By Lucy Wilson
Simon Hide works six nights a week as Sheffield’s local milkman.
After starting his day with three cups of coffee he leaves his home at 8pm and doesn’t return back until 8am the following morning. “I started as a kid back in the early 70’s,” he says. “If you wanted some money you had to do something.”
Simon soon found himself working in residential care where he met Julie, who he married in 1985. ” I was her toyboy,” he says.
In 1988, Simon returned to being a milkman. “Back in them days, nearly every house had a milkman. Sometimes I would have 780 calls a day,” he says
When their two sons were born, Simon and Julie made the decision to move back to her family home in Sheffield. Simon got used to Sheffield’s roads and once again, he went back to doing the milk rounds.
During this time, Julie was diagnosed with stomach cancer and life became difficult. “She sent me out on my round the night she was diagnosed,” he says. “So, having two sons with ADHD Aspergers and a wife with cancer – it took its toll.” Simon wasn’t used to looking after himself and survived on a diet of coffee and cigarettes. Luckily Julie pulled through.
“I’ve served Peter Osgood, MP David Blunkett and Richard Hawley.”
Simon, now 50, says he’s seen it all. “You see many sights at night, the majority should remain unmentioned,” he says.
The Beighton man says there are some perks, “I’ve served Peter Osgood, MP David Blunkett and Richard Hawley – who is one of the most down to earth blokes I’ve met,” he says. “But there is a downside to being a milkman – you have no life.”
Simon not only serves milk but bread, eggs and other essentials and specialist milk to a maximum of 540 customers daily. “This job is my sanity,” he says.
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