Salty Sam’s Fun Blog for Children

Number 321



Hello Everyone



Do you drink lots of milk?


Milk is good for growing children.  lt has lots of goodness in it: vitamins, calcium and many other nutrients.


All mammals bring their children up on milk.  Babies cannot digest anything else when they are first born.


Mammals aren’t just humans, they are: apes and monkeys, cows and sheep, cats and dogs and many more animals besides including seals, whales and dolphins.


Reptiles, amphibians and birds are not mammals.


A duck-billed platypus is an animal that is a bit different from all the others.  lt lays eggs and feeds its young on milk.


Milk has always been an important food for children.


lt is also quite a good food for adults too as long as they are not what is called ‘lactose intolerant’.  lt might seem strange to us now, but ancient people could not digest milk as adults. 


We now call these people ‘hunter-gathers’ because they wandered the ancient forests and heath lands finding roots, berries and plants to eat and animals to hunt.


lt seems that human digestive systems changed once people started to farm animals.


Milk was taken from animals for many thousands of years – ever since man first started to keep domesticated livestock.


Different animals are kept to provide milk in different climates.


ln Britain we use mostly cow‘s milk, although we keep goats and some sheep for milk too.


After the lndustrial Revolution, cows were brought into cities to provide fresh milk.  Milk could not be transported over long distances because it went off too quickly.


Victorian London had 25,000 dairy cows kept in back yards and even cellars.


But then the railways were invented.


ln the late 1800s, fresh milk could be transported up from rural areas even as far away as Devon and there wasn’t the need to keep cows in cities any more.


ln any case, in the 1860s a disease called rinder pest broke out in London and most of the cattle kept there were wiped out.  So much milk had to be brought from Devon that it became scarce there.


The railway lines linked major cities and the branch lines connected with rural towns.


The cows were milked by hand in the milking parlour.  The milk which was warm when it was taken from the cow, was cooled by cold water pipes being inserted into the milk as it was put into large metal churns.  This was done in order to keep it fresh for longer.


Bacteria do not multiply as fast in cold milk as in warm milk. 


That is why we keep milk and other products made in a dairy in refrigerators today.


The churns would hold 10 gallons each.


These churns would then be left at the entrance of the farm to be collected by cart.


The cart would take the churns to the station to be loaded onto a train.


The Great Western Railway trains would travel through the night to bring fresh milk to London.  The nights were cooler than the days so this was the best time to transport the milk.


The red-brown South Devon cows used in Victorian times were eventually replaced by Holstein Friesian cows because these types of cows produced more milk.  This is called a higher milk yield.


Different cows produce different qualities of milk too, Jersey cows have higher levels of protein in their milk, for example.


By the 1920s, so much milk was being transported to urban populations it was decided to carry it in tanks on trains instead of churns.  Each glass-lined tank wagon carried the equivalent of 100 churns.  The milk company organizing this distribution of milk was called the Express Dairy.  They had introduced glass bottle packaging in 1880.


This new method of transporting milk caused a problem though.  lf one cow had an infection, it would be passed through her milk to the rest of the milk in the tank.


And this infection would be passed on to the people drinking the milk.


Between 1912 and 1937, 65,000 people died of bovine (cow) tuberculosis, a nasty lung disease, contracted from drinking contaminated milk.


ln the 1940s, pasteurization was introduced and this made milk safe to drink.


Pasteurization was a method of gently heating milk up for a short time to kill microbes in it before it was refrigerated to store.  Pasteurization was named after Louis Pasteur who actually invented the process in 1863 to prevent wine and beer souring.


ln the 1950s and 1960s, lorries replaced horse-drawn carts and so instead of road transport taking milk to the station, it tended to just take the milk collected from farms straight to where it would be sold in the shops.  This saved time and work.


lt was usual at this time for milk to be delivered straight to people’s homes early each morning.  Milkmen, as they were called, travelled the streets in electric-powered milk floats.  The clinking of the milk bottles could be louder than the vehicle.


Householders would ask for a regular order of milk – say two or three pints and if they wanted to change this they would leave a note out for the milkman to read.


The milkman would leave the milk bottles on the door steps of the houses and collect the empty bottles that the house holders had washed up and left out for him.


The bottle tops were card at first and then silver foil.  Sometimes birds would like to peck through the tops to drink the cream that had risen to the top of the milk bottle.  Some milk could be taken by foxes.


Children used to be given free milk at school too.  This was introduced by the 1946 Free Milk Act when all children under 18 years old were allowed to have a third of a pint of milk.  Every morning cute, little bottles were left outside each classroom and the teacher would give each child a bottle and a straw.


This is because it was thought that poor performance at school was linked to low nutrition, and milk would be the food to help put this right.


ln 1968, the Labour government lead by Harold Wilson scrapped free milk for secondary school children – that was for those over 11 years old.


A politician called Margaret Thatcher cancelled free milk for the over-sevens in 1971 when the government decided they had to make spending cuts.  Some people thought this was very mean and called her Maggie Thatcher the milk snatcher.  At the time, she was Secretary for State but later became Prime Minister.


Later, it appeared that she did not want to reduce the distribution of free milk, but her boss, the Prime Minister, Edward Heath, insisted it was done and she took the blame.


Milk continued to be provided to children in poorer families, however.


Nowadays, a milkman is a rare sight and milk is sold in wax-coated paper cartons, which have been around since the 1930s, or plastic bottles in the supermarket.


But with the concern about the growth of plastic waste raised in recent years, a lot of areas are seeing the return of milkmen and milk sold in glass bottles instead of plastic ones.


Some people have seen the reintroduction of glass bottles in their area, as a more environmentally-friendly option to plastic ones.  Glass bottle were mainly phased out in the first place because broken glass left around can be so dangerous.


UHT milk is heated with a high heat and can be kept up to six months if left unopened.


ln Britain, most milk sold in the shops comes from cows but some milk and milk products like cheese can come from goats and sheep.  A lot of people say that goats’ milk is much better for human babies than cows’ milk is.


ln other countries, humans take milk from buffalo, camels, yaks and reindeer. 


Mozzarella cheese comes from buffalo milk.  Some people even milk horses and donkeys.


Milk substitutes can come from rice or soy or nuts like almonds too.  These are not counted as dairy products though.  Vegans don’t drink milk. They can get calcium from eating lots of green leaves.


A lot of milk is produced in lndia, but dairy products like butter, cheese and cream are not so popular in a lot of Asian countries.


Anyway, l think l have worked so hard writing this blog post, that l deserve a nice hot chocolate now. 


So l will go and see if there is any milk left in my fridge.



Bye bye everyone – don’t forget to subscribe to my blog!


lf you like my blog, please support it by telling all your friends and followers about it.


Thank you!


And see you again next Fun Friday!


Love and kisses



Salty Sam





Bill and Bob’s Joke of the Weekjokejoke


Bill:  How do you count cows?


Bob:  l don’t know.  How do you count cows?


Bill:  With a cowculator!



Salty Sam © Christina Sinclair 2015

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of material from this blog without express and written permission from this blog’s author and owner is strictly prohibited.

Links may be used to



Picture Gallery


Duck-billed platypus


South Devon cow


Milk churns


Milk wagon


A horse-drawn milk cart



An electric milk float


Milk bottles with foil tops


Classroom milk


Children drinking free milk

(Daily Mail)







This week Henry had a bit of a nasty accident.

First Captain Jack had an accident when he broke the spout off Mrs. Miggins’ teapot, then Auntie Alice had an accident putting a garden fork through her wellington boot and now Henry has had an accident as well.

It is getting to be a bit of a habit round here – having accidents!

Henry was playing in the garden with a ball.  He was throwing it up in the air and trying to catch it again.  He kept trying to throw it higher and higher each time.

Then the inevitable happened.  He missed the ball.  It dropped down so far away from him, he could not reach it.

And it went slap bang into the top of his mother’s cucumber frame.

The glass was smashed to pieces.

Henry stood stock still, looking on in horror at what he had done.

He didn’t mean to do it.  It was an accident.

His mother heard the smashing of the glass panel and came running out to see what had happened. 

When she saw that Henry was unhurt, she was very relieved.

So relieved was she in fact; that she gave Henry a good telling-off.

That is how grown-ups are sometimes, isn’t it?

Henry was desperately sorry about what he had done.  He felt terrible.

He stood and looked at the broken glass for ages – even after his mother had gone back inside.

He had done a really silly thing and it had been dangerous too.

Then he wandered off to have a little walk by himself (Rocky Bay is a safe place to have a wander) and after a while found that he had ended up at Auntie Alice’s cottage – where he had a little cry.

Auntie Alice made him some hot chocolate and gave him a good listening to.

She said that all children liked playing with balls and suggested that she made him a soft knitted one to play with in the garden in future.  Playing ball in a tiny back garden like the one Henry has is never easy.

You can’t play cricket very well with knitted balls but they are perfectly good for playing catch!

A few days later, the smashed glass in Henry’s garden was all cleared up and the cucumber frame was mended.  Auntie Alice had finished knitting Henry a new ball as well.

The next morning Miss Pringle gave her class an English test and one of the questions had a puzzle.

The puzzle reminded Henry of his accident in the garden somehow.

Can you answer these questions from the test?


Do you know what these idioms mean?


  1. There is no use crying over spilt milk
  2. To milk the situation
  3. The milk of human kindness
  4. The land of milk and honey






Using 4mm knitting needles and green dk yarn cast on 15 stitches


Sl1 (k1,p1) repeat the last 2 stitches to the end of the row

Sl1 (p1,k1) repeat the last 2 stitches to the end of the row

Sl1 (p1,k1) repeat the last 2 stitches to the end of the row

Sl1 (k1,p1) repeat the last 2 stitches to the end of the row


Repeat the last 4 rows 3 times (16 rows)


Cast off


Knit 2 squares in 3 colours

Or 3 squares in 2 colours



  1. Sew the squares together using over-sew stitching right sides together
  2. When you have half a side left to sew up, turn the ball right sides out
  3. Stuff and seal up completely


If you put a lot of stuffing into the cube, it will bulge out into a ball shape









Quick Quiz


What are these things – they are all made from milk?


