Popular milkman makes his final journey in milk float
- Credit: Archant
For nearly 50 years, through rain and shine, milkman Rex Quinton was responsible for leaving a daily pint on doorsteps in and around Ipswich.
So it was fitting that Mr Quinton, who has died at the age 89, made his final journey aboard a milk float.
When he began working as a milkman as a teenager, a horse and card was his mode of transport and later, as technology advanced, electric milk floats became the norm.
And it was aboard an electric float that his coffin was carried on its his final journey yesterday.
The former milkman, who passed away three weeks ago, lived in Ipswich all his life and, as well as delivering daily milk to thousands of homes in Ipswich, he also spent time working as a window cleaner to make ends meet.
As he grew older technology developed and Mr Quinton moved onto electric milk floats working for the Co-Op and Seamans Cream dairies.
His delivery round took him to all parts of Ipswich starting in and around Norwich Road to areas like Burlington Road and Bramford Lane.
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In his later years his rounds moved out into the countryside around Shotley and Bentley. He retired at the age of 65.
After Mr Quinton died his family started thinking about the best way to mark his life.
Realising that a traditional hearse might not be the right fit for Mr Quinton his family came to the conclusion that there was only one way for him to take his final journey: by milk float.
The family believe he is the first person to be carried on a milk float in this way.
The milk float for the funeral was sourced from the north of England and was brought down especially for the event.
Mr Quinton was driven across Ipswich from the Chapel of Rest at the Co-Operative Funeral Home on Boss Hall Lane up to St Mary and St Botolph’s Church in Whitton.
“He has got a very lovely send off,” said Debbie Quinton, Mr Quinton’s daughter.
“Just the theme of him being that milkman all of his life.”
Outside of work, Mr Quinton loved to spend time outdoors.
“He loved his garden,” said Ms Quinton, “he loved being outdoors in the fresh air.”
Mr Quinton’s wife Patricia died earlier this year aged 88. At the time of her death the couple had been married 68 years.
Rex Stanley Quinton died on September 2. He had five children, ten grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren.