I'll be selling/signing books in the Craft Marquee at this year's Royal Lancs Show being held at Salesbury Hall, Ribchester, Friday 11th - Sunday 13th August. See you there!
I've a table booked at the World Heritage Big Weekend event being held in St Georges Hall, Liverpool on 29th - 30th April. Will be there selling/signing books but hopefully will have time to attend one or two of the talks. If you are there too, come over and say hello. Dave.
Did my first talk in Cumbria last week, for the Bateman Club in Ings. I included information from the 1881 and 1911 census records about the Liverpool cowkeepers who had originated from Westmorland. Family names included: Barnes, Beck, Berk, Bowman, Brownrigg, Coward, Crag, Fallowfield, Gaddas, Heslop, Kidd, Mason, Richardson, Sowerby, Stickland, Tennant, Whitwell and Woof. Afterwards, I had a fascinating exchange of information with a descendant of the Gilpin family - including a lovely account of cows being herded along the country roads from Crook to Kendal railway station, there to be loaded onto cattle wagons bound for the family's cowhouses in Bootle. Looking forward to future bookings in Cumbria.
Good news. I've just had it confirmed by my publisher that the reprint of my first book is now complete and I should have a new stock by Thursday. For those who have ordered books from me, I'll get them in the post to you by the end of the week. Thanks for your patience. Apologies for the delay. Dave.
Many thanks to Ronnie Hughes for his splendid blog site 'A Sense of Place' and for hosting a fascinating chat about the history of the city's cowkeepers. Ronnie has now closed his Cowkeeping blog page and has passed the baton on to me - for which I am very grateful. Reproduced below is the dialogue to date. Please feel free to add to it.
1. Stan Cotter May 12, 2014 at 10:58 am
That cowhouse in Bryanston Road I remember well. As kids we used to look up through a vent grid in the wall and you could see a cow’s nose looking back at you. A schoolfriend of mine who sat next but one to me used to work there before he came to school, and didn’t we know it, phooaaarr.
There was one at the bottom of Homer Street, Liverpool 8. We knew as the Shippon, the front was on Parkhill Road, the dairy owned by a Mr Whitwell. I remember celebrating VE day in that shippon because it rained and all the neighbours and kids in the street scrubbed brushed and whitewashed it out. The cows had left by then of course.
Maureen October 27, 2015 at 1:03 am
There was a cow shed / dairy in Miller Street, Dingle. My grandparents lived in that house. Grandad used the cow shed to garage his coal vehicle
2. Gerry May 12, 2014 at 11:12 am
In the 1980s a friend of ours lived on Marmion Road in a house that backed on to Hogg’s Parkfield Farm. There were still cows there then (in fact until the last decade, I think) and we would hear (and smell) them – they would be milked in the early morning. Be interesting to know where the milk went.
3. Amanda Brown May 12, 2014 at 6:27 pm
This so interesting. A few years ago, we talked with an elderly man in a pub in Sedbergh. He was from Dent and his family had been dairymen who had come to Liverpool. He had worked here too when he was young.
Dent was – and still is – so remote that Liverpool must have seemed like the other side of the world.
There is a good dairy building on Aigburth Road near Eastfield Drive and I saw one today in Garston just off St Mary’s Road.
stan cotter May 24, 2014 at 2:25 pm
I’ve passed through Dent twice by car and I was fascinated by it, you left tarmac onto cobbled roads and went back 100yrs instantly. An incredible little village. As you say Liverpool must have been the other side of the world.
4. R D Owen May 24, 2014 at 1:25 pm
When I last strolled up Heathfield Road,in Wavertree, the dairy on the corner of Newcastle (?) Road and the adjacent cowshed were still there although apparently disused. The question mark is because I left the city in 1956 but still visit whenever I can. We used to buy our milk etc from a farm on the corner of Woolton and Heathfield Rd. Name escapes me for the moment..
5. Maggie Wallace May 25, 2014 at 10:18 pm
Not quite the same – sheep not cows! We moved to Aigburth in 1973 from just across the park on Ullet Road, our home when first married. We were amazed to find a flock of sheep in the grounds of what used then to be a Convent at Kelton. The sheep are sadly long gone now, the meadow they grazed on is now the Kelton Estate.
When my kids were small and at Sudley Infants School I often used to find mushrooms in the lawns on the Estate (we took a short cut through there on way to school), other Mums were horrified that I used to pick them, take them home and cook them for tea! Obviously only shop mushrooms are safe – all else are dangerous toadstools! Though I suppose I should warn that not all fungi are safe to eat, and you should know what you are doing before eating them… But I was brought up to recognise mushrooms (yum!) so didn’t really think twice about it at the time.
6. catherine taylor June 21, 2014 at 9:49 pm
I lived at the dairy in Marlborough Road and my father worked for Harpers before moving to Marlborough Road. In ’75 we moved “back up north” to farm… the plan was always to move back to the countryside and farm! I find it interesting to read these articles
7. David Steers July 1, 2014 at 12:07 am
I don’t remember ever seeing a cowhouse but I believe there was one at the Smithdown Road end of Bagot Street in the 1960s. The adjoining shop sold excellent ice cream. I was fascinated to see the former cowhouse just off Lark Lane because – although I don’t remember it as a cowhouse – I well remember that spot when it housed a milk dispensing machine. You can still see the outline of where it stood near the sign for the cafe. The milk machine always captivated me when I was young.
