Ex-milko gets gong for heart of gold
FORMER milko Chris Barber has moved on from gold top – and he has been rewarded for his heart of gold.In 31 years on the round he's saved lives, rumbled a burglar and even ended up spending Christmas watching someone else's children open their presents!His heroic efforts, which were far beyond the call of duty, earned him a Babergh District Council Community Achievement Award at a ceremony at Stoke by Nayland Golf Club.
FORMER milko Chris Barber has moved on from gold top – and he has been rewarded for his heart of gold.
In 31 years on the round he's saved lives, rumbled a burglar and even ended up spending Christmas watching someone else's children open their presents!
His heroic efforts, which were far beyond the call of duty, earned him a Babergh District Council Community Achievement Award at a ceremony at Stoke by Nayland Golf Club.
After the ceremony, he said: "I feel embarrassed about it. I was only doing my job and helping people out."
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Chris has found himself in a few sticky situations on his round, which covered Hadleigh, Whatfield, Aldham and Elmsett – but he always came out tops – and cheery Mr Barber has saved several elderly people's lives.
A month before he left his job ever vigilant Mr Barber noticed a man collapsed in his living room at 3.30 am and dialled 999.
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"The light was on and the curtains were not drawn and I thought it was different so I went and had a look," explained Mr Barber.
"I saw a man laying on the floor and it didn't look good to me."
On another occasion he spotted someone breaking into an elderly person's bungalow at 3 am and flagged down the nearest police car.
One Christmas morning that stands out was when, determined to get the milk out to his customers after a bad snowfall, he managed to not only get his own milk float stuck, but also another float, a lorry and a 4-wheel drive Land Rover into the bargain.
"It was a nightmare," said Mr Barber, of Bradfield Crescent, Hadleigh. "I only had Whatfield to do. It was 1 am and I thought I would be home in three hours."
The first milk float got stuck in the snow so Mr Barber ran all the way back to Hadleigh to get another float, which met the same fate.
"I saw a light on and knocked on a lady's door and told them the situation," he said. "I had to wait until 6 am to phone the dairy and I watched her two boys undo their presents. It was 11.30 am by the time I got home and I missed my children open their presents."
He gave up the milk-round after having problems with his knee and now works 8 am until 5 pm in the warehouse for Partridges in Hadleigh.
"I still miss the round," he said.
Mr Barber, 51, was one of more than 24 people to win the award. He was nominated by Hazel Smith and Melanie Lucas of Whatfield.