Grateful residents have raised money as a present for a beloved milkman who is retiring after nearly half a century of service to the community. They’re helping him until he receives his pension next year.
Mick Tutton, 65, has been delivering milk, eggs and other groceries to doorsteps in St. Albans, Hertfordshire in England for more than 40 years. Better known as “Mick the Milk,” he was also seen as the community’s unofficial security guard, social worker, football pundit and cheerleader by local residents. He decided to retire from his work when his old electric milk float broke down and is beyond repair.
I’m already missing seeing everyone everyday. I’ve never been somewhere where there is so much love and compassion and I’ve had an incredible 47 years serving the community. —Mick Tutton, beloved milkman
When residents heard that he was retiring, they decided to throw him a party to celebrate his service to St. Albans. Kate Crick organized a special fund raising night at a local pub The Portland Arms and collected $20,000 (£15,280) as a retirement gift to Mick.
“The local community captured our love for Mick as one of the family. All of us were so proud to reflect the one-man cradle to the grave care that Mick has given us over 47 years,” said Kate. She was not surprised with the turnout of people for the event. “The feedback from neighbors was super positive and I would guess there were over 200 there.”
Kate, who lives in Gonnerston, Hertfordshire, said, “Mick has been an integral part of our community, working through the night in all weathers to deliver day in, day out to our doorsteps.” But, the good-hearted milkman did more than deliver goods to the community. “He looked out for people, especially the elderly, and became a family friend to many of us. Our children have grown up knowing and loving him, and our dogs too.”
After the celebrations, Mick told the St. Albans Times, “It was amazing, a joy. They told me it would be a few people, but then suggested a few more, and I was quite overwhelmed by how many actually turned up. It was very emotional.” He added, “What I tried to get across on Saturday was what decent, decent people they are in that community. It’s a real bubble and I always feel so safe there. No matter what happens there will always be someone with a friendly word for you.”
Mick’s father was also a milkman and Mick started in the business as a 16-year-old apprentice. “I’m grateful he made me do it, as I’ve had a wonderful career meeting a community full of wonderful people. I never passed my driving test, I just drove my milk float but they’re becoming more and more obsolete these days,” he shared.
The retirement present was nothing new to Mick who received little tokens of appreciation throughout his service. “I’ve been gifted checks for birthdays and other special occasions, so the money didn’t come as a total surprise. I was working in the snow one year and someone came out and gave me a £200 tip – but I thought I was just doing my job.”
Mick will be using the money to pay rent and hopefully visit his daughter’s husband’s family in Brazil. “At the moment I’m enjoying having the free time to spend with my granddaughter Florence – but it goes without saying I’m already missing seeing everyone everyday. I’ve never been somewhere where there is so much love and compassion and I’ve had an incredible 47 years serving the community.”