Billericay resident shares satirical fairytale during lockdown - 'An Ode to Mrs T'

Alfie Swan

Lockdown has provided many Billericay residents time to take up new hobbies, refine old ones and even write a fairytale or two!

Local resident and driving instructor at BDC Driving School, Alfie Swan told us about the inspiration for his satirical fairytale entitled, An Ode to Mrs T. Alfie said;

"I had the inspiration to write it whilst sitting down one afternoon during early lockdown. It was to make people smile during this difficult period of time. The Fairy Tale encompasses a piece of UK history, light heartily, to the present day situation. I hope everyone who has read it, has had enjoyed it. That was the reason it was written."

An Ode to Mrs T

Once Upon a time, there was an MP by the name of Mrs T. She infamously during the 1970’s withdrew free milk to thousands of poor children throughout the land. But more was to follow in later years between the British Government and the milkmen involved.

Mrs T became Prime Minister in the 80s and the relationship between her and the milkmen deteriorated beyond all proportions.

At this time Mrs T was preoccupied with the war in the Falkland Isles and the sinking of the Agentinian Battleship the Belgrano.

She also had problems in Ulster with the IRA bombing campaign against English cities, London, Birmingham, Coventry and Canvey Island.

Mrs T had her own domestic problems too. Her son, Mark got lost in the Sahara Desert whilst competing in the Paris - Dakar motor rally. She was seen on TV in tears, as her husband Dennis seemed to be amused. Mark, the silly Plonker did not have a map or compass with him, or his co driver. The French Foreign Legion found them alive. Just!

Back to the milk delivery front :- Things had digressed into some militancy. Milkmen had become concerned with their working conditions, health and safety, unsociable working hours, and Sunday trading.
Whilst things in Europe were different. The Milk lake was increasing in size. The European delivery drivers were receiving a better deal driving modern, and faster milk floats than their British counterparts. They also had a weekly free milk concession.
Discontentment was rife with our rank and file milkmen. On street corners you would see gatherings of milk floats, some empty of crates, and no bottles of pop.
Life was hard for the milkmen and their families throughout the land. No end of this pitiful misery could be seen in the foreseeable future. Their Father’s, their Father’s Father’s and their Father’s Father’s Father’s were all involved in the milk delivery service.

Now families were being torn apart, and devastated. Many of their offspring and younger generation seeking employment elsewhere. Many found jobs in the booming steel works, ship building and the prosperous coal mining industry.
Things came to a head after the summer of discontention during the mid 80s. The milkmen chose industrial action. They were going to “work to rule”.

Milk floats would be seen driving throughout the country’s roads in cities and towns in the middle of roads at 3mph causing chaos behind them. Drivers behind blasted horns in sympathy at first, but later this action lost public support.

The Milk Marketing Board (MMB) arranged talks with Mrs T, but only an escalation of the dispute would follow, with dire consequences.

Then one sunny morning on his early milk delivery round, another person involved himself in the industrial action!

It was Ernie, who drove the fastest milk float in the north. Ernie was also the General Socialist leader of the National Union of Milkmen (NUM).

Negotiations continued for hours, weeks, and months. Talks went to ACAS, involving the MMB and the NUM, but the Lady was not for turning.

The general public were suffering terribly, sometimes the deliveries of their favourite fix not arriving at the doorstep until late afternoon, or early evening. Some of the full cream variety curdling into soft cheese.

The NUM called for an immediate National strike of all milkmen.

The battle lines were drawn. It came to a climax on June 5 1987 at 5am at Bullfield Farm, near Uddersfield, Buttershire.

Thousands of police officers, recruited throughout the UK, in full riot gear charged a hundred of striking milkmen, demonstrating their Human Rights.

What followed was a lot of spilt milk!

The battle raged throughout the whole day, baton charges from the police, with water cannon in attendance. The milkmen responded with eggs and low fat yogurt.

Army helicopters hovered overhead, awaiting a call for SAS reinforcements. Police marksmen were witnessed in barns and nearby haystacks with some in disguise as scarecrows. The public and media were kept well clear of Bullfield Farm with an exclusion zone in force.

By late evening smoke could be seen rising from the hills of the Farm. The Special Dog section of the Police Rotweiller Training Unit were sent in to clean up the operation.

“Casualties of War” were high:-

  • Milkmen 96
  • Police 2.5
  • 2 milkmen surrender

Ernie of the NUM was captured by a snatch and arrest squad, questioned and interrogated before eventually being sent to HM. Quarters for life. Whilst he done his porridge he was deprived of milk. A torture for the Hero of the common milkman. Ernie within a few weeks went on a hunger strike.

Mrs T had won, she had defeated the milkmen. She had become the “Iron Maiden”.

Throughout the land many milk floats were sold or crushed as scrap and sent to China. Dairies were being closed at a daily rate, and cows were being made redundant in the rural countryside. Dairy produce began to increase in price.

The course of the landscape changed, farmers growing Rape seed in their fields with the help of a EU grant. Many farmers set up boot sales and garden centres on their land. They began to see a greater return on their investment.

Eventually Mrs T become a heroin.

Ernie served 3 months of his life sentence in prison, later receiving a life peerage.

Then much later one morning a phoenix rose up from the steel milk crate. It was easy and cheap to produce, non, degradable, a polluter of sea’s and rivers worldwide. It was the Plastic bottle.

Milk could be stored in these containers, freshly imported and cheaper than UK milk. These would be kept in chillers, another total environmental fuck up !!

In the future during the coronavirus pandemic of 2020, people would clear the supermarket shelves of this produce. Fisticuffs in the shops, and fighting in the streets, nearly a state of civil war. Shopping trolleys would become overloaded with plastic bottles of milk, HP sauce, and bog rolls.

Elderly ex milkmen would be seen destitute living in cardboard boxes on the streets, receiving Universal credit, handouts, begging, and some selling their frail bodies.

The eventual champion of this Fairy Tale was not Mrs T, Ernie or MMB but TESCOPOUND.

And everyone lived happily ever after !!!