Wimbledon (and Southfields!) milkman Ian Beardwell has beaten off strong competition from nearly 1,200 milkmen and women across the country to be crowned Milk & More’s Milkman of the Year 2018. Ian, who delivers come rain or shine and has never missed a round in his 28 years as a milkman, was nominated by his customers for going above and beyond thanks to his passion for helping others.
A great British institution, milkmen and women are so often pillars of the community, and Milk & More’s Milkman of the Year 2018 competition highlights the great work they do, often before the sun has come up!
Ian’s acts of kindness include reuniting lost cats and dogs with their owners, returning a lost laptop after finding it on the road – he’s even chased car thieves – all while delivering milk to his customers.
He even won an award for one particularly good deed, which saw him hailed as a hero. Ian was completing his milk round at 4am when he noticed the front door of a house wide open and all the lights on. Concerned, he rang the doorbell and waited for a response.
He was greeted by a visibly shaken local resident. She told him she had woken up when she heard someone break into her home. Her young and terrified daughter was upstairs with her. Too scared to do anything other than turn on the lights and pace around to try to warn the burglars that someone was home, the frightened resident hadn’t managed to call the police or check whether anyone was still inside.
Ian offered to wait at her door while she did this, reassuring and calming her at the same time. Once she had called the police, Ian then completed his round before circling back 10 minutes later to check on her.
Ian, whose father was a milkman before him, and his uncle, is quietly brimming with pride at his Milk & More Milkman of the Year 2018 win.
But the much-loved milkman’s first thought was his customers: “I want to say a huge thank you to my customers, many of whom I have been delivering to for years.
“I’m just so touched to even be nominated. I love my job and if I can help anybody in the course of that, then that’s an added bonus for me but it’s only what anyone would do.”
Charles Runcie, one of Ian’s longstanding customers, said: “Ian’s an unsung hero of our community. He goes above and beyond simply delivering milk. He’s always looking out for others who may need a helping hand, reporting or solving problems and generally keeping an eye on things. He’s like an extra pair of eyes to many. The reassuring hum of Ian’s milk float as it goes down my street and the chink of bottles on my doorstep always brings a smile to me, even at 4.30 in the morning!”
Patrick Mueller, MD of Milk & More commented: “Ian is such a wonderful example of why we believe every neighbourhood deserves a milkman! His passion for helping others and his intervention when he sees people in trouble makes him a true local hero deserving of this award. Our milkmen and women are an integral part of their local communities and Ian epitomises all that is great about this British tradition – which we are working hard to ensure will be here for generations to come.”
As well as fresh British milk in iconic one-pint glass bottles (which are reused on average 25 times), Milk & More also delivers produce from artisan suppliers from across Britain, including cheese, granola, butter, biscuits and so much more. All are available to order online from www.milkandmore.co.uk up to 9pm the night before your delivery, which Milk & More aims to make by 7am, in time for breakfast. Milk & More has also introduced a new fleet of environmentally friendly electric milk floats and is the largest operator of electric vehicles in the UK.
Milkmen and women started delivering daily essentials to homes over 150 years ago, in essence making them the original home delivery service. While the level of service hasn’t changed, the offering has evolved and continues to do so, to meet the needs of the customer of the 21st Century.