  1. c _ s _ a _ d
  2. c _ e _ m
  3. c _ e _ s _
  4. s _ o _ t _ i _
  5. p _ n _ a _ e _
  6. Y _ r _ s _ i _ e    p _ d _ i _ g _
  7. i _ e   c _ e _ m





lt’s the Weekend!




Sew this clown together securely because he might get a lot of use – especially if he is the kind of clown who will travel around with you a lot and tell jokes.





Using 4mm knitting needles and red dk yarn cast on 8 stitches


Purl 1 row

Purl 1 row


Knit 4 rows of stocking stitch


Change to yellow dk yarn

Knit 10 rows of stocking stitch

Cast off



Using 4mm knitting needles and yellow dk yarn cast on 8 stitches

Purl 1 row

Purl 1 row


Knit 4 rows of stocking stitch


Change to red dk yarn

Knit 10 rows of stocking stitch

Cast off



Using 4mm knitting needles and white dk yarn cast on 14 stitches

Knit 10 rows of stocking stitch

Don’t cast off

Cut off the yarn leaving about 20cm and thread through the stitches (using a knitter’s needle) and take them off your needle





Using 4mm knitting needles and red dk yarn cast on 6 stitches

Knit 4 rows of stocking stitch


Change to white dk yarn

Knit 2 rows of stocking stitch


Don’t cast off

Run a length of yarn about 10cm through the stitches and take them off your needle



Using 4mm knitting needles and yellow dk yarn cast on 6 stitches

Knit 4 rows of stocking stitch


Change to white dk yarn

Knit 2 rows of stocking stitch


Don’t cast off

Run a length of yarn about 10cm through the stitches and take them off your needle



Using 4mm knitting needles and green dk yarn cast on 8 stitches

Purl 1 row

Purl 1 row

Knit 1 row

Purl 1 row


Continue knitting in stocking stitch starting with a knit row and decrease 1 stitch at the beginning of each row until 1 stitch remains

Cast off



  1. Sew centre front seam of the body using over-sew stitching and right sides together
  2. Sew the bottom of the face to the top of the body using over-sew stitching and right sides together
  3. Securely sew two pompoms or round beads to the front of the body
  4. Sew two pompoms or round beads to the front of the hat as well
  5. Sew up the back seam of the head and body using over-sew stitching and right sides together then turn right sides out
  6. Pull in the tops of the hands and sew the side seams of the arms using over-sew stitching and right sides together
  7. Turn the arms the right way out and stuff with the ends of the yarn used to make them
  8. Sew the arms to the sides of the body so that the arms are pointing forwards and the sides seams of the arms are now at the bottom of the arms
  9. Sew the side seams of the hat using over-sew stitching and right sides together turn the hat the right way out
  10. Sew loops of orange yarn around the bottom edge of the hat to make clown hair
  11. Bind some white yarn around the neck twice and secure
  12. Stuff the head and close up the top
  13. Sew the hat onto the head leaving enough room for a face
  14. Embroider on a clown type face – the nose is a French knot with the yarn wrapped around the needle 3 times


And now, of course, you will need some jokes for your clown…


I say, I say, I say, the other night I was on stage and the act before me was terrible. 

In fact, they were so bad that when I came on they were still booing!


I say, I say, I say, chickens are so clever, aren’t they?

I mean, how else would they know what size egg to lay to fit in an egg cup?


I say, I say, I say, did you hear about the secretary who tore a page off the calendar?  She wanted to take a month off!


I say, I say, I say, I won’t say my wife is a bad cook; but last week she made a cottage pie and the council condemned it for demolition!


I say, I say, I say, did you hear about the prisoner who was electrocuted in Alabama? 

He was so fat they had to use an electric sofa!


I say, I say, I say, have you heard about the mad scientist who crossed a stinging nettle with some mistletoe?

He’s produced a plant that stings you and then kisses it better.


I say, I say, I say, what happens when you boil up a hyena?

You make yourself a laughing stock!


I say, I say, I say,  did you hear about the cheapskate who was so mean that when he wanted a new homing pigeon he bought a budgie on a piece of elastic instead!



Please note that the material on this blog is for personal use and for use in classrooms only.

It is a copyright infringement and, therefore, illegal under international law to sell items made with these patterns.

Use of the toys and projects is at your own risk.

©Christina Sinclair Designs 2015sand



Answers to the News Desk Quiz


  1. There is no use crying over spilt milk – when something has been done and can’t be undone
  2. To milk the situation – to take as much as you can, even maybe to the point of defrauding (cheating) someone
  3. The milk of human kindness – somebody being kind to somebody else
  4. The land of milk and honey – a place that has lots to offer


Dolphins and whales are mammals too



Quick Quiz Answers


  1. custard
  2. cream
  3. cheese
  4. smoothie
  5. pancakes
  6. Yorkshire puddings
  7. ice cream


Yorkshire puddings


Have a look at two milk men

(and how they didn’t really behave!)



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