Popular Hampstead milkman, 79, set to retire after more than 50 years

Ron Pluckrose, 79, makes one of his very last milk deliveries. Picture: Nigel Sutton

Ron Pluckrose, 79, makes one of his very last milk deliveries. Picture: Nigel Sutton - Credit: Nigel Sutton

A milkman who has served Hampstead for more than 30 years – famously braving the heavy snow of 2010 to make deliveries when even supermarkets were scuppered – will retire this weekend three months before his 80th birthday.

Ron Pluckrose is in line for a well-earned rest after more than half a century in the milk business after he delivers his last rounds on Saturday.

The grandfather-of-two said of his long career: “I just like being out in the open and I’m a workaholic I suppose. My old man was the same, he worked well into his 70s – it runs in the family.

“I always liked doing what I do. My wife says it’s about time I finished.”

Mr Pluckrose was praised for keeping up his rounds during heavy snowfall in 2010. He even carted deliveries by hand when his float struggled to get up Hampstead’s steepest hills – while Tesco, in Heath Street, went days without any milk on its shelves.

“I don’t like letting people down,” said Mr Pluckrose, who lives in Boundary Road, St John’s Wood.

Last week, the 79-year-old posted letters to his customers warning them of his impending retirement and thanking them for many years of “loyalty and friendship”.

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Louse Reynolds, of Prince Arthur Road, a customer since 1987, said: “I was shocked, I thought he would never retire. He’s so dedicated, so faithful and totally reliable. He’s always friendly and he puts to shame anyone who complains, moans and groans. He just ploughs on.”

Mr Pluckrose, a Dairy Crest milkman, said he still enjoys the work but can no longer endure the increasingly lengthy shifts and back-and-forth trips to the depot in Watford. “I’m now doing about 14-hour days,” he explained. “I have worked six days a week for the last 53 years. My kids say I should have packed up a long time ago.”

He has no grand plans for his retirement just yet, apart from watching plenty of football, visiting Lord’s Cricket Ground and meeting up with friends.

“I’ve met some nice people and made some nice friends in Hampstead,” added Mr Pluckrose. “I always thought if you go to work with a good attitude and are nice to people, you will get treated the same way, and that’s half the battle. That gets you through the day.”