Anne McCann June 24, 2016 at 8:03 pm
Critchelys ice cream?
David Steers June 25, 2016 at 8:50 am
Yes that’s right. It was great – I’ve never tasted ice cream like it since. I’d forgotten the name.
8. Alan Brooks August 8, 2014 at 9:48 am
In the 1950’s and 60’s Carol’s Dairy on Walton Breck Road provided our milk. They delivered in a horse and cart. As school kids we would ride on the dray and help with deliveries. The owner was killed when he fell off the cart and was kicked to death by the horse. Yet they still delivered for years after that, the same horse I think. They also kept hens, they continued into the 1980’s but buying the milk in. The shop and stable are now flats.
9. Maureen McGuinness August 8, 2014 at 11:16 am
I started work in 1963 for a small bore plumbing and heating company as office junior. A Dillon & Son was next door to the Willow Bank in Smithdown Road, there were cows there then because we could smell them at mucking out, use to go in there for milk.
harry taylor October 9, 2014 at 1:43 pm
used to be Henry Wynne`s dairy at the back of the willow bank and he used to have a horse drawn milk float with a horse called dolly, when I was a kid in the early 70s we used to come out in the street with a piece of bread or a sugar lump and pray he wouldn`t bite your hand when he took it
Victoria Lyon July 24, 2016 at 7:08 pm
That was my Uncle ! I was (and still am) very proud that at 5 yrs old I could carry 10 empty milk bottles with my fingers.
10. Billy Williams August 10, 2014 at 6:38 am
Just reading this little bit of Liverpool history and remembering the cow houses in Aigburth and Lark Lane, I worked for Hoggs on Bryanston Road when I was younger delivering milk via the fleet of carts they had, we use to make a hell of a noise at 5:30am loading up the carts with creates of milk then push these overloaded carts around the local streets.
Also on Bryston Rd on the corner of Errol St was Jones Dairy a stones throw from Hoggs, always wondered why two Dairy’s so close together.
11. Beryl KISSANE August 10, 2014 at 4:20 pm
My maiden name was Harper. On researching my family tree my ancestors arrived in Liverpool in 1860 from Garsdale, Sedbergh and Dent. They use to bring the cows to Liverpool and when the milk dried up they would swop the cows. The family history society think the dairy in Rose Lane is one of my relations. I must purchase this book to read. Thanks
Lesley edwards June 11, 2016 at 5:16 pm
The harpers are in my family tree my GT Gt grandmother was Rose Harper she married William Ellis and came to Liverpool from Sedberg, Kendal area some of her relatives had a dairy in chestnut grove Wavertree I believe
Beryl Kissane June 11, 2016 at 5:54 pm
Hi Lesley, For some reason I cannot read all of your post but there is a possibility that we have a common ancestor giving what you have said about the dates etc. I have researched my tree extensively and traced the journey the Harper’s have made. I have visited the farms where they were tenants and even been in the house where my great-grandfather x4 lived in Dent and the Harper’s still live there today. It was they who said that they had visited Liverpool and the dairy in Rose Lane but were apparently given short shrift as they say and would not engage with them. To some extent I can understand that as they are a bit fed up of people knocking on the door. I have gone as far back as 1640 in the Garsdale, Hawes and Dent areas. If you can possibly give me some details of which Harper’s you are related to I can have a closer look at any relationship we might have. Hope to hear from you. Best wishes, Beryl nee Harper.
Lesley Edwards June 12, 2016 at 7:41 pm
Hi Beryl ,yes my Gt great grandmother rose Harper born 1845 Garsdale was a daughter of Richard harper who was born 1815 and Elizabeth Capstick . Rose Harper married William henry Ellis had children and they came to Liverpool .I seem to remember William Henry ellis her husband was down as a cowkeeper 1891 census living Berkley Street , Liverpool.I think one of her relatives worked at Chestnut Grove Dairy in Liverpool at some point .I have a tree on ancestry and have got back to a certain point, Lesley
12. Mersey_dub August 10, 2014 at 10:16 pm
John Harper from Rose Lane Dairy moved over to the Isle of Man where he set up Shebeg Pottery near Ballasalla. As he had been our milkman for many years, we used to visit him when we visited the Island, and over the years have built a small collection of Shebeg cows, sheep, goats, etc
13. Jeanette Keel August 10, 2014 at 11:01 pm
We descend from a family, surname of ‘Wray’ who originate from Aysgarth in the Dales. Our Gt Gt grandfather was a ‘Cowkeeper’ in Liverpool city centre. They had a house and dairy and cows in Cockspur Street, just behind Exchange station. We know very little of the family, apart from what we’ve discovered tracing our family tree. There was also another family who had re-located to Liverpool, surname of ‘Mudd’, they appear about the same time in Liverpool, also kept cows and who were related to the Wray’s. It would be interesting to see if these people entered cattle in the Liverpool shows etc?
Elizabeth Muddd October 2, 2014 at 3:17 pm
I am one of the Mudd’s. Our family history is that my grandfathers family came to Liverpool from Askrigg, North yorkshire and were dairy men in the Everton area I believe…family ledgend is that we were one of the first to use glass milk bottles in the city.
