Milkman 1 - Tesco 0

THE BIG freeze may have played havoc on our roads but one plucky milkman still made all his deliveries – when even Tesco was not able to keep its supermarket milk stocks topped up in Hampstead.

Ron Pluckrose, 77, has tirelessly worked the Hampstead beat for more than 30 years and he was determined not to let icy conditions stop him getting to his loyal customers.

He said: “I’ve been up here a long time and everybody knows me. They look after me and so I thought I would look after them. It’s always been a good relationship – I’ve seen their kids grow up over the years and some of them have got married.”

During the icy weather, Mr Pluckrose’s electric milk float with its heavy load was often unable to make it on Hampstead’s steepest inclines, so instead he parked up on the level and trekked up to make the deliveries by hand. One day it took him 20 minutes to walk back up the hill of West Heath Close to his float.

One of his customers, Louise Reynolds, of Prince Arthur Road, said: “I went to the Tesco in Heath Street where there was still a sign on Saturday morning saying that due to ‘unforeseen circumstances’ there was no milk for sale.

“But all through the week Ron and his mate from Dairy Crest have delivered the milk bottles to my front door, driving their milk float through the snow and ice with not a single complaint.”

A spokesman for Tesco said the milk shortages in its Hampstead store were because of “delivery issues” unrelated to the weather, but did not give further information.

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Picture by Nigel Sutton