Home Up Pre-History The District The Streets City Industry The Tenement Family Names North East Art

The Doric Columns

Aberdeen Dairies

Milk Delivery boys in Torry in 1935 carrying various size cans for home deliveries.  Looks like a fun job for the milkman on his single axle cart with a large churn for dispensing into the cans.  Kirkhill Farm Dairy was on St Fittick's Road. Balanagask.  The farmhouse itself, originating in the post medieval period, is not listed. The stonework making up the buildings and walls of the farmstead are of potential interest, with parts having perhaps been robbed from the nearby ruins of St. Fittick’s Church. In addition, a saddle quern stone was located on the south face of the boundary wall, towards its eastern extent. It was probably used for grinding corn, and dates to around AD 500, showing the longevity of farming activity in the locality of St. Fittick’s Church.

Known Aberdeen Dairies

Kirkhill Farm Dairy, Co-op, Balgownie Dairy, Green Dairy, Bishopston Dairy, Henderson's Great Western Dairy, Andersons Woodside Dairy, Dalry Dairy, Whitfield Dairy, Buttercup Dairy, Findlay's Dairy, Aberdeen Dairy, Dunottar Dairy, Kennerty Dairies, Meadow Dairy Company (controlled by Home and Colonial), Mastrick Dairy, Mansfield Dairy, Hilton Diary, Robert Coulters Westfield Dairy,

The tea merchant Julius Drewe (1866-1931) founded the Home and Colonial store chain in London in 1883 and retired in 1899. By the 20th century there were over 100 branches nationwide and Drewe was a millionaire.

A battle for the UK Margarine industry had taken place between Maypole and two Dutch firms, Jurgens and Van den Berghs. Home and Colonial, supplied by Jurgens, and Lipton, supplied by Van den Bergh, who introduced Blue Band, became the main rivals to Maypole in the margarine trade. A price war developed between them.

View of George Street with the Dunnottar Dairy shop on the front left.  Bakers and Confectioners occupy the opposite corner and the old Chemist's Pestle and Mortar bowl sign is opposite as a universal advert for the apothecary.

Buttercup Dairy Co of Leith, at 463 Union Street next door to Marlowe's the Hairdresser and Perfumery,   The first Buttercup Dairy Company shop was opened at 136 Commercial Street, Kirkcaldy in 1904 and by the late 1920’s the company had 250 shops spread across Scotland and the north of England.  The shops were all decorated in the same style predominantly green and white tiles with ornamental inserts. The centrepiece was a mural located on the wall of the entrance lobby; it showed a little girl in a sunbonnet holding a buttercup under the chin of a cow, with the implied question: “Do you like butter?” as most Aberdeen children still do.  Each doorstep was decorated with Italian mosaic tiles showing the company’s initials surrounded by a garland wreath. In addition to the tiles the shops also had stained glass above the main display window and, outside, a pair of electric light globes hung   from each shop front, emblazoned with the word “Butter”. Andrew Ewing was the founder of the Buttercup Dairy Company.
Buttercup Dairy Site - Born in the small village of Stoneykirk, near Stanraer in 1869, he later moved to Dundee, where he opened his 1st grocer's shop in 1894. Ten years later he founded the Buttercup Dairy Company, which by the late 1920s had 250 branches in Scotland and northern England, as well as one of the largest poultry farms in the world.

.Birnie was the name of a Ladies Hat Shop in George Street that would later become "the Rubber Shop" and right next-door to Birnies, at number 10A, was also a Buttercup Dairy shop.


Aberdeen Dairy right side of the Playhouse Cinema in Union Street - appears to be gated and shut

Hazelbank Dairy, was on the corner of Rosemount Terrace and Forbes Street.  The Stills purchased it and bottled 100 gallons of milk a day, selling it at a penny a pint for full fat milk or a half-penny for skimmed. The milk was collected in 10-gallon cans from George Simpson’s farm at Altens. They also had great success with Maitland Mackie’s Fyvie Castle milk, which normally arrived with a thick layer of cream on top.   

At the outbreak of World War II the Government introduced zoned areas for delivering milk. Ministry of Food Powdered milk was made available for baking. 

