Local milkman Paul Malone retires after 40 years of service

This month Waterloo will be losing one of its regulars from the streets. After 40 years serving the area as a milkman, Paul Malone (Round 04) will be taking retirement...

We caught up with Paul to discuss the ever-changing landscape of Waterloo, and some of his favourite memories:

"Back in the 1980s Waterloo was a very different place. Both Lambeth and Southwark were losing considerable numbers of residents and there were not so many businesses. In the late 1970s I was a rounds inspector based at Vauxhall. One of my jobs was to assess rounds that were failing and to recommend how they should be spit up. Round 04 was one of these. When the then milkman left, I asked if I could take it over for three months to try out some experiments I had been thinking of in order to increase sales.

It was the Antipodeans that came to the rescue! In the early 80s, Jubilee Gardens car park was host to about 100 campervans. After a year touring Europe, the Australians and New Zealanders in who lived in them were selling to new arrivals, in order to get the plane fare home. One day I was stopped for milk by a resident. I then became something of a regular mobile shop. Of course I told nothing of this to my manager who was pleasantly baffled by how I had doubled sales virtually overnight.

There have been so many changes to the built environment too. My favourite was the train lift that was behind Elizabeth House on the York Road. Before the International Terminal was built there were 289 arches under the Station. I used to serve a string of these that acted as an archive for the railways – Lamp Arch, Map Arch, Plan Arch, etc. and at the end of these a rather dystopian, dripping dead end with a massive lift that would lower carriages into the Waterloo and City Line. Today this facility is located where the Spur Road meets Baylis Road.

I would like to say also how generous and supportive the people of Waterloo have been and also a big ‘thank you’ to my customers past and present. I will be leaving to concentrate on that other love of my life; my art practice and spending more time at my studio in Deptford. Please do check out my archive, new work and creative events and at the website here."

Photo by Paul Malone: Caption to photo: ‘Snowy day on the milk round: Theed Street.’