Lactic Enlightenment Searching for the essence of Milk and Milk Bars

Four Weeks on  4

Posted on June 30th, 2004. About StatusReport.

National Milk Bars Known About: 10 (This is a hard number to pin down. Different information sources yield different answers.)
National Milk Bars Visited: 7
National Milk Bars only Visited by proxy: 0
Ex-National Milk Bars Visited: 7
Cups of Tea Drunk (In NMB) : 8
Milkshakes Ordered: 1
Miles Driven: 1143
Postcards Bought: 7
Jokes Told: 0
Hat Shops Photographed:2

(current) ToDo list

Trip Report - Denbigh  

Posted on June 30th, 2004. About InSearchOfMilk.

Pictures are here

So, feeling a bit down about Colwyn Bay, I park up the m-m in Denbigh and wander into the town. Only to find that this NMB is very shut. And clearly has been for a long time.

To liven up my spirits, I go back through Shrewsbury and take a picture of a second Hat Shop (the other one is opposite the NMB.)

So, why does Shrewsbury have so many Hat Shops ? In the words of the great poet and Telly-Tubby narrator, Toyah Wilcox, “It’s a Mystery”

Weary and a little deflated, I returned home. Even stumping up two quid for a drive on a bit of road. Spirits were re-vitalised by good conversation and Quiz Winning.

Trip Report - Colwyn Bay  

Posted on June 30th, 2004. About InSearchOfMilk.

Pictures are here

Not visit Colwyn Bay, yeah right. So, I’m on the A55 and just gravitate towards the Colwyn Bay exit as if drawn by a powerful, invisible force. So, I drive to our old house and take a couple of pictures of it (I’m sure I looked really suspicious - but who cares). Then I get a little confused by the one-way system and end up driving past my fist school. Which appears to now be closed and up for sale. A bit depressing, but life moves on I guess.

Find the NMB and it is up for let too. It does seem to still be an NMB, just closed on a Sunday. So I’ll need to go back there too for a cup of tea. If it’s still operating.

Not the most uplifting trip to Colwyn Bay that I could imagine. So, back on the road to Denbigh.

Trip Report - Conwy  

Posted on June 30th, 2004. About InSearchOfMilk.

Pictures are here

So, leaving Bangor, I pass the end of the Menai Bridge. Well - it would be rude not to. So a quick blast over the old bridge and then I’m on Anglesey (Mon). Now, once on the island, there’s one place you just have to visit. Llanfair PG. Back over the new bridge and I’m soon rolling into Conwy.

Park up the m-m and set off with the same plan as for Caernarfon. Spot a shop that looks like an ex-NMB and go into the St David’s Charity shop opposite. My suspicions were wrong and it turns out that the NMB is now a Curry House in Lancaster Square.

Picture Taken - Back on the road to Denbigh. I’m heading home via Denbigh. I’ll leave the North Welsh coast for another trip.

Trip Report - Bangor  

Posted on June 30th, 2004. About InSearchOfMilk.

Pictures are here

So a quick whizz up to Bangor. The city of Bangor. Parked the m-m and wandered into town. Bangor was much more shut than Caernarfon had been, so it was lucky I stumbled across the NMB quite quickly. It was closed. I’ll need to re-visit. Never mind.

Opposite is a Bookmakers. The Welsh for ‘Bookie’ appears to be ‘Bwci’ - both pronounced the same. My fave Welsh spelling of an English phrase is the Welsh for “Snooker Club” - “Clwb Snwcr” As seen in Beddgelert.

Next stop Conwy.

Trip Report - Caernarfon  

Posted on June 30th, 2004. About InSearchOfMilk.

Pictures are here

Another magnificent drive through the fantastic scenery from Porthmadog to Caernarfon. Heading for the town centre, I went to the ’shoppers’ car park. The plan was to find the main street and look for one of the following

  • An NMB (not likely)
  • A coffee shop that had obviously been an NMB
  • A KFC
  • Tourist Information
  • A Charity shop with a suitably wise helper
  • Errr, that’s the plan

Luckily, the first shop I saw was a Cancer Research shop, so I went in, bought a couple of books to be polite, and asked if the lady knew where the National Milk Bar used to be. Yes, she said, it’s now the KFC opposite.

