Photo by Adam Bronkhorst
Are you local?
I’m from Nottingham, but I’ve lived all over the country. I came to Brighton to study Environmental Impact Assessment but I graduated in the middle of the 90s recession and nobody cared about the environment. There were no jobs so I went to Bevendean Farm and asked for some work. They said I was too qualified and wouldn’t stay but they took me on as a milkman. That was in 1990.
How big is your round?
My first round was just three or four roads in Moulsecoomb and at my busiest I had over 800 daily customers. It was manic. Now I have 460 customers a week and deliver to Coldean, Moulsecoomb, Woodingdean, Ovingdean, Bevendean, Queens Park, North Laine, Preston Park and Surrenden Road… I’ll deliver anywhere in Brighton. On my busiest day it’s an 80-mile round trip. With running up and down to the houses, I’ll walk around 26 miles. That’s a marathon!
Is business good?
Definitely. My rounds have gone up by a third in the past four months. It began when David Attenborough was on the TV with Blue Planet, talking about plastic waste. It went mad. That and the cold weather. Every day I was getting new calls. I went to the Ovingdean Green Festival with a couple of crates and picked up another 20 calls. With customers wanting to be greener, business is really picking up. I’m delivering over 4,000 pints in glass bottles each week.
Is the milk from local cows?
I go up to Burgess Hill because there aren’t any Brighton dairies that do glass anymore. I leave home at 11.30 at night and join a huge queue at the dairy. 60 rounds go out from there. I’ll get away from there at 2am.
What do you like most about Brighton?
Looking over Brighton at half past three or four o’clock in the morning at very first light, it’s just lovely. Especially in summer. Winter’s not so nice but when you make the round, you’re a hero. I’ve got snow chains and it’s lovely being the first one to drive through the pristine snow. When I start my round there’s no one up until about 5am when you get the first few cars. Until then all you can hear is the wildlife. At 6.30 it goes mad with rush hour traffic. I rarely come to Brighton in the day time. I try to get everything done by 7am and then I go home to bed.
Where would you live if you didn’t live here?
Probably in Spain. Port de Pollença, in the north of Mallorca. I go there when I want to rest but I haven’t taken any time off for the past couple of years. It’s hard to find a relief milkman to take the round. But I do get a couple of days off at Christmas.
To find out if Jerry delivers in your area, visit brightonmilk.com or call 07977 477573.