their work."

Daniel recalls that he left school in August 1966 at the age of 14.

"I had already applied to join the army to see the world and learn a trade, and at the Australian Embassy to become a pom-10, but the real goal was to get the house closed as soon as possible leave."


That meant he knew that he hoped he would not stay long when he went to the interview at the Co-op Milk Depot in Colchester.

But he had to convince the woman who had interviewed him.

"I sailed through the three-minute session, and the lady then gave me a math-test job.

"She fetched a pencil, but I saw one on the window sill, and when she came back I had already settled all the questions.

"She was astonished, even more than my math teacher, who had always excluded me in thought tests so as not to demoralize the rest."

After doing such a good job, he was offered a much better job as an apprentice at Co-op Laboratories.

"It was twice as much money, more paid leave, I could work inside, wear smart clothes and get a free dinner in the canteen, but I did not want a job for life – just a job until I could escape Essex."


He took on the job of a milk boy – and got up at 2.30 clock.

"My sister Jacqueline was only two years old, a ticking time bomb that slept in my parents' bedroom. If she woke up, the whole house would.

"A three-mile run, I ran everywhere and landed in the depot half an hour earlier."

Although I had seen dairy swimmers on the street in Colchester, which today are a rare sight, it was a great moment to see them together in the depot.

"It must have been over a hundred."

After meeting Len, whom he would work with, they first had to check the stocks that had been put on the car by night workers to make sure they were in line with the books.


Daniel calculated everything without a calculator.

"There were only a few different things on the packed float, mainly pints, half pints and third pints of milk, small jars of cream and bottled orange juice, all in jar.

"The milk raft was a relatively new thing, batteries were the size of suitcases, but they drove almost silently with them.

"However, you could not understand this silence, because with all the glass in metal boxes that rattled on the bumpy road, you could hear us coming from three streets."

At four o'clock in the morning they were handing over, and Len would assemble the hand boxes, about three houses at a time.

Len even remembered a time when they used horses in the rounds.

As the days turn into weeks, Daniel says he's getting into routine.

Friday was payday and he admits that the little brown package of fifteen shillings and sixpence was a "gold bag for me".

"Very often, especially after 7 o'clock in the morning, housewives had tea and even cookies on us."

He says winter was a difficult time on the lap.


"Our hands were so cold that we lost all feeling and the chilblains were terrible, but still we had fun.

"Customers complained that the birds were picking through the foil caps and drinking the cream from their milk, others moaning that milk and cream were frozen."

And he remembers the big day when a new product was introduced – yogurt.

"We got a taste, because they would make us" sellers ". After a spoon, Len and I looked at each other and frowned. It was like sour milk, we knew it would never prevail!

"There were four flavors and" plastic pans "and they would never replace glass," laughs Daniel.

Soon after, the army called Daniel for an interview and became a soldier in May 1967.

"I still smile when I see a yoghurt, and I even occasionally enjoy one!"

* Contact 01206 508186 if this resulted in memory transitions.