Comments on this blog post are closed. No further comments will be published. Go to  Dave Joy’s blog here for anything you want to say or find out about cowhouses.

You know that house on the corner of your terraced street with the funny shaped, slightly larger yard than most of the others in the street? Well maybe it used to be a cowhouse, one of over 900 little, local dairies that used to supply Liverpool’s milk? Here are some.

1 Bryanston Road, St Michaels. Cow House.
1 Bryanston Road, St Michaels. Cowhouse.

Just a few hundred yards away:

48 Alwyn Street, St Michaels. Cow House.
48 Alwyn Street, St Michaels. Cowhouse.

Looks like a new house built in the middle there since the cows left. And looking round the back?

The yard at 48, 48a Alwyn Street. Could fit a fair few cows in there.
The yard at 48, 48a Alwyn Street. Could fit a fair few cows in there.
95 Gainsborough Road, Wavertree. Cow House.
95 Gainsborough Road, Wavertree. Cowhouse.

All around the city, if you know what you’re looking for, is evidence that the gap between town and countryside was once not so wide as it’s become.

In Little Parkfield Road, near Lark Lane.
In Little Parkfield Road today, near Lark Lane.

A few doors away?

Another former cow house.
Another former cowhouse.
From blog reader Ray Smyth 'My father standing beside the lorry he drove for Greenbanks Dairy, Bedford Road, Bootle, approx 1936'
From blog reader Ray Smyth ‘My father standing beside the lorry he drove for Greenbanks Dairy, Bedford Road, Bootle, approx 1936.’ Urban dairies all over the place then, as you’ll see from the comments below.

I first heard about Liverpool’s former cowhouses in January 2011 when I heard historian and social researcher Duncan Scott talking about them, at an event put on by ‘Mr Seel’s Garden’, an academic project looking at the history of local food production in Liverpool. Hearing Duncan talk about them and how many there had been, really opened my eyes. Since when many of my urban walks around Liverpool have included speculatively looking for former cowhouses.

Duncan Scott.
Duncan Scott, Associate Research Fellow, University of Birmingham.

One day in 2012 Duncan and I arranged to meet at Onion on Aigburth Road, after which I knew as much about cowhouses as I’d ever need to know.

Duncan's book.
Duncan’s book.

Cowhouses in Liverpool reached their greatest numbers round about the time of the Great War. Dairy farmers had begun moving to the city around the 1860s when rail links to their rural locations were opened. Coming to be closer to potential markets in Liverpool neighbourhoods, the cows would live in yards, be fed on fresh grass from local parks and even football grounds and many families would also run delivery rounds.

Duncan’s book focuses on particular immigrants to the city from around the Dent and Sedbergh area of North Yorkshire and Cumbria. Above is Joe Capstick on West Derby Road in Tuebrook.

And here's Joe's cow house in Marlborough Road, Tuebrook.
And here’s Joe’s cowhouse in Marlborough Road, Tuebrook.

There would be cows living here until 1975. At the event where I first saw Duncan he showed some silent film of the last cows leaving, being transported back to family farms up north. The immigrants never having lost touch with their root farms and families.

The last cows leaving Marlborough Road in 1975.
The last cows leaving Marlborough Road in 1975.

So during my own life there was this last generation of urban cowkeepers. Living and working in the streets around us. And I never noticed.

Joe Capstick and his daughter Margaret at a Livestock Show in Stanley Abattoir, 1946.
Joe Capstick and his daughter Margaret at a Livestock Show (ironically) in Stanley Abattoir, 1946.

They were a close knit bunch, all sharing the unusual and hard lifestyle of getting up very early to get the cows milked, do the milk round, gather up the feedstuffs and milk the cows again later in the day, before beginning the round of bottling for the next day all over again. Social events, even weddings, would be fitted within this structure, many marrying other dairy types who understood the life.

Liverpool Livestock Association Annual Dinner, 1952. Margaret Capstick second from left in the second row.
Liverpool Livestock Association Annual Dinner, 1952. Margaret Capstick second from left in the second row. Future husband on her left.

