Obituary: Milkman who did the rounds for 40 years dies aged 81
- Credit: SUPPLIED BY FAMILY
A retired milkman, who once carried out his deliveries on sledges with his sons because the snow was too deep for his float, has died at the age of 81.
Ivor Gotts, of Sheringham, spent more than 60 years serving the north Norfolk community, spending four of those decades rising at 2.30am six days a week to deliver milk.
He also spent time as a taxi driver and funeral parlour worker following his retirement and has been praised for dedicating his life to helping others.
Mr Gotts was born in Holt on January 22, 1940, and grew up in the house on the site of the town’s filling station, now BP and Thurlow Nunn, off Cromer Road.
From a young age, he would join his brothers and parents, William and Christine, in running the filling station as a family business. His father, who never retired, continued working on the forecourt and refuelling vehicles before he died in his 90s.
Mr Gotts met his future wife, Enid (nee Farrow), during a whist drive in her hometown of Sheringham. The couple married in 1961 at St Peter’s Church, then moved to Luton, Bedfordshire, to work at the Vauxhall motoring factory. Mr Gotts was employed on the production line while Mrs Gotts served in the canteen.
Two years later, the couple returned to Sheringham where they remained in the town. Mr Gotts became the local milkman, serving the community for 40 years.
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His son, Andy, explained the impact he had on the people who knew him.
He said: “As well as delivering milk in Sheringham, dad also covered the surrounding villages. He made sure to get people their shopping too.
“He loved the fact he was meeting people all the time and would do other things to help, such as change a lightbulb.
“I remember one cold December – when I was around eight – me, my brother, and our dad, had to put the milk on our sleighs because the snow was too deep for the truck. We delivered it around the town and further afield.
“Sunday was his only day off and he would go to work come rain or shine. I never even remember him taking a sick day.”
Following retirement, Mr Gotts became a local taxi driver and then worked at Blyth & Sons Funeral Services in the town.
Dr Gotts said the family had received an outpouring of kind words from people who knew him.
“As a taxi driver, he wouldn’t just drive people to the shops but he would also go in and help them. At Blyth’s, he would talk to the bereaved and be a shoulder for them.
“Dad was passionate about his jobs. He was a caring person and he wanted to make sure people did not feel alone.”
Away from work, Mr Gotts enjoyed playing bowls, spending time with his family at coastal locations, such as Hemsby, and sea-fishing, the latter being a hobby that almost landed him in trouble.
“He was sea-fishing one night, with his flask of coffee, and he wasn’t getting a bite,
“He passed the time by throwing stones at something dark he could see. Giving up on fishing, he packed his things away and went to look at what he had been throwing stones at – it was an unexploded sea mine. He was lucky none of his throws had actually hit it.”
Dr Gotts added: “I have so many memories of being with dad and my brother, whether it was in a milk truck or huddled under a blanket on the Norfolk coast.
“He was such a community man, serving it for over 60 years, and was well respected. Sheringham now has one less star. He will be missed.”
Mr Gotts died following ill health on November 20, aged 81. He leaves behind his wife, sons Steven and Andy, and grandchildren Brandon, Zoe, Connor, and Isabelle.
His funeral will be held at Cromer Crematorium on December 16 at noon. Donations to the East Anglian Air Ambulance via c/o Blyth & Sons Funeral Directors, Sheringham.