DEDICATED milkman Roy Kent has finally retired after 30 years of getting up at 1.30am to go on his round.
The 65-year-old, has kept the same round in Fareham for more than three decades, delivering to more than 1,000 homes each week.
My customers have become like my extended family and I’ll be sad to say goodbye to them but I know they will be well looked after by the rest of the teamRoy Kent
Now he is looking forward to long lie-ins and spending time with his wife Karen, 58, at their home in Nobes Avenue, Bridgemary, Gosport.
Roy said: ‘I’ve really enjoyed my time as a milkman and it’s great to see that this tradition is still alive and well today. My customers have become like my extended family and I’ll be sad to say goodbye to them but I know they will be well looked-after by the rest of the team.’
Roy said he ‘stumbled’ into the job after leaving building work when he replied to a job advert in The News.
Thirty years on he has got to know his customers and each year receives Christmas card wishing him well.
When he finished his last round on Saturday Roy ended up with around 70 cards from the different families he served wishing him well in retirement.
‘I will miss them, I do see them a few times a week,’ he said.
When he started, he worked seven days a week for Co-op before Dairy Crest took over with delivery service milk&more.
Roy delivered around Fareham town on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and around the Miller Drive estate on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
Each day he delivered to about 180 to 200 homes. He had to get up at 1.30am, before travelling to the Southampton depot and back to Fareham by 3.20am.
He then finished and was home by 11am.
He said: ‘I used to have a couple of hours in the afternoon. I probably got to bed by 9.30pm or 10pm. I’ll be getting used to it, it’ll take a little while.’
Phil Massie, Southampton depot manager said: ‘Roy’s been a great member of the team here at milk&more and has always been a valuable member of the local community, keeping an eye out for his customers.’
Martin and Barbara Jones, of Miller Drive have been getting milk from Roy for more than 30 years.
Martin said: ‘We’ve become close friends with Roy and he occasionally stops by for a cup of tea and a biscuit.
‘We’ll miss him as our milkman but wish him all the happiness in his retirement.’