And though their national body was called the ‘National Dairymen’s Association’ – many of the ‘men’ in the industry were, as you can see, women.

Which brings us to the best preserved cowhouse in Liverpool. Somewhere longtime readers of this blog might have seen before.

Which still has this sticker in the window.
Which still has this sticker in the window.
Harper's Dairy.
Harper’s Dairy.
Fronting on to Rose Lane. Not a cowhouse now, but it still looks like one.

In his book, Duncan gets a look inside the house. Still looking like a dairy, and still lived in by the dairy family.

Here it is on a 1908 map. On the edge of farm land. On the edge of the city.
Here it is on a 1908 map. On the edge of farm land. On the edge of the city.
By 1954 Harper's Dairy is surrounded by housing. And Allerton Farm is now a dairy too.
By 1954 Harper’s Dairy is surrounded by housing. And Allerton Road Farm is now just a dairy too.

Allerton Farm Dairy standing where Chandlers Hardware store is these days.

The cows are long gone from Harper’s Dairy, but they were still supplying milk up to the year 2000, when a Tesco opening on that school site above finally saw their business off.

Supermarkets, the growth of industrial scale milk production and us not buying our milk from them, saw off the cowhouses and even most of the milk rounds that used to be such a prominent part of the early morning soundtrack of our lives. Another bit of local lost to the corporate convenience world. But their places are still there if you look  carefully on your next urban walk. The places where, at one time, 4,000 cows shared the city with us. In their cowhouses.

A paper bag from Harper's.
A paper bag for eggs and butter from Harper’s, ‘Farmer & Cowkeeper.’

Comments on this blog post are now closed. No further comments will be published. Go to  Dave Joy’s blog here for anything you want to say or find out about cowhouses. ‘Urban Cowboys’ is available direct from Duncan Scott at

Published by Ronnie

Writing about life, Liverpool and anything else that interests me. As well as working with others to make the world a fairer and kinder place:

141 replies on “The Cowhouses of Liverpool”

  1. 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.

    But as you state Ronnie they were all over the city and it doesn’t seem too long since the last of them went.

    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.

    1. Top quality memories Stan. It’s one thing to theoretically know a place was a shippon, a cattle shed, a cow house – but an entirely different thing to remember specifics like the cow’s nose, the smell of your mate and the VE day party. Thanks for these!

    2. There was a cow shed / dairy in Miller St Dingle. My grandparents lived in that house. Grandad used the cow shed to garage his coal vehicle.

  2. Excellent post, Ronnie. 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.

    1. I remember the newsagent’s shop in my picture still being mysteriously called ‘Parkfield Dairy’ in recent years. So your memory suggests these were actually the last cows in Liverpool and not the ones in Tuebrook.

  3. I never knew about those! Amazing, thanks for the information!


  4. 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.

    1. There’s a chapter about the area where the families came from in Duncan’s book. As you heard in the pub, they didn’t lose their connections with home. Some would spend their working lives in Liverpool and then be taken home for holidays and to be buried.

      And thanks for the Aigburth and Garston information.

      1. Will probably contact Duncan to get a copy of the book – thanks for the post.

    2. 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.

  5. When I last strolled up Heathfield Rd.,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..

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Really excellent stuff. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

    1. 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 70,s 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

      1. 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

  11. Just reading this little bit of Liverpool history and remembering the cow houses in Aigburth and Lark Lane, I worked for Hoggs on Bryston Rd 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.

  12. 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

    1. 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

      1. 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.

      2. 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

    2. hi Beryl, my best friend is married to a Harper from the Rose lane dairy. Do you want me to pass on your details? Joan Harper still lives at the dairy and she is lovely

  13. 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

  14. 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?

    1. 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.

    2. Hi 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

      1. Hi James, I’m looking at a Photograph of our Grt Grt Aunt, Elizabeth Wray ( Postmistress Aysgarth) standing in the Post Office doorway, circa 1880’s /90’s. John Wray’s Dairy was at 48 Great Crosshall St. Liverpool. The family house ( 7 Cockspur Street Everton) had a ground floor Dairy Shop run by my Grandmother, Margaret. Please get touch. My cousin Ray, has a 25 gallon stoneware milk container that says; “John Wray Dairies” …… Lovely to find you. ….. Peter and Allie Clarke. …. ….. USA 408 373 9644 (West Coast)…..

