Queensland, Australia: December,
Thank you to Bryn Gourlay, Biggar, Lanarkshire, Scotland for
the following memories of Edinburgh Milk Bars in the 1950s:
Milk Bar Kids
"In the 1950s, we were more ‘Milk Bar Kids’
than ‘Milky Bar Kids’.
I can remember two Milk Bars in Edinburgh.
The first was on the east side of South St Andrew Street, about
three or four shops up from where McDonalds is now.
St Andrew Street
There was a second one on the east side of
Lothian Road, a little up the hill from the Usher Hall.
Milk Bars were a no frills type of place,
self-service, and a rather Spartan layout, where you perched
precariously on bar stools at Formica-topped, tables and counters.
The assistants were also no frills, no nonsense type women, with
powerful forearms like Popeye the Sailor Man’s."
Milk Shakes and
"Apart from flavoured milk, and trendy milk
shakes, the Milk Bar also sold sandwiches and rolls.
Not, for us boys, the scrambled egg and
cress model. These were for girls and old ladies. We knew exactly
what we were there for – the sardine special.
This was a large, elongated, soft, finger
roll, laced with butter and a filling which was two parts mushed-up
sardines and one part vinegar."
There was a hard-earned skill to eating a
Milk Bar sardine special. A big bite in the wrong place, would
quickly have the vinegar running down your chin, all the way down
your clothes. A bite too fierce, and the vinegar would squirt in all
directions, power spraying anyone within five yards of you.
The trick was a bite of just the
right intensity, followed by a powerful sook, which grabbed a
chunk of roll and filling, and sooked up any escaping vinegar. This
routine had to be repeated carefully several times, until the roll
was completely devoured.
Then, you wiped your oily, smelly hands on
your trousers, which gave the game away when you got home.
The 'bite and sook' technique was also used for devouring
vanilla slices sold at Edinburgh's
Bryan Gourlay, Biggar, Lanarkshire, Scotland:
May 7, 2006
Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland
Thank you to Danny Callaghan who wrote:
Milk Bar group were one of the first businesses to employ furniture
designers. They designed a chair/stool specifically for the milk
bars. These were comfortable when you initially sat in them,
but after a while became uncomfortable so you did not linger too
long and therefore increased customer throughput."
Danny Callaghan, Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland:
November 4, 2009