James valentine slowey January 26, 2015 at 7:24 pm
My grandfather was from Aysgarth. He moved to Liverpool when he was a young man. His name was John Wray. Aysgarth is the family seat of the Wrays. My great great aunt was the village postmisstress - Elizabeth Wray. Most of the Wrays were soldiers serving with distinction all over the world
14. Stephen Caldwell August 11, 2014 at 2:13 am
I never knew anything about this and me coming from a family of dairymen. My family dairy was on the corner of Gwyder Street and South Street in Liverpool 8 it was called Caldwell’s Dairy and now I know why we had hay loft a stable and large yard area attached to our house. I remember my poppy telling me he used to deliver milk on his horse and cart in the Liverpool 8 area in the early 1900s in a milk churn and people would come out there milk jugs to be filled. We also had the dairy shop which sold all kinds of fresh food eggs, bacon,cheese, etc. Part of the hay loft was converted into a chicken and duck run and the eggs would be sold daily in the shop and every few months the chickens and ducks would be slaughtered and also sold as fresh in the shop and then we would start again. In the 50&60s we modernised and had an electric hand cart and two milk floats, Bedford open flat back and a small Morris Minor flat back. Me and my dad used to deliver milk all over Liverpool 8 also the big houses in Sefton and Princess Parks, Belvidere Road, Devonshire Road and Ullett Road. I could go on for hours it was very hard work I known that but I loved every minute of it. Regards Stephen
15. davidkeel123 August 17, 2014 at 10:59 pm
My mum has told me of the following story from the early 1940’s : Cows were kept just by Aigburth Peoples Hall and close to a small infant school. There was also a shop there that sold the milk both in cans and bottles. .. the cows where kept nearby in a big hut .. She can remember playing in the loft above the cows ,, where the hay was kept. The cows were brought out first thing in the morning and they were led up into Irwell Lane, then left into Victoria Road and then into Briarwood Road, where at the top was a lane that led into some fields. The cows would graze there all day till about 5pm …. Carnatic House was there.
16. Glen Huntley August 22, 2014 at 1:08 pm
Iike Billy I worked for Hoggs in Bryanston Road pulling milk carts. I started at the age of 12 or 13 in the mid 1970s and my round was Chetwynd and Allington Streets. It was really hard work sometimes, pulling a heavy 2 wheeled carts with 6 to 8 crates of milk on in all weathers. One winter the snow was about a foot deep and I had customers come out and help me pull it.
Christmas time was great as you got loads of tips when you took the holiday orders, one year I made £100 and that was the late 70s! That kept me in Airfix models and sweets for a while.
On really cold mornings we would stand in the fridge to keep warm, it sounds daft but the temperature was constant and so higher than outside. The scariest part of the round was pulling down Aigburth Road the wrong way. I have tried to find if any other dairies in other parts of the country had boys pulling carts but so far haven’t found anything. It almost seems Victorian looking back but I wish my 12 year old son could do it now.
I know Hoggs used to walk his cows along Bryanston Road to feed on the shore, I’m sure I remember the sound of bells in the morning as they past our house. The pasture was on the other side of railway tracks I believe. The entrance to which is the small patch of wild land that is still there, next to St Charles School in Tramway Road.
One of the Hoggs, once told about an escaped monkey that was running through the streets and scared his horse, so he wacked it with the horse muck shovel! I thought he was winding me up but when I first read about Micky I realised there was truth in it. Micky’s escapes being at the time of King Kong would of made it a scarier prospect and I’m sure helped in his demise on the rooftops.
I was pleased to hear about the sheep as I was sure I had seen these on visits to Sudley House but thought I was going mad.
Jones Dairy sold amazing Cheshire cheese they kept under glass domes. All the walls were covered with dark wood shelves with groceries on and she had a long stick she would use to reach the top shelves. Supermarkets have a lot to answer for.
17. Faith September 5, 2014 at 9:10 pm
My grandfather had a dairy on Bedford Road. His name was William Greenbank. I believe his father built ‘the milk house’ as it was called. They came from Dent. My father Richard Greenbank worked there milking cows amd delivering milk with horse and float until the second World War he joined the army. In later years it became a garage. I have a painting of Greenbank Cowkeepers Glebe Farm Dairy which was painted in early 1900’s I think. It was in Walton Village. Has anyone heard of Greenbank’s.? There are certainly many of them in church yard in Dent.
Ray Smyth December 29, 2015 at 9:59 am
Hello Faith, I have just found your Greenbanks Dairy info. My dad drove a lorry for Greenbanks in the 1930s,I have a photo of him standing beside it. Regards, Ray Smyth. ,If you would like to see it, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Regards, Ray Smyth.
donna davis August 31, 2016 at 5:01 pm
Your grandad was brother to my friend's grandad Leonard Greenbank. Would love to hear from you could you email me on email@example.com if you are interested in getting in contact and I will pass you their details on,
18. James Woodruff November 18, 2014 at 1:22 pm
Really interesting, I’ve traced my family a little, when they first moved to Liverpool from Bredbury they ran a dairy in Aigburth Vale, I couldn’t work out how. Now I know! Really good stuff, thanks so much.
James Woodruff November 18, 2014 at 2:36 pm
I think it my have been the Bryanston Road one you mention above, it was certainly that part of Aigburth, I’ll have to dig out my paperwork and check.