      2. We are your distant cousins James V Slowey! Our family tree is on the site if you want to have a look. . .I’ve also traced your line!! Jeanette

  15. Absolutely brilliant web site Ronnie 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, ect. 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 we 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 and Devonshire road also 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

    1. Lovely to hear from you Stephen and all your closely remembered details of living and working in your cowhouse in the Welsh Streets. There’s a photograph of your house on here towards the end of one of my other blog posts, about riding round Liverpool on the 27 bus.

  16. 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 rebember 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.

  17. Great piece,
    I like Billy I worked for Hoggs in Bryanston 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 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.

  18. 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.

    1. Hi Faith,
      I’d love to see a photo of your painting – can you post one at all? I lived in Walton Village in the early ’70’s but don’t remember any reference to a diary there so it would be great to see where is was.

      1. Hello Neville

        Sorry this is a bit late,! Only just returned to this blog having been reminded of it. Could email you a copy of the picture if you wish ?


    2. 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.

    3. Hi Faith

      Your grandad was brothers with my friends grandad leonard greenbank would love to hear from you could you email me on if you are interested in getting in contact and i will pass you their details on,
      Thanks Donna

  19. Hello Ronnie. Absolutely love this article. The Joy family originated in Wharfedale (Hebden/Burnsall) and came to Liverpool in the mid-1800s – initially to Wavertree and then to Garston. They had dairies (and cowhouses) in Railway Street (cows on what is now Stalbridge Dock), Island Road (cows on what is now Garston Park) and then at Wellington Dairy in Duke Street (cows on what used to be The Avenue). All delivery was done by horse and cart (milk float). The dairy herd went in the late 50s but the business (A. Joy & Sons) continued delivering milk in Garston until the late 60s. The yard, shippon and stables are still standing. I have recently had a book published describing my childhood at Wellington Dairy. Its called ‘My Family and Other Scousers’ and is available on-line at Amazon, History Press etc. Apologies for the plug but I do think your readers would enjoy it. Oh, it carries a foreword written by Rita Tushingham – another old Garstonian who was brought up in a family business. Cheers.

    1. Thank you Dave, for the information and for the link to your book. I know Duncan Scott is currently planning a second Cowhouses book, so who knows, we might well be approaching you either to quote from or to be in it!

  20. 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.

      1. John Woodruff: Nos 1/3 Neilson Road, St Michaels 1902/17; No 18 Lucerne St, Lark Lane 1920/43

  21. 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.

      1. 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.

      2. 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 1958 – 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?

      3. Hi Dave
        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.

      4. Arthur,
        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?

      5. Hi Dave
        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.

      6. Arthur,
        Priceless! Absolutely priceless! You really, really must write all this down. No, really. I mean it. I gave myself the same advice and my memoir of Wellington Dairy has recently been published. Even though its gloomy to think about it I told myself that if I don’t write it down now, then it’ll be gone forever when I go. Do it today!

  22. Hi Ronnie,
    Did you ever hear of Bill Blackwell? He was a cowkeeper on Window Lane in Garston. I know for sure he that he was in the business in the 30’s and 40’s. This website is wonderful! Lw

    1. Hi Linda, I haven’t but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if one of more of the people reading and commenting have?

      Blackwell is quite an unusual name though and I did work with someone called that in a housing office in Scotland Road in the early 1970s. But John never did say ‘My Dad or Grandad kept cows in Garston!’

    2. 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.

    3. 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.

      1. 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

  23. 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.

  24. Hi Ronnie 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
    Rgds James

  25. 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:
    John Holmes.

  26. 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 Jone’s 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

  27. 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.

