A DAILY supply of free milk was a feature of school life remembered by many - especially those former pupils given the role of milk monitors to make sure everyone got their bottle and all the empties went back in the crate.

Schools gained powers to hand out free milk a part of the 1906 Education Act and the 1945 Free School Milk Act provided a free third-pint to all school pupils.

Secondary age pupils lost their milk under 1968 Labour cuts and in 1971 Education Secretary Margaret Thatcher, later the Prime Minister, became Thatcher the Milk Snatcher by cutting milk for over-sevens.

The Mail, on Friday, July 9 in 1999, said school milk for Furness primary children was under threat as the European Union looked to axe £69m subsidy.

Cumbria County Council officials were seeking urgent clarification on the possible scrapping of payments which were paid on the volume of milk provided to schools.

The Mail, on Tuesday, November 14 in 2000, noted that Barrow Island Primary School had been presented with 316 free cartons of a new range of semi-skimmed milk by the Asda store.

It noted: “In days gone by school pupils were automatically given a glass of fresh milk each day to provide them with healthy vitamins and minerals.”

The growing public feeling against single-use plastic has seen a growth in doorstep milk deliveries.

This traditional service came close to vanishing with the rise of supermarkets from the 1970s.

The country’s largest doorstep delivery service, Milk and More, has more than 500,000 customers and has sized up 75,000 new households in the past year.

Around 90 per cent of its customers are having their milk delivered in glass bottles that can be returned and are typically cleaned and reused 25 times.

This trend has also boosted demand for battery-powered milk floats, which were once a common sight in South Cumbria’s towns.

Towns started to see regular milk rounds from the 1860s as the railways allowed milk to be taken cheaply from farms.