Alan Passmore March 1, 2015 at 1:49 am
John Woodruff: Nos 1/3 Neilson Road, St Michaels 1902/17; No 18 Lucerne St, Lark Lane 1920/43
19. Arthur Jones November 21, 2014 at 2:59 pm
Just discovered this site. My father was a cousin to the Ranson cow keepers of Raffle Street off Great Georges Street. During the war years he delivered brewers grain to farms and cowkeepers in the Liverpoo land cheshire areas , from 1949 until 1951 I worked for the Ransons delivering milk by foot until 8am and then second boy to Thomas Ranson who drove the horse and float. Most of the dairies on your site I remember going to on my fathers wagon.
Dave Joy November 21, 2014 at 3:44 pm
Arthur – did you ever have any dealings with cowhouses or dairies in the Garston area?
Arthur Jones November 24, 2014 at 8:47 pm
One dairy in particular stands out in my mind unfortunately the name I can’t remember. It ran parallel to St Mary’s Road on the left hand side,heading towards Speke. My father had to back his wagon into the dairy yard to deliver the brewers grain as he got to the rear of the wagon it rolled back against the midden injuring him although not fatal. This would have been about 1946.
Dave Joy November 24, 2014 at 10:19 pm
Arthur – My family’s dairy business, ‘Wellington Dairy’, was located on the corner of Wellington Street and Duke Street in Garston. The entrance to the yard was in Duke Street, which runs parallel to St Mary’s Road as you describe. The family ran that dairy from 1901 until the late 1960s and kept cows there until about 1955 – but it was always a horse-drawn business. So, it sounds like you delivered to us! Where did the grain come from? Breweries in Liverpool?
Arthur Jones November 25, 2014 at 10:42 am
That is definitely the dairy that I had in mind, we got the grain mainly from Threfalls in Truman Street, occasionally from Bents. Ranson’s Dairy, like your family’s, traded into the 60’s. They were established from about 1860 as milk providers and horse dealers. I left working for them in early 1953 to go away to sea, my father left them after his accident to work at Dunlop’s in Speke.
I will cast my memory back to the other dairies in the South side of the city. Woolton had a couple, one situated I think on the corner of King Street, another somewhere along Cuckoo Lane.
Dave Joy November 27, 2014 at 9:17 am
That’s lovely to hear. I could probably think of 101 questions to ask you! But for now could you just answer this one: how was the grain packaged for transportation – was it put in sacks or was it just loaded on to a cart and then shovelled off at the destination?
Arthur Jones November 28, 2014 at 4:23 pm
As the grain came straight from the brewing of the beer,it was still hot and wet, it came down a shoot and directly into the sided wagon drainng off on the travels.It then had to be shoveled off by hand sold by the bushel to the dairymen.Each spadeful equaled a bushel.My father wore corded riding breeches, boots and knee high leather leggings.
20. Linda williamson November 30, 2014 at 3:36 am
Did you ever hear of Bill Blackwell? He was a cowkeeper on Window Lane, Garston. I know for sure he that he was in the business in the 30’s and 40’s. This website is wonderful! Lw
Dave Joy March 25, 2015 at 7:34 pm
Linda – the 1911 census for 25 Window Lane lists Richard and Mary Blackwell and five children. Like many of the Liverpool/Garston cowkeepers, Richard originated from Yorkshire (Newton). Their youngest child was William – aged 2 years. I am guessing that young Bill went on to manage the dairy after his parents.
Dave Joy July 11, 2016 at 2:34 pm
Hi Linda. Just to let you know that there is an old photo of a Bryan Blackwell in my new book. He was keeping cows on the corner of Canterbury Street and Window Lane in Garston.
Peter Tabberer September 29, 2016 at 7:24 pm
My wife tells me that on the corner of Canterbury St and Window Lane (on the river side of Canterbury St) was a bomb site, the pile of bricks still there into the mid 50’s. She can remember a painted sign for Blackwells
21. Frank Page February 20, 2015 at 9:34 pm
Hi Arthur, I lived in the pub, The Banjo, on Great George St until it was knocked down in 1958. I remember Ranson’s Dairy well. We used to get our milk from the churn and sometimes had a ride on the pony and trap. I remember the cows were sometimes allowed to feed on the grass on the bomb-site next to our pub – much to the delight of the passengers in the passing buses and cars. The smells and sounds of the place were magical.
22. James valentine slowey May 17, 2015 at 10:35 pm
An after thought occurred to me on a grave marker on a tree in Aysgarth Yorkshire is a dedication to a deceased Wray as follows: "Hear lies deaf Jack Wray Strong in the Arm weak in the head." Sounds much like a more modern yorkshire saying
23. John Holmes June 19, 2015 at 6:53 pm
My great grandfather William HOLME lived in Garsdale, Yorkshire before moving to Liverpool where he became a Cowkeeper. He worked alongside his in-laws Samuel and Ellen ALLEN who had premises in Everton and in Tuebrook (Russian Drive) before opening his own Cowkeeping business at Mill Lane, West Derby. The ALLEN family finished up living at 34 Freehold Street, West Derby.
Does anyone know of these families.I can be reached at:
24. Ann Robinson Ahlgren October 9, 2015 at 10:15 pm
As a little girl I lived on Rosslyn Street and passed 2 dairies on the way to school. One was Hogg’s Dairy. When I was old enough to carry a milk jug, I was sent for a pint of milk which was poured into my jug. This I carried home taking care not to spill any on the way. Going into Hogg’s Dairy was a very pleasant experience. It was cool and ultra clean. Sometimes there was a cloth to put on the top of the jug to keep the milk clean. We could look at the cows a little through a kind of wall grid and then we could even get the cow smell as well. Occasionally I would be sent to Jones' Dairy in Errol Street. However, they sold more than milk
Another dairy was near St Michael’s School, Neilson Road. If we had a penny we went in and bought an OXO cube. This we sucked on, like a sweet and we thought this was a real treat. Lovely memories.
