Cartons got no soul.


You can still find one of the old milk churns in antique shops, but unless the buyers get at least three, and they are minded to shift them around twice per day, they will not be getting the authentic churn experience.


Being brought up in a tiny village of sublime quietness, on a single track to nowhere is very unusual these days. The approaching hum of a tractor was an event that would have had small boys at the window to see and identify.


Passing vehicles did not come any larger than the flat bed churn lorry with it's stalwart chains that kept the load in restive order.


Churns being moved sound a bit like kegs rolling off a beer truck, except that they are more clangy, and on a still day the noise was as much at home as grass. It was the only sign of work that reached the ears of the small boys, because driving tractors was a leisure activity, and it would not had been a surprise to learn that farmers paid someone so that they could indulge in it.          


Riding in the cab of such a beast would have been as sensational as the theme park wurlitzer of today. Lorry cabs of the 1950's were not like the travelling hotel rooms we have now, they were plain pressed steel boxes, and the upholstery, like a church pew, ensured that you kept your mind on the road ahead. The device flexed and squeaked and bucked on its cart spring suspension, and the churns behind clinked and wobbled like ninepins on a dance floor.


Memorable experiences were of a simpler and more basic nature back then, but not the lesser for that, which was fine unless they involve medical or dental treatment. Thrills were cheap, but having high expectations of thrills by the day just lowers the boredom threshold. Maybe Henry Thoreau was right  - live simply and get a life.



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