Much-loved city milkman who married the girl next door dies aged 89

Alan Edwards who grew up in Harvey Lane, Norwich, has died aged 89.

Alan Edwards who grew up in Harvey Lane, Norwich, has died aged 89. - Credit: Lucy Walduck / Graham J Howard

A man who spent most of his life among his livestock and his family on the outskirts of Norwich has died aged 89.

Born in Norwich on August 26, 1933, Alan Edwards was the first child to Alfred and Beryl Edwards who lived in Harvey Lane.

Alan went to school at Bracondale while his mother ran a café in Ber Street where he would accompany her.

As war broke out the café attracted many American servicemen who were stationed in the area - and their profession inspired a passion which would stay with Alan throughout his life.

The military men would arrive in full uniform in their Willy's Jeeps, Alan's daughter Lucy Walduck explained, which were a magnet for young Alan.

He often went missing only to be found sitting in the jeeps pretending to drive them, and chatting to the GIs.

Lucy added: "This may well have sparked my dad's lifelong interest in militaria and all things mechanical.

Alan Edwards travelled to many historic events and rallies in second world war vehicles and outfits.

Alan Edwards travelled to many historic events and rallies in Second World War vehicles and outfits. - Credit: Lucy Walduck

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"The GIs would spoil dad by letting him ride in their jeeps.

"Dad was also often seen driving around Norwich with his mum in her Austin Ruby."

Lucy recalled one story her father told: "They were driving home one night at high speed during a bombing raid and Alan fell out of the passenger door.

"The accident resulted in some loss of vision in his right eye and damage to his hearing but it was something he learned to cope with for the rest of his life."

On November 25, 1946, Alan's brother Richard Edwards was born just after his parents purchased Broad Hall Farm in Rockland St. Mary.

Both boys would help on the farm until it was sold in 1952.

The family then moved to Wroxham Road where Alan's love of animals saw him begin a milk round working with local dairies.

Unbeknown to the then-19-year-old his future wife Ros was living next door. 

Lucy said: "My parents' first date did not go well.

"As Alan was getting ready for the date the family dog slipped outdoors and on to the busy main road.

"The dog was picked up by a passing policeman who then called my grandad to come and collect it.

"Alfred took the car leaving Dad with no transport for the date.

"Disappointed Ros had a major tantrum and threw various things out of her bedroom window.

"However after many chats over the garden fence, romance blossomed and they married on August 15, 1960."

Alan Edwards with his wife Ros Edwards.

Alan Edwards with his wife Ros Edwards. - Credit: Lucy Walduck

At the time Alan was still doing milk rounds, covering Rackheath, Salhouse and Ranworth.

The dairy business would soon expand and his brother Richard took on some work to support his brother as it grew.

Alan and Ros then moved into Partridge Farm in Tunstead.

Here their family grew over the next few years with the birth of Lucy, Emma, Adam and finally Jon.

Lucy said: "We had a wonderful childhood.

"We all helped in the business - Jon and I particularly on the milk rounds.

"We were very fortunate growing up in the love and care of our parents."

When Alan retired the farm was sold and he bought an original Willy's Jeep - much like those he saw when he was a child during the war.

He soon joined the Norfolk military vehicle group in Easton, Norwich, and another "wonderful chapter" in his life was about to begin.

Alan Edwards pictured with his Plymouth P8 sedan.

Alan Edwards pictured with his Plymouth P8 sedan. - Credit: © Graham J Howard

Lucy added: "Dad attended many rallies and events with the Willy’s Jeep.

"He forged new friendships and loved nothing more than chatting to people - something he was particularly good at.

"Dad also ventured abroad on several trips, firstly with the Willy’s Jeep and later, with his pride and joy the Plymouth P8 sedan.

"It took him into France and Belgium and I remember he was very proud when he went to Normandy.

"Retiring when they did gave mum and dad well over 20 years together, while married for over 61 years."

Alan died on June 3, 2022, due to heart disease at Overbury House Care Home in Wroxham, aged 89.

Lucy said: "There was always a twinkle in his eye and a smile.

"We love you dad and we will never stop loving you.

"Thank you for everything."