Ministry of Food Bulletins

Kennerty Dairies, was an Aberdeen based dairy company, and its name changed to Edinburgh Dairies. Kennerty’s operations were based on the East Coast of Scotland.  They had a big yard on the corner of Thistle Place with horse drawn deliver carts in these days and the stables for the horses were just 100 yards away in Thistle Lane. Occasionally, a horse would escape from the stables and gallop down to the Dairy premises causing all sorts of consternation until it was caught.  About 50 yards north of Thistle Street just before one comes to what used to be Kennerty Dairies on the east and Middleton's Paper Works on the west side of the road (now housing on the west and a Garden centre on the east). Milk Churns developed in to milk bottles with cardboard stoppers which had a push out centre these were collected and ingeniously made into shipping bags with the addition of twine bindings.

67 to 73 Leadside Road - Robert Coulters Westfield Dairy, Ltd.

Co-op Dairy Water Tower Berryden 1928
The emergence of the giant Northern Co-op, which produced 10,000-gallons of Milk a day and, more importantly, a dividend of up to 3s-6d in the pound for customers. Unable to compete with the much bigger rival, Many Dairies gave up milk producing in the late 1950s.

Milkmen - the Aberdeen Whitefield Dairy was based at 9 Baker Street from 1902 to the 1920's. The dairymen were listed as Mr. Tough and Mr. Winches then. 

In post war Aberdeen milk was mostly sold via the daily doorstep deliveries as very few houses had any refrigerator storage units until the arrival of pre-fabs.  Sold initially in Quarts, Half Pints and Pints with cardboard seals that had a small circular knockout centre.  These tops were often bound together with twine to make a really strong shopping bag by thrifty locals.  The intelligent horse drawn cart was laden with milk crates and the horse soon learned its route and stage stopping points and would progress along without further instruction keeping up with the Milkman’s shuttling progress during his tenement landing deliveries and collection of empty bottles.  You never had to walk back to collect the present electric Milk Float!

Co-op Milk Despatch Dock Drays at Berryden









Geo Hendersons Dairy & Grocers - 21-21A Chatton Place

John McBain's Green Dairy and Tearoom

Bishopston is set just on the south side of Aberdeen in Banchory-Devenick, it has been run as a dairy farm by the Groat family for generations.

Co-op Doorstep deliveries of milk from its dairy was achieved from a fleet of Clydesdale horse-drawn flat bed wagons; no mean feat when faced with deliveries to the Cairncry and Northfield heights.


School Milk was a welfare of children issue and provided a nourishing 1/3rd of a pint for each pupil during schooldays to assist with malnutrition and growing bones or teeth.  Surplus milk resulting from absentees was issued as 2nd helpings to children of merit be they somewhat undernourished or simply helpful as milk Orderly’s who collected the crates and delivered them to the class.  Each class row would lift their bottles in turn from under the blackboard.  The empties would be returned to the delivery point for re-collection. 

It provided a good energy boost in the mornings followed by ones 'playtime piece' and bottles provided great fun making drainage noises and blowing white bubbles with the dispensed straws while being consumed.  Then making straw mannies with the damp straw and saving the cardboard tops for yer ma's twine shopping bag frame.  These developed into Aluminium foil tops and these were all collected and compressed for scrap or the school metalwork foundry.  Recycling at its best and learned at a very early age.

Maggie Thatcher put an end to the provision of milk for schools as being unnecessary waste of public money.  Tell that to thirsty and hungry bairns of the post war era.  But then 'we had never had it so good' as the Tories said with a majority of 120 in Parliament


Balgownie Dairy - The Collectable Milk Bottle with a Brig on it

631 George Street Balgownie Dairy Engineering Dept.
432 George Street, Balgownie Dairy

Balgownie started trading as an engineering company in 1907 in sheet metal work and tank manufacturing supplying to shipyards, farmers and the food industry diversifying into manufacture and supply of dairy equipment. Bob Mann took over the company now mainly dealing in dairy equipment and water pump supplies at that time and diversified the company into machinery supplies (garden machinery, generators, power washers etc), trailers construction machinery.  Filpumps incorporation of Balgownie Dairy Equipment Ltd to expand their portfolio. This enabled Filpumps to better support a farm dairy market expanding in geographical area and requiring products with greater sophistication than previously required.