Ann Robinson Ahlgren.
Now in Sweden
25. Joan Constantine October 21, 2015 at 10:37 am
I remember so well Joe Capstick – It was a special treat when he got his horse and milk wagon out once a month or so coming up Windsor Rd. Happy days..
My father worked in Lockerbie Road Co-op Dairy all his life after getting demobbed from the Royal Fleet Air Arm in 1945/6…he worked as an engineer and boiler-house technician until it was closed down in late 70s or 80s…The industries that have gone from Liverpool is unbelievable everyone could be employed those days and didn`t have far to travel.
26. John Morrin October 22, 2015 at 6:20 pm
I am John Morrin. I was brought up in Maghull until 1987, when I joined the RAF and effectively ‘left’ Liverpool.
I have recently visited my Aunt Dorothy in Isle of Wight – my Mum died in 1977 (when I was 11) and I lost touch with my Mums two sisters (Dorothy and Marie).
I have traced my Father’s Ancestry tree (as far as I can) and started to research my Mother’s family tree in 2013 – I drew a complete ‘blank’ as the (married) name was Smith. I did, however, know that the maternal side of the family came from Poland – surname Parukiewicz.
Auntie Dorothy had previously mentioned about a shop and the fact that the Polish family may have had to change their name to Redmond, due to local Anti-Sematic feeling in-between the Wars. She said that her Mother's (Agnes Redmond/Parukiewicz) Mother (my Great Grand Mother, on my Mums side!) ran a shop. I saw her in IoW yesterday, and she confirmed that her Grandmother ran an Ice Cream Parlour, which was either attached to, or adjacent a Dairy (Cowhouse) in Silvester Street.
I am trying to trace both the name Parukiewicz and Redmond, through Ancestry but the search is proving virtually fruitless, at present. Hence the new ‘line of attack’ with the Cowhouse connection.
Any help or information would be great fully received!
27. Liz October 25, 2015 at 8:52 am
I lived in Hill St Liverpool 8. Born 1952. As a child I remember the Dairy in Head Street but the milk floats where in Back Cotter Street. I think the dairy belonged to people called Hansons. The actual house they lived in was so quaint and I vaugly remember a wall of yorkstone and going up a couple of steps to the door. I think possible to pay for the milk. I remember an elderly woman who was the mother.
I don’t remember any cows but there was a horse kept in a stable on the left hand side as you entered Cotter Street from Hill St.
Cotter Street was a little hive of activity for such a small area.
Moffat the plate shop on Mill St a garage and a cobblers on the opposite corners of Cotter St. My father was the licensee of the Woods House corner of Hill Street and Mill St.
John Morrin October 29, 2015 at 7:40 pm
OK – I’ve been doing a bit more (actually a lot more!) Ancestry digging and with the help of my 84 year old Auntie (85 on 5th Nov!), I have tracked down the Redmond’s (formally Parukiewicz) (two adults, 5 Children), at 26 Latimer Street, on the 1911 Census Summary – can’t locate the census (Form A) but will contact National Archives (may have been destroyed in The Blitz?) to locate ascertain its fate. 26 Latimer street crosschecked, with the Marriage Certificate of Agnes (Grand Mother) and Albert E Smith in 1929, that I ordered two or three years ago.
They were listed as being Shop Owners – a dairy (Cowhouse) in an adjacent street; 113 Ashfield Street – with stables (103 & 105) there too!
28. Kathy Padgett July 24, 2016 at 7:07 pm
I heard your talk and bought your book at the Pendle Forest History Society talk at Barley village hall and really enjoyed both. My daughter has just moved into student accomodation across the road from The Brookhouse on Smithdown Road and I suspect it was a old cow shed/ dairy. The address is Gorsebank Road, would you know if I am correct?
Dave Joy July 25, 2016 at 8:16 am
Hello Kathy. Lovely to hear from you. I’ve checked through the city directories I have at hand and cannot find any cowkeepers listed in Gorsebank Road. I do have a Thomas Stockdale living at 240 Smithdown Road (1911), which is opposite The Brookhouse – but that’s the other end of the block from Gorsebank. It is of course possible that the shop was on Smithdown Road but the cow shed was accessible from the side street (being either Gorsebank Road or Greenbank Road). What number Gorsebank Road is the student accommodation? I’ll check it out on Streetview.
Kathy Padgette hind July 25, 2016 at 8:41 pm
The address is Number 3 Gorsebank Road, a converted ‘courtyard’ . We had a look on google street map and it seems to be behind 240 Smithdown Road, access via three side streets. We had a look around the outside of the building, and parts look like they were single story at one time and visable low bricked up windows, its very interesting!
Dave Joy August 1, 2016 at 4:02 pm
Hi Kathy. Yes! Found it on google earth – tucked away at the back of everything. It very much looks like it could have been the cowkeeping part of the dairy at 240 Smithdown Road. I’ll contact the Wavertree Society to see if they can throw any light on it.