  28. Hi Ronnie!
    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 Mothers (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!
    Best regards,

  29. Hi Ronnie
    I lived in Hill St Liverpool 8. Born 1952. As a child I remember the Dairy in Head St but the milk floats where in Back Cotter St. 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.
    Such memories,

    1. Thanks Liz and everyone else for this continuing and collective story telling. It’s clear we have a vast memory here in Liverpool of a less corporate time when ‘Tesco’ wasn’t the answer to how we fed and supported ourselves.

      1. 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!


  30. there was a cow house at the back or the pub known as Knob Hill on park road,there was a
    another in Twiss Street off high park street,it was in the Hogg family well known dairymen in

  31. As part of my work to promote my book (‘My Family and Other Scousers’) I am doing a series of illustrated talks entitled ‘Liverpool Cowkeepers – A Family History’. If you are interested, most of the groups I am talking to welcome non-members (usually, for a small entrance fee!). Below is my 2016 programme to date. Thanks to Ronnie for permission to post this.

    Friday 29th Jan 2016 13.30 Thomas Lane Women’s Club Millennium Centre, Meadow Lane, West Derby, L12 5EA
    Wed. 10th Feb 2016 14.00 West Wirral Family History Group Westbourne Community Centre, West Kirby, CH48 4DQ
    Thur. 11th Feb 2016 20.00 Formby Civic Society Ravenmeols Community Centre, 225 Park Rd., L37 6EW
    Thurs. 10th March 2016 20.00 Burton & Neston History Society Gladstone Village Hall, Burton, CH64 5TH
    Thurs. 5th May 2016 19.45 Bury Local History Society St. Marie’s Church, Manchester Rd, Bury, BL9 0DR
    Wed. 18th May 2016 19.30 Pendle Forest Local History Group Barley Village Hall, Barley, Lancashire, BB12 9JU
    Mon. 23rd May 2016 19.30 Bebington Family History Soc. Bebington Civic Centre, Bebington, CH63 7PT
    Thurs. 26th May 2016 12.00 Unilever Pensioners’ Club The Lever Club, Port Sunlight, CH62 4XB
    Fri. 3rd June 2016 13.45 Liverpool University Pensioners 126 Mount Pleasant, Liverpool, L69 3GR
    Tues. 21st June 2016 19.30 Friends of Greasby Library Greasby Library, Greasby, CH49 3AT
    Tues. 28th June 2016 19.30 Halliwell Local History Group St Luke’s Church, Bolton, BL1 3BE
    Mon. 5th Sept. 2016 10.00 Wirral Local History Group Royal Standard House, Birkenhead, CH42 1LE

      1. Hi Dave

        i heard your talk and bought your book at the Pendle forrest 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 rd, would you know if I am correct?

      2. 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.

      1. Hi Dave

        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!

      2. 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.

    1. 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. ???

  32. My grandfather was Alf Fawcett who kept cows I 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

    1. 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 40odd years of working outside.I think Greenbanks were in Bedford Road,
      Bootle. Kind Regards, Ray Smyth.

    2. 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.

      1. Hello Carole
        Good to hear from you
        Doreen,my auntie ,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.

  33. I would like to purchase this book.
    Where can I obtain a copy please?
    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.
    Great posts on here.

    1. What an interesting site ….. related to the cowkeepers 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.

      1. Hello Brian

        I’ve just read your post on Ronnies excellent site.

        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!

        Paul Batty

      2. Hi Paul
        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!


      3. 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!


      4. 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.

  34. Hi everyone. Thanks for all the interest and support with regard to my talk. I’ve had plenty more bookings, so here’s an updated programme. Thanks again to Ronnie.