Sure enough - opposite the Charity Shop was a very ex-NMB-looking KFC.

Picture taken, job done - off to Bangor.

Trip Report - Porthmadog  

Posted on June 30th, 2004. About InSearchOfMilk.

Pictures are here

Well, the day got off to a very strange start. In fact, I’m a bit worried that I may have broken one of the fundamental laws of Physics. I had breakfast in a hotel without a hangover.

I’ll just let that sink in.

So, up before 9:00 and on the road, bright as a button, heading for Porthmadog. And what a road. The scenery is fantastic. The weather was brilliant. Bright sunshine and fluffy clouds providing a magnificent display of light and shadow on the green valleys and grey mountains. It was a lovely moment. “Keepin’ it real” - Rock On. (This is where the Nuclear Power Station is, BTW)

I came into Porthmadog across the isthmus and the Tourist Information was just there. I pulled in and made a bit of a meal of parking the m-m which caused some bloke to have an apolplectic fit waiting for me. Turns out he and his three kids were late for the 7th Day Adventists service. I’ve never seen so many coffee flasks for so few people - is there some coffee sub-cult involved? I think we should be told.

Anyway, I went into the Tourist Info and asked where the National Milk Bar was, or used to be. Turns out it was about 50 yards away and was called “Jenny’s”. The woman in the Tourist Info said it was “Part of the Franchise”. I don’t think so.

So, approaching “Jenny’s Eating House” it was pretty obvious that this was, indeed, an ex-NMB. The signage was NMB with a new board stuck over it. Clearly we had hit another gold mine. How little did I know.

I had a cup of tea and waited for the old fella who was sitting in front of the map to go, took a picture and, thoroughly uplifted, left. Heading North.

Trip Report - Dolgellau, Barmouth and …  

Posted on June 29th, 2004. About InSearchOfMilk.

Pictures are here

So, arrived in Dolgellau at around about 5pm and decided that I couldn’t face a long drive home. I went to the Tourist Information and they suggested the Royal Ship Hotel just across the street (the ex-NMB is next door but one to the Barclays bank at the left of the picture). It looked nice enough and was not too pricey, so I checked in. Ran across the street to Boots to buy some necessities and to the camping shop to get a clean T-shirt. ‘Wierd Fish’ is what I now appear to be.

My room (113) Overlooked the Dolgellau ex-NMB. How cool is that.

Eschewing the hotel bar and local hostelries, I opted for a whistle-stop visit to Barmouth to visit their Milk Bar (not an NMB, alas) and get some fish (well, meat and potato pie) and chips from the chippy with the plastic dolphin outside - class.

Returning to the hotel saw me strangely tired, so an early night - punctuated only by the boy racers practicing their skills on the tiny streets outside. The skills in question being the ability to behave like complete tw@ts, of course.

Trip Report - Machynlleth - revisited  

Posted on June 29th, 2004. About InSearchOfMilk.

Pictures are here

A quick trip up the road to Machynlleth to get a picture of the map which somehow failed to get taken last time I was there.

Had a nice cup of tea and a cream scone with jam (the cream was freshly whipped just for me) which was lovely.

As I drove past the NMB a space had opened up in the car parking just outside, so I took the opportunity to take a picture of the milk-mobile outside a National Milk Bar. Sweet.

A jaunt to Dolgellau to get a GPS fix and then I could go home happy. Yeah, right.

Trip Report - Aberystwyth - (re-)Visited  

Posted on June 29th, 2004. About InSearchOfMilk.

Pictures are here

Fantastic as NMB reports-by-proxy are, I do feel that I need to visit each and every open NMB personally. To this end I left Corporate HQ in Welshpool and struck West to the metropolis of Aberystwyth.

After an uneventful journey and a brief stroll in ‘Aber’ I located the NMB and had a pot of tea, sitting on the ‘Billy No Mates’ table. (A small table by the door with only one seat).