David Furbur April 19, 2016 at 12:33 pm
My grandfather used to live in Aigburth Vale and ran or worked with his father for a dairy delivering around Sefton Park 1880 approx. William Jack Furbur. Any leads on this. ???
29. Peter Lowe January 15, 2016 at 11:21 pm
My grandfather was Alf Fawcett who kept cows at Breeze Hill in Walton.I wonder if anyone remembers it??
I lived the first 7 years of my life there and have many happy memories of the cows, and the horse driven cart pulled by Queenie the horse .I cried my eyes out when she died..My grandfather then delivered the milk with a bandage every day in all weather..He stopped deliveries in the early 1950,s
as he was well into his 70’s. He came to Liverpool from Bellerby in North Yorkshire along with many others from that area.
Ray Smyth January 16, 2016 at 1:07 pm
Hello Peter, My father, Robert(Bob) Smyth, born 1913, lived in Buchanan Road, not far from Breeze Hill. As a young man,he worked for Greenbanks Dairy, driving a lorry, later driving for Liverpool Co-operative Dairies at Long Lane Fazackerley, and then Lockerby Road until ill health forced him to take a job in his early sixties at the Daily Post, working inside a building after 40 odd years of working outside. I think Greenbanks were in Bedford Road, Bootle. Kind Regards, Ray Smyth.
Carole Tayleure July 21, 2016 at 2:46 pm
Hi Peter, I live in Astor St and I remember the cows and later on the little dairy shop. Doreen had a son called David, my mum Iris was friends with her. I also remember Mr Fawcetts coming down the street in his pony and cart and his dog running behind. Happy memories.
ps I might be wrong with the name of Doreen’s son.
PETER LOWE July 21, 2016 at 6:48 pm
Hello Carole. Good to hear from you. Doreen, my auntie's son was Derek. My mother Clarice was Doreens sister. l helped my grandad on his rounds and the dog was mine named Whiskey.
These were the best years of my life even though we did not have a lot of money my extended family all lived in the one house and as a young lad this was happy period of my life.
30. John Holmes February 5, 2016 at 4:40 pm
My great grandfather managed a Cowhouse at 6 Russian Drive, Tuebrook and two others at 21 and 27 Mill Lane, West Derby.
I am related to the ALLEN family from Hawes, Wensleydale and the HOLME family from Garsdale and Grisedale in Yorkshire. Both families moved to Liverpool in the 1890’s to be Cowkeepers.
Brian Phythian March 8, 2016 at 6:39 pm
I am related to the Allen family, the dairy at 189 Park Road, opposite Wellington Road at the top of the hill, between what was the pub (now Cravens) and Woolworths. One of many, also at 95 Gainsborough Road, 466 Prescot Road, 2 Laburnam Road and the family were also linked by marriage to the Batty family, with dairies on Aigburth Road, Arundel Avenue and Prince Alfred Road.
Great to read so many stories.
Paul Batty August 1, 2016 at 3:51 pm
My grandad, Allen Batty was born and raised at Batty’s dairy on Aigburth Road. His mums maiden name was Jane Allen, hence his Christian name.
Interestingly my great grandfather William Batty had a brother Norman who also married a girl called Jane Allen, a cousin of my great grandmother I understand. So more than one Batty – Allen marriage amongst the Liverpool cow keepers.
My branch of the Battys lived in various Yorkshire and Westmorland locations ; Garesdale, Ravenstonedale, Aysgarth etc, but all roads seem to lead to Dent eventually!
Brian Phythian September 1, 2016 at 12:15 pm
Thanks for the response and certainly interesting to see the Batty line continuing.
My wife’s maiden name was Allen and consequently we have researched the Allen and Batty lines in detail, both in Yorkshire and particularly Hawes where the Allen family still have their shop after 100+ years, and once movement to Liverpool happened.
From memory I think it was William and his brother George Batty who ran the dairies in Liverpool although many family members travelled south as well, and you are correct when you say they both married Allen cousins (I haven’t come across a brother Norman).
George married Jane Allen (daughter of William Allen and Mary Pratt) at Fairfield Methodist Church Liverpool in 1902, and, as you probably know, William married Jane Allen (daughter of Samuel Allen and Ellen Sayer at West Derby Record Office in 1898. George and Jane had a son Norman in 1903 which maybe who you were thinking of. We are descended from Samuel and Ellen’s line; proving it’s a small world!
Paul Batty September 23, 2016 at 1:03 pm
Hello again Brian
Sorry for the late reply. You are of course correct, It was Williams brother George who married the ‘other’ Jane Allen. It has been mentioned several times in Ronnies’s blog what a tight knit community the Liverpool cowkeepers where.
I think that the real ‘mover and shaker’ behind the Batty dairies in Liverpool was my G.G.Grandad Richard Batty. A few years ago I managed to visit Adamthwaite farm, just outside Ravenstonedale, where Richard farmed in the 1880’s and where William and George lived as boys.I was invited inside by the farmer who wanted to show me a carved inscription on the shippon door that read; ‘W BATTY 1867’. I got the impression at the time that the farmer didn’t invite just anybody in to nose around inside his shippon. It’s things like this that make rooting around in the past worth while for me.
It looks like Richard made some brass from dairying at Adamthwaite which enabled him to set his sons up in business in Liverpool.
After living abroad for many years I now live in Kirkby Lonsdale, just over the hill from Dent!
