Milkman Philip calls it a day after four decades

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Milkman Philip calls it a day after four decades thumbnailOne of the last 'milkmen' in the Omagh area, Philip McNamee, Meadowvale Park, Omagh, who is retiring after 40 years delivering milk to households in Omagh and the surrounding areas. AN3703

He is one of the few 'milkmen' left in the Omagh district, but at the end of the month popular local man, Philip McNamee, will finally call it a day - after four decades.
It will not only signal the end of an era for the Omagh man, but for the local district.
When Mr McNamee first began serving the local community - back in 1971, when he worked with Jack Walls serving the Victoria Bridge and Sion Mills areas - few shops sold milk and the local community heavily relied on the likes of Mr McNamee's van arriving in the morning.
Demand for Mr McNamee's services has been waning for a number of years, however, and at the age of 69 he believes it is time to call it a day.
“My last day will be emotional," he said. "I enjoyed the job, I loved meeting new people and I will most definitely miss the social part of it. I have covered some ground in my time and met so many people."
Mr McNamee spent time working with local milk suppliers, Andy McGinn, of Omagh, and Sean McCabe, of Seskinore, but for 37 years he was out on his own, mostly covering the Omagh area.
“We delivered to almost every house back then - you wouldn't have got milk in many shops. It was very limited, and there were bigger families, so we could have been delivering five or six bottles to each house.
“In Omagh, McGinn's Dairy had five vans out, while Hillbank had six. There could have been up to 20 vans in the town at that time. We started at 6am and would be finished around 10am - it was a busy shift."
As many businesses have closed, Mr McNamee has been able to extend his deliveries to the likes of Knockmoyle, Dunmullan, Plumbridge, Newtownstewart, Gortin and as far as Donemana, in recent years.
“There's still a demand for the milk, but it's not like it was - it's a dying trade," Mr McNamee admitted. "There is perhaps only one other business still serving milk in the area now."
To fill the void, Mr McNamee plans on helping out on the family farm, outside Newtownstewart.
“We have around 50 ewes in my home place. It'll keep me going!".


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