There is an interesting picture of an old Milk Bar on the wall by the front window. I’m not sure which NMB it is showing. It doesn’t seem to be the Aberystwyth one, as the building is all wrong. I could only stare at it from afar, as there were scary people sitting in the table underneath it.

It would be nice to get a good quality picture of that photo. If anybody’s in there with a digital camera - can you do the honours please?

Back to the m-m via a bookshop (for a postcard) and off to Machynlleth

Trip Report - Welshpool - re-revisited  2

Posted on June 29th, 2004. About InSearchOfMilk.

Pictures are here

Saturday morning and I decided to go on a day trip to tidy up some loose ends. I reckoned I could fit a few things into one journey and then get back in time for tea. The plan was:

  • Go to Aberystwyth for a personal visit
  • Go to Machynlleth to take a picture of the Map
  • Go to Dolgellau to get the GPS coords of the ex-NMB

So, set off in the milk-mobile on my own. Stopped off and bought a Guardian, which came with a free CD. The free CD turned out to be pretty good and became the soundtrack for the journey. (Best moment on CD is the lyric “Keepin it real, we’re ready to rock” from track 7 - genius.)

It was tipping it down, but, as if to prove the rule, just as I passed into Wales, the rain abated and the sun shone weakly. This set the tone for the rest of the trip; mostly fine and cloudy, patches of rain. Well done Wales - England was getting a soaking.

By the time I was passing Welshpool it was time for a little smackerel of something: NMB visited; Tea and ‘Supreme Burger’ ordered and consumed; Belly filled; Job done.

This time I parked in the Pay and Display car park by the Tourist Information Centre. I forgot to pay (or display) and I guess my luck must be a-changin’ because I didn’t get a ticket. Yippee.

Onwards with the quest …

Still Going  

Posted on June 28th, 2004. About InSearchOfMilk.

Well, detailed reports will follow, but a quick summary of the weekend.

5 NMB visits: 2 of which were closed on Sunday, so need a re-visit; 2 of which were re-visits and the fifth was a personal visit after a visit-by-proxy.
5 ex-NMB visits: 1 KFC; 1 Indian Restaurant; 1 dead NMB and 2 exNMB but still a cafe
1 non NMB Milk Bar
1 Nuclear power station passed
1 Old house photographed
1 Old school (now closed and up for sale) photographed
1 Station with a long name visited
2 bridges over the Menai Straits crossed
1 (more) Hat shop in Shrewsbury photographed
1 night spent in Dolgellau
Many cups of tea drunk

450 miles driven

Three Weeks on  

Posted on June 23rd, 2004. About StatusReport.

National Milk Bars Known About: 12 (This is a hard number to pin down. Different information sources yield different answers.)
National Milk Bars Visited: 4
National Milk Bars only Visited by proxy: 1
Ex-National Milk Bars Visited: 3
Cups of Tea Drunk (In NMB) : 5
Milkshakes Ordered: 1
Miles Driven: 693
Postcards Bought: 4
Jokes Told: 0
Hat Shops Photographed:1

(current) ToDo list

Information Sources  

Posted on June 20th, 2004. About InSearchOfMilk.

Well, no NMB visits this weekend. Life intervened.

Anyway - did get a few moments to create a table showing the various NMB location information sources. Bit of a cock-up with the camera in Machynlleth, means I’ll have to go back.

Anyway Here is the info

A Clockwork Orange  

Posted on June 18th, 2004. About WhatIsAMilkBar.

Milk Bars are referred to in ‘A Clockwork Orange’ by Anthony Burgess. For a quote-let; see
this link - thanks e beth.

Warning: link contains a bad word and has nothing whatsoever to do with ‘National Milk Bars’ which wouldn’t sell those things and wouldn’t have nasty people like that in them.

reorg  

Posted on June 17th, 2004. About geekfacts.

put site under NMB directory. Please tell me of any broken links.

Trip Report - Aberystwyth  

Posted on June 16th, 2004. About InSearchOfMilk.

Pictures are still here

While thebigcheese and cohorts were galivanting around Mid Wales, Debbie and I were staying with my parents . The prime purpose of the weekend (other than just seeing them, and their posh new bathroom) was to sort out telephone extensions and network cards and routers and stuff, for the impending arrival of broadband Internet in their home.

So it was that on Saturday June 12th 2004 Dad drove us into Aberystwyth with two objectives:

  • to buy some 4-core phone extension wire, an extension socket and a connector box
  • to visit the NMB

We parked outside Trinity church, on Buarth Road.

We stopped in Ellis’ hardware shop, and found only a BT wire insertion tool, which Dad bought for 55p.

We stopped in Dixons on Great Darkgate St., with only the very last remnants of its closing down sale remaining. They did have some phone extension kits available, but the wall mounted socket was smaller than the master socket we were replacing, so I decided it would look messy.

We stopped in a small electrical supplies place on Pier St., whos name I forget, and which doesn’t appear to be in Yellow Pages. The proprietor was very helpful, and showed me his wide range of phone extension kits, none of which was quite right. I’m not sure he understood why I didn’t buy anything.

All that was fine. These were only stopoff points on our way to Radio Shack on Pier St., where I knew we’d find everything we needed. I was wrong.

We walked along the prom, to Terrace Road, where the NMB is. The NMB was a sorry sight, with its broken signage and its scaffolding surround - but it appears the scaffolding is there because they are actively working to spruce it up. Painters were at work. A return visit in coming months may prove rewarding.

After I’d taken a few photos, we went in and sat down. We pulled out thebigcheese’s checklist and filled it in. It being mid-morning, and since we knew Mum would have a splendid lunch for us soon, all we ordered was drinks. Debbie had a chocolate milkshake, while Dad and I had coffee. I was impressed that we were given the option of coffee made with hot milk, or coffee made with water. All too often in a Welsh coffee shop you’ll be given a cup of hot milk with half a teaspoon of Nescafe stirred in. We asked for ours made with water. The coffee was good, as was the milkshake.

Aber’s NMB has historical photos of Milk Bars dotted around the wall. Above the cutlery rack there is a photograph of some ship or other, surrounded by signatures of 101 Squadron Brize Norton, as a token of thanks for the NMB’s support.

On the way back to the car, Debbie cleverly remembered that we’d been asked to get Mum a Western Mail, for reasons I can’t quite fathom (”Llais y Sais” and all that). For this Dad was most grateful. In the newsagent, Debbie asked if they had any Vanilla Diet Coke, and not only did they not have any, but the lady had never heard of such a thing!

We made a few false starts in the Buarth / Trinity Road one-way system, but ended up heading down Llanbadarn Road toward the newfangled Parc y Llyn retail park, and it’s Focus DIY shop. Here we found all the phone extension supplies we needed, in the “Trydanol / Electrical” section, and returned home with all missions accomplished.

Two Weeks on  

Posted on June 16th, 2004. About StatusReport.

National Milk Bars Known About: 12 (This is a hard number to pin down. Different information sources yield different answers.)
National Milk Bars Visited: 4
National Milk Bars only Visited by proxy: 1
Ex-National Milk Bars Visited: 3
Cups of Tea Drunk (In NMB) : 5
Milkshakes Ordered: 1
Miles Driven: 693
Postcards Bought: 4
Jokes Told: 0
Hat Shops Photographed:1

Trip Report - Aberystwyth  

Posted on June 16th, 2004. About InSearchOfMilk.

Pictures are here

john - you need to write a report

Trip Report - Shrewsbury - revisited  

Posted on June 16th, 2004. About InSearchOfMilk.

Pictures are here

On an ‘Ex NMB’ trip - we went to Shrewsbury.

Finding 13 High Street, we discovered that it had become a KFC. (which fits in with This news item from 1999.

The other Milk Bar (on Shoplatch) was closed and so I made do with a new picture and we left.

Home via the M6 toll (which isn’t even signposted from the M54) in time for the football. England won most of the match.

I’m sunburnt and bitten to b*gg*ry.

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