The Fittie fishers a' forsook
Creel, yawl and coble, net, and hook,
And spinners left the Poynernook,
For the Bridal o' Balgownie.

The Spittal wabsters qiiat their looms.
The Gran'holm queans their reelin rooms,
To shak' their hochs and knack their thooms.
At the Bridal o' Balgownie.

The Braidgate sparks cam' braw and spruce,
Frae counter-board and countin' hoose.
And Bailies big and Deacons douce.
To the Bridal o' Balgownie.

They cam' frae north—they cam' frae south,
Frae yont the Month, and Tap o' Noth,
To cram their craps, and slock their drouth,
To the Bridal o' Balgownie.

John Imlah

Findlay's - St Swithin Street

Finday's Dairy delivery Carthorse drinks from a Castlegate Horse Trough with adjacent public fountain well.  The cart is laden with boxes and small dispensing churns.  Findlay's was once Findlay's and Robert Coulter's Westfield Dairy based at 457 Union Street.  The 1938 street directory lists Findlay's Dairy Shop at  - 181 Crown Street.

Note the elaborate horse trough and public fountain on the Castlegate.



Aberdeen Dairy Co., 477 Union Street
Albert Dairy, 44 Albert Street
Ardoe Dairy, 25 Spa Street
Ashvale Dairy, 6 Ashvale Place
Barron, Robt. , 3 Mile End Avenue
Bishopston Dairy, 8 Rose Street
Black Brothers, 1 Leadside Road
Booth, Matthew, 7 Mid Stocket Road
Cruickshank, Alex., 25 Huntly Street
Deeside Dairy, 150b Union Street
Diack, James, 126 Chapel Street
Fifesbill Dairy, 2 Rosemount Place
Fingask Dairy, 180 King street, and 3 Summerfield Terrace
Forbesfield Dairy, Forbesfield Road.
Fraser, Miss, 18 Chapel Street
Gray, R. , 334 Great Northern Road.
Grove Dairy, 28 Albyn Grove
Haughton Dairy, 35a Millar Street.
Heathcot Dairy, 28 Carmelite Street.
Hunter, J., Maggie Park Cottage, Woodside
Iriewells Dairy, 100 Rosemount viaduct
Kennerty Dairy, 53 Ashvale Place
Kinrnond, David, 543 Great Western Road
Kingswells Dairy, 11 Hartington Road
Kirkhill Dairy, 23 South Mount Street
Lochhead Dairy, 118 Westburn Road
Loirston Dairy, 65 College Street
Main, Francis, 44 Broomhill Road.
Mains of Scotstown Dairy, 68 Esslemont Avenue
Mameulah Dairy, 581 George St. 114 Gerrard Street, and 58 Great Northern Road
Muirton Dairy, 13 Wales Street
Newlands Dairy, Broomhill Road
Northern Dairy Co., St. Catherine's Wynd, 35 arid 37 Netherkirkgate
Raeden Dairy, Mid Stocket Road
Reid, A., 13 Canal st., Woodside
Robb, D., 18 Menzies Road
Rosehall Dairy, 80 East North Street
Simpson, J., 401 Great Northern Road
Simpson, W. , 12 Hayton Road
Simpson, Mrs., Gladstone place, Woodside
Skene Dairy, 56 Summer Street
Strath, J. & J. P., Polmuir
Valentine, J., 21 Chattan Place
Walker, A. C, 14 Exchange Street.
Walker, W. , 57 Western Road
Wallace, Mrs, 93 Gallowgate
Westfield Dairy, 71 and 73 Leadside Rd. and 196 Rosemount Place
Whitefield Dairy, 7 Baker Street
Will. George, 686 Great Northern Road

Send mail to jazzmaster@jazzeddie.f2s.com with questions or comments about the design of this web site.
Last modified: 01/09/2013