    Thurs. 10th March 2016 20.00 Burton & Neston History Society. Gladstone Village Hall, Burton, CH64 5TH
    Tues.29th March 2016 13.30 St Michaels Active Ageing Group. St Michaels Church Hall, Church Road, Garston L19 8EA
    Wed. 30th March 2016 19.30 The Wavertree Society. Olive Mount Community Centre, Edgewell Drive, Wavertree L15 8GG
    Thurs. 14th April 2016 14.00 West Derby Women’s Group. Lowlands, 13 Haymans Green, Liverpool, L12 7JG
    Thurs. 5th May 2016 19.45 Bury Local History Society. St. Marie’s Church, Manchester Road, Bury, BL9 0DR
    Wed. 18th May 2016 19.30 Pendle Forest Local History Group. Barley Village Hall, Barley, Lancashire, BB12 9JU
    Mon. 23rd May 2016 19.30 Bebington Family History Society. Bebington Civic Centre, Bebington, CH63 7PT
    Thurs. 26th May 2016 12.00 Unilever Pensioners’ Club. The Lever Club, Port Sunlight, CH62 4XB
    Wed. 1st June 2016 19.30 Runcorn Family History Group. Churchill Hall, Cooper Street, Runcorn, WA7 1DH
    Fri. 3rd June 2016 13.45 Liverpool University Pensioners. 126 Mount Pleasant, Liverpool, L69 3GR
    Tues. 14th June 2016 19.30 Mersey Otters Women’s Group. Mossley Hill Church Hall, Rose Lane, Liverpool L18 8DB
    Tues. 21st June 2016 19.30 Friends of Greasby Library. Greasby Library, Greasby, Wirral CH49 3AT
    Tues. 28th June 2016 19.30 Halliwell Local History Group. St Luke’s Church, Bolton, BL1 3BE
    Tues. 5th July 2016 20.00 Huyton Park Conservative Club. Huyton Park Conservative Club, Huyton, L36 5SU
    Tues. 12th July 2016 20.00 Bowring Park Women’s Club. Court Hey Methodist Church, Roby Road, Huyton L14 3NU
    Mon. 5th Sept. 2016 10.00 Wirral Local History Group. Royal Standard House, Birkenhead, CH42 1LE
    Tues. 13th Sept. 2016 10.00 West Kirby Tuesday Group. West Kirby Library, West Kirby, Wirral CH48 4HX
    Thurs. 10th Nov. 2016 14.00 Dingle Mount Lunch Club. Dingle Mount Church, Dingle Mount, L8 9SN

  35. Wow! What a fantastic evening at Burton & Neston History Society, last night. A lovely warm reception and a packed hall with many cowkeeping families represented – some of whom remembered meeting and working with my dad! I was delighted to meet cowkeeping historian extraordinaire, Alan Passmore, who handed me his own potted history of the Joy family’s various dairies in Wavertree/Garston – thank you Alan! The Q&A session afterwards lasted almost as long as my talk, with many members of the audience sharing their own cowkeeping memories and experiences. A big ‘Thank You’ to my hosts and to a most appreciative audience – especially to those who stayed behind for a chat. A thoroughly enjoyable evening and a truly memorable experience. Can’t wait for the next one!

  36. 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.

  37. 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

    1. 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!!

      1. 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.

      2. 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!!

      3. 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.

  38. 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…

    1. 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.

      1. I would like to come to your talk on the 3 June – Liverpool University Pensioners Association – would it be possible?

  39. 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.

