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Based in the London Borough of Bromley Gallery of Members’     Photos and articles es

An introduction.

This dairy site, built mainly by the well known Metcalfe Construction Group, consists of buildings of standard designs adapted to the purpose of the client.

The loading bank and Goods in and out buildings are based on the Brewery design. General assistant, Rodge can be seen on the bank carrying what looks suspiciously like a crate of beer.

The Creamery and covered milk loading shed were designed by the architect Lance Scratch (who, since his release from HMP Parkhurst is commonly known as; Free Lance Scratch). Near the raised loading bay between these two buildings Gerry and Ossie are settling their differences over Phyllis (from the nearby allotment site) who awaits the outcome near the steps to the dock. Outside the workshop and battery charging sheds the chief engineer, Al, points out a leak in the roof of that structure to Anthony, the premises manager. In the workshop is mechanic Timmy who is particularly peeved today because it is necessary to remove the entire cab of the Wales & Edwards floats just to adjust the front tyre pressure.

The bottling plant, based again on the standard brewery building design, has been adapted to include a churn steam cleaning bay where Mikey is busily engaged in readying the next batch of churns to load into the steamer cabinet. Although he has wellies there is a shortage of aprons. The situation is so bad that Mikey is considering joining the Masons. Meanwhile, driver Bryan is putting cleaned churns onto his vehicle for return to the farms.

Beyond the original entrance to the site (soon to be inwards only when the new exit works have been completed) is the raw milk processing building. Young Christopher, the apprentice, is receiving a ticking off from site foreman Mr N S Nazal regarding poor placement of churns on the dock. Christopher is taking it staunchly as his mother always told him never to cry over spilt milk.

The General offices and butter factory are housed in the adjoining buildings. These are based on the Metcalfe Mill design as that was “butter” suited to the purpose. Here can be seen the recently delivered Bedford delivery vans. There is some concern amongst the staff that the livery is not quite what was expected. Some fear a takeover and redundancies especially as the owner has just taken delivery of an expensive Jaguar.

The boiler house is standard design and supplies the steam for the adjacent railtank steam cleaning shelter. The latter structure is a bit ramshackle as it was built from bits found lying around the site. Still, it serves its purpose.

On the front boundary of the site is the, very necessary, water tank and a small office/messroom for yard staff supervisors Trev and Mick temporarily delayed by a shunting movement on their way for a tea break.

On a sombre note the casual observer may encounter the ghostly form of headless Howard in the dark recesses of one of the buildings. Hapless Howard, who worked in the mill previously on this site, was sadly decapitated by an errant Christmas streamer whilst playing blind mans bluff in the early 20th Century and now wanders the site in an endless quest for his party hat.

A Dairy Tale by Roger Denman

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