Alan Batty September 25, 2016 at 4:12 am
Hi Brian. This is interesting reading the website and your posts to Paul. I’m related to the Battys in Liverpool.
My dad was Ernie was a milkman from when he left the Royal Navy. I remember doing the milk deliveries with him during some school holidays and also Sundays.
We moved away from Liverpool in 1970 when dad sold up the business to Hansons Dairies.
He was getting letters as it was in the 60s from auntie Peg [Margret] to move to NZ as she had in the early 60s with husband Fred. Ernie moved back to Liverpool in the early 2000s
I’ll have to get a copy of the book.
From what I’d been told as a young lad one of the Richards [not sure if it was GGF or GGGF] took some cattle over to the USA for a New York agri show.
31. ARDY March 18, 2016 at 1:39 pm
A couple of years ago I wandered up Heathfield Road covering the route I used back in the 1930s whilst walking from school (The Morrison) to my home off Dunbabin Rd, and came across the still standing dairy with the cowhouse on Coventry Rd (?) and can still recall a cow looking out over the gate.
32. Roger Gifford April 1, 2016 at 11:11 am
Hi. I’m after some help please. I’ve just bought a house on the corner of Briardale Road and Penny Lane in Mossley Hill L18. It was built in 1907 and was only to be used as a shippon dairy and a shop. The original owners were called William Solomon Williams and Henry Davies. There’s some land at the back which still has remnants of old cow sheds and stables. I think it may have become a car sales garage at some stage. My house looks like it was two houses and has a basement (or maybe two, I havent finished digging yet!!) with storage that could easily have been a chilled room for milk. I can’t find much else out about it and was wondering if anyone could help. Photos or a few memories would be great. Thanks for any help
Peter Tabberer September 20, 2016 at 12:44 pm
In the 50’s and early 60’s I used to go trainspotting in the alley between Briardale Rd and the railway. I well remember seeing the cows inside the shed that backs on to the railway and thinking it was cruel as my Grandmother lived in Derbyshire where the cows were out in fields!!
However, there were at least 3 cows by memory, possibly more.
I lived in Russell Rd just off Penny Lane, our milkman, Mr Martin, delivered using a hand cart in all weathers!! He lived in Russell Rd so perhaps collected his milk from Briardale?? If you looked over the wall on the Penny Lane bridge, you could occasionally see the cows outside. We rarely went trainspotting close to the building because of the pong!!
Dave Joy September 21, 2016 at 6:06 pm
Hi Peter. That’s fascinating. I had relatives who kept cows in the Penny Lane area. At different times they lived in Calton Avenue, Carsdale Road and Olivedale Road. I’m still trying to find out more about how they lived. On google maps I can see a building accessible from the alley at the rear of Briardale Road (at the Penny Lane end of the alley) – is this the cowshed you are describing? Also, do you recall seeing cows grazing on any fields near Penny Lane? If so, can you say where? Cheers, Dave.
Peter Tabberer September 21, 2016 at 6:26 pm
Hi Dave, happy to pass on snippets of info.
Yes, the building you describe down the alley is the one
By memory I saw hay and straw being delivered but the cows were outside occasionally on a small parcel of land adjacent to the bridge (I can remember them raising the bridge to allow for electrification and the demise of steam!!)
I didn’t see cows outside in my part of South Liverpool in the 50’s-60’s and I rode my bike everywhere and would have spotted them!!
What they did with the poo etc is anyones guess, but at least we got fresh milk!!
On a different theme, I can remember Horse drawn bin wagons in the Granby St area in the early 50’s. How times have changed!!
Dave Joy September 21, 2016 at 8:35 pm
In the 1911 census there is a cowkeeper, Stanley Foster, living at 2a Briardale Road – that must be the same property. I will make a point of visiting the site when next in Liverpool. With regard to cow muck – it was a valuable fertiliser. It was stored on site in a midden and then was either sold direct to farmers or was collected by a Muck Merchant who would cart it out to the farms on the edge of the city and sell it there.
33. Stephen Bowe April 18, 2016 at 4:33 pm
Family history has indicated that my great grandfather John Bowe moved to Liverpool as a cow man from Wensleydale and I think they may have had a dairy in Jasmine Street. They had a Quaker heritage. Any information would be very useful…
Dave Joy April 18, 2016 at 10:29 pm
Hi Stephen. The 1911 census has John Bowe (cowkeeper) living at 3-7 Jasmine Street (cowhouses often included more than one property). Place of birth given as Aysgarth, Yorks. That’s all I have at hand I’m afraid.
34. Alan Bell May 25, 2016 at 9:33 am
I helped deliver, we used to call it kitting milk, with Mr Mason from Trevor Road L9 . He had cows in a shed and we used to kit it from a large urn from the back of his horse drawn cart. Later I wrote a dissertation on the development of an urban milk supply and related it to improvements in public health.
When are the next talks/ meetings on this.