  40. Wonderful memories Alan. My programme of talks currently looks like this:

    Tues. 31st May 2016 20.00 Maghull & District Women’s Club. Maghull Town Hall, Hall Lane, Maghull L31 7BB
    Wed. 1st June 2016 19.30 Runcorn Family History Group. Churchill Hall, Cooper Street, Runcorn, WA7 1DH
    Fri. 3rd June 2016 13.45 Liverpool University Pensioners. 126 Mount Pleasant, Liverpool, L69 3GR
    Tues. 14th June 2016 19.30 Mersey Otters Women’s Group. Mossley Hill Church Hall, Rose Lane, L18 8DB
    Thurs. 16th June 2016 20.00 Greenwood Women’s Club. Links View Community Centre, 102 Vale Road, L25 7FB
    Tues. 21st June 2016 19.30 Friends of Greasby Library. Greasby Library, Greasby, CH49 3AT
    Tues. 28th June 2016 19.30 Halliwell Local History Group. St Luke’s Church, Bolton, BL1 3BE
    Tues. 5th July 2016 20.00 Huyton Park Conservative Club. Huyton Park Conservative Club, Huyton, L36 5SU
    Tues. 12th July 2016 20.00 Bowring Park Women’s Club. Court Hey Methodist Church, Roby Road, L14 3NU
    Mon. 5th Sept. 2016 10.00 Wirral Local History Group. Royal Standard House, Birkenhead, CH42 1LE
    Tues. 13th Sept. 2016 10.00 West Kirby Tuesday Group. West Kirby Library, West Kirby, Wirral CH48 4HX
    Tues. 20th Sept. 2016 20.00 Liscard Ladies. Marlowe Road united Reformed Church, Wirral CH44 3BU
    Wed. 5th Oct. 2016 19.30 Whitworth Historical Society. Whitworth Museum, North Street, Lancs. OL12 8RE
    Thurs. 27th Oct. 2016 13.15 Kirkby U3A History Group. St Josephs Social Club, Bewley Drive, Kirkby L32 7PZ
    Thurs. 3rd Nov. 2016 14.00 Bebington Townswomen’s Guild. Christchurch Hall, Kings Road, CH63 8LX
    Tues. 8th Nov. 2016 19.30 Stonycroft Women’s Group. The Fire Station, Queens Drive
    Thurs. 10th Nov. 2016 14.00 Dingle Mount Lunch Club. Dingle Mount Church, Dingle Mount, L8 9SN
    16th January 2017 19.30 Maghull & Lydiate Local History Society. Lydiate Village Centre, L31 2LA
    25th January 2017 19.30 Preston Family History Society. Hutton Village Hall, Moor Lane, Preston, PR4 5SE
    9th February 2017 19.15 Burnley & District Historical Society. The New Church Centre, Briercliffe Road, Burnley, BB10 1XA
    16th February 2017 10.00 Westhoughton Local History Group. Westhoughton Library, Library Street, Bolton, BL5 3AT
    16th November 2017 19.00 St Helens Townships Family History Society. St Helens Town Hall, Corporation Street, St Helens, WA10 1HF

    I hope you can make it to one of these. It would be lovely to hear your memories. (‘Clubs’ tend to be ‘Members Only’ whereas ‘societies’ and ‘groups’ usually welcome non-members [often for a small fee!])

    Cheers, Dave.

  41. 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 Hoggs 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 St, 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!



  42. Change of venue for tomorrow’s illustrated talk for Liverpool University Pensioners. Now being held in the Ashton Lecture Theatre (in the Ashton Building), commencing 13.45.

  43. Hi Everyone. I am delighted to announce that my Cowkeepers ‘talk’ is soon to become a Cowkeepers ‘book’. ‘Liverpool Cowkeepers’ by yours truly will be published by Amberley on 15th September but is available for pre-order NOW. For further information please check out my new website:

    Thanks to Ronnie and everyone else for all your support and interest.

  44. Fantastic to find this site. 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 .

  45. 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.

  46. Hi everyone. My 2016/17 programme of illustrated talks kicks off on the Wirral on Monday. I now have over 30 engagements all over the NW so too many to list here, but full details on my website:

    Counting down the days to the publication of my book – ‘Liverpool Cowkeepers’ – out on 15th September. So excited! Thanks to all who have contributed (again, too many to mention here – even Ronnie gets a mention in dispatches!).

    1. Very kind of you Dave. All I do these days is approve all these comments. It’s like you’re all running your own separate cowhouses blog inside my web site. Very welcome you are too!

      1. 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.
        Alan Batty

    2. Hi Dave,
      This is fascinating. I would love to read your books, how can I get hold of them.

      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.

      1. Hi Andy,

        Apologies in the delay in replying – been a bit busy just recently with my book coming out tomorrow! 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.

        My books are available on-line from the publishers or from Amazon – full details are on my website. Or, if you want a signed copy, my contact details are also on my website.


  47. I have Harpers and capstick from Westmoreland in family tree .think the harpers had a dairy in Chestnut grove wavertree

  48. Comments on this blog post are now closed and no comments received from now on will be published. So please do not waste your time. Comments are still coming in but none of them will be published.

    Ronnie, a sense of place

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: