25 Princess Road : the Primrose Hill Dairy

When it closed, this shop had the longest history of continuous use of any in Primrose Hill: over a hundred-and-twenty years as a dairy.

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  • COWKEEPER Mrs Martha Lunnun 1861-68

    Diary, 1972

    Dairy, 1972

  • DAIRYMAN Edmund Thorn 1871-75
  • ” Thomas Carnall 1881
  • ” Thomas Stephens 1889
  • COWKEEPERS Jones Bros. 1895
  • DAIRYMAN James Thrower 1901
  • DAIRY Frederick Webb 1905
  • DAIRYMAN Frederick Creed 1910
  • ” Herbert Carrington 1922-30
  • ” Miss A. Morgan 1935
  • ” Frederick Jones 1940-50
  • DAIRYMEN A.C. Davies & Son 1960-70

Mr Davies used to deliver milk from a handcart, later from an electric float which he guided as he walked alongside. Behind in Calvert Street there had evidently been little sheds and stables, presumably for the dairy’s delivery carts.These buildings had been converted to garages, and one of the first minicab firms operated from here in the 1970s. Minicabs were also repaired here.

  • DAIRY Primrose Dairy 1972-87

Mrs Davies and her son Vincent are remembered locally with great affection.
She retired to her native Wales. For a while Vince ran a locksmith business from here, but soon also retired to Wales.


Denise Davies writes: I used to live at 25 Princess Road: the dairy.

My father Cyril ( or Arthur depending on which part of the family you dealt with) was from a dairy background, and like a lot of dairymen, from West Wales. Born in Dihewyd, Cardiganshire, he came to London in the 1920s with his parents and siblings. They settled in Portobello Road ( where the Tesco is now).
All the brothers had dairies, the sisters worked in other people’s as well. Some of my cousins also went into the trade. But no more. It’s a hard life, especially if you have a milk round.The cold at 5 a.m. can be bitter in the winter.

The garage at the back of 25 Princess Road was in Calvert Street.  There was a garage before the estate was built , but had no connection to the Dairy. I don’t remember the minicab service, and the garage closed up at night.