35. Lynn Asbridge May 25, 2016 at 8:39 pm
I saw the BBC clip today about the last cow house in Liverpool. It sparked an interest to see if there was anything out there about the Hogg's Dairy and found this site. I think I can add to the memories. I lived in Errol St. Tom and Margaret Hogg were very good to me. At lunch time when I was in primary school at St Michaels I would call at the dairy on Alwyn Street and Mr Hogg would give me a shopping list. It usually consisted of some sausages from Glendennings. Choc ices for him and 20 Benson and Hedges for Mrs Hogg. At the end of the week on a Saturday morning I would call to see them and they would give me some pocket money. I was allowed to go into the yard to see the cows being milked and help sometimes. I would then fill bottles with cream and put the metal tops on by placing a metal cone over the lid and hitting it. When the calves where being moved by truck up to Jericho lane farm I was allowed to ‘play’ with them in the yard. I enjoyed every moment. They gave me gifts from far away places such as a large piece of coral. They were very kind. I remember a large range in the kitchen with dinner cooking for the evening meal. I remember the cow which escaped and ran down Bryanston Rd. John, the dairyman who let me ride on his cart when he was delivering the milk. This was all between the late 60’s to early 70’s. Very fond memories.
The dairy by St Michaels primary school was the place to get sweets to and from school. But he was miserable and shouted a lot. I don’t think he liked children.
Jones’ Dairy, Errol Street, as in a previous post sold the most amazing Cheshire cheese and general store. At that time I don’t believe they had livestock but may have had hens. Val the wife of the owner had an enormous blonde beehive hair do. I think it was her mother who when asked for some cheese would take the big glass dome off, cut the cheese, place wrap it in grease proof paper. When unwrapped there was always a black finger and thumb print on either side of the piece of cheese. Hygiene not being what it is today!
36. Victoria Lyon July 24, 2016 at 7:16 pm
My Maternal family, the Winns, had Willowbank Dairy on Smithdown Road, Although it was finished and sold by around 72/73 I have such clear, vivid memories of it. Playing in the warm Brewers grains brought by Wilsons, Going out on the horse drawn dray doing deliveries, my Uncle Henry taking the horse off to the local schools to mow the grass with a gang mower and bring it back for the cows …. Such a unique part of Liverpool history .
37. Shirley Kelly Borsa August 13, 2016 at 3:09 pm
My grandfather and great grandfather were Kelly Brothers of Walton Builders and built a lot of houses with shippins (cow houses) many of which were auctioned in the late 70’s. I do have addresses of some if you are interested.
Alan Batty September 25, 2016 at 4:53 am
Thanks for putting this history on the web and all the work you’ve put in. Much apporeciated from the Batty clan in New Zealand via Liverpool.
I remember dad going to Browns Dairies in Liverpool for milk as he was a milkman in those days. I’m not sure how they or from whom the got the milk to bottle as that would’ve been in the late 1960s.
Andy Wilcock September 3, 2016 at 4:56 pm
My family were based at Wavertree and attended Wavertree Baptist Church (now Dovedale BC). My grandparents were Dorris (nee Wilson) Foster and Stankey Foster. I believe by grans family (Wilson’s) were dairy farmers in Sedbergh who moved to Liverpool (Wavertree) and continued dairy farming there.
I also believe my Gradfather Stanley was Chairman of the Milk Marketing Board Liverpool and also a Conservative Councillor.
For their Honeymoon my grandparents traveled to Australia partly for my grandfather to investigate Milk Production over there. (At least that is what I was told by my mum). My mum Mary (nee Foster) Wilcock was born in Melbourne during that trip. – although that’s another story.
My mother and grandparents have all died now.
Dave Joy September 14, 2016 at 7:56 pm
Your family seem to have their roots deep in the cowkeeping way of life – the Australia connection is also interesting. My 2nd great grand uncle, George Joy, had a succession of cowhouses in Wavertree, including 88 Ash Grove and 21 Calton Avenue/362 Smithdown Road. It’s a fascinating aspect of local history.
38. Lesley Edwards September 15, 2016 at 10:47 am
I have Harpers and Capstick from Westmoreland in family tree. I think the Harpers had a dairy in Chestnut Grove Wavertree.
If anyone out there has family connections to Liverpool Cowkeepers, I'd love to hear from you.
A fascinating conversation about people's memories of cowkeepers and dairymen followed my talk at Dingle Mount Church yesterday afternoon. The Foster family who originated from Sedbergh and owned a dairy in Quarry Street and Newstead Farm in Woolton were fondly remembered. Whaite's in Smithdown Road, Peel's in Princes Road/Mill Street, Smith's in Grierson Street and the Mansergh family all got a mention. Someone had sons who worked for Hogg's Dairy, delivering milk. Someone else was descended from the Lea family, who farmed in Nantwich, but whose family went bankrupt in 1873 when there was an outbreak of foot and mouth disease. These Cheshire dairy farms supplied milk to Liverpool and Manchester via the railways. Thanks to all at Dingle Mount Church for a lovely afternoon.
Many thanks to the 20 brave souls from Stoneycroft Ladies Group who, despite the atrocious weather, turned up at the fire station for my talk last night. Many memories of cows being kept in Liverpool including Mr Moreton of Molyneux Road.
At yesterday's talk in Bebington, someone mentioned a cowkeeper with the surname 'Braun' who had a dairy and possibly kept cows somewhere near Central Station in Liverpool. I have been unable to find any record so far. Thanks to the Townswomen's Guild for their hospitality.
An interesting afternoon at St Josephs Church Centre giving a talk to the U3A group. As the main room was being used for a funeral, I gave the talk in the rear bar. I think I just about managed to make myself heard above the disco next door! Anyway, the History Group seemed to enjoy the talk very much. One member of the group shared her memories of living near a dairy in Deysbrook Lane.