On December 31st 1951 Henry Plumb acquired a small dairy business consisting of 1 round serving Balsham, West Wratting and Weston Colville.
On January 1st 1952 the first deliveries were made. The deliveries were 7 days a week, delivering 480 pints a day in a Ford Van. A pint of milk cost 4/5 pence. Milk was delivered in glass bottles with a foil lid as it still is today. The milk was all unpasteurised whole milk from Samworth Farm, Balsham and bottled at the dairy in Balsham or supplied bottled from Keith Wright Ltd, Fenstanton.
In 1954 a few Jersey cows were bought and along with a supply from Little Abington, Channel Island/ Jersey milk was available for customers. In 1955 following the new supply of Jersey Milk, deliveries were introduced in Little Abington. During 1956 Henry’s oldest son, Peter, had started to work for the company which had been awarded the contract to supply Linton Village College. A second round was then established to deliver to Linton and Great Abington. In 1958/9 Peter delivered the milk in Balsham using the company horse and cart.
The company continued to have two rounds in 1961 when Henry’s youngest son Bernard left school and joined the company. That same year the company was awarded the contract to supply 800 pints per day to Fulbourn hospital.
In 1968 the business changed its name to H.W. Plumb & Sons.
The 70’s were a decade of change and development that shaped the way the company is today. Through further growth the business grew to 3 rounds and an average 2800 pints per day across the villages by 1973. 1973 was a key year in the company’s development. Firstly, Ivor Webb joined the company to carry out deliveries to parts of Balsham. Later that year Henry retired and the company was bought by Bernard. Ivor then took a partnership and it became Plumb & Webb.
In the mid 70’s bulk tanks were introduced to farms and new legislation prevented the use of churns. This resulted in Plumb & Webb no longer being able to produce and bottle its own milk. All milk was therefore sourced externally from Fenstanton. At this time there were now 3 types of milk – Jersey/Channel Island, Standardised and Whole milk (all of which were now pasteurised).
Further growth was achieved in the late 70’s and early 80’s through the acquisition of four milk rounds in Fulbourn and The Wilbrahams; Chesterford and Duxford, Ickleton and Hinxton. In 1986 the business moved into the third generation of the family when Bernard’s son Roger began working for Plumb & Webb. Tricexdowrebook . By 1989 the company had grown to 11 rounds supplying doorstep deliveries to the villages in South Cambridgeshire.
The development of new housing in Cherry Hinton in 1990 meant that further growth was achieved and then in 1992 deliveries were first made in Cambridge itself. In 1994 Bernard’s son, Mark, joined the company and in 1996 Roger Plumb became a partner in Plumbs’ Dairy. From 1994 to 2001 the company consolidated its position and through further growth increased to 14 rounds.
2001 was another busy year for Plumb & Webb. The company acquired Manor Farm Dairy of Haverhill, which consisted of an additional 9 milk rounds and a depot in Haverhill. Later in 2001 Ivor Webb retired and Plumb & Webb became Plumbs’ Dairy.
In 2002 Mark became a partner in the business. 2004 saw further changes to the structure of the business when Roger left the partnership and took sole ownership of the Haverhill depot and set up his own company Moojuice Dairy Ltd.
Since 2004 the dairy has continued to grow and presently has 29 milk rounds providing doorstep deliveries of some 10,500 pints of milk a day to Cambridge and the surrounding towns and villages.
There are now 19 different types of milk available and a range of over 100 different products for delivery.