Kevin Gifford, who starts his shifts at around 4:30 am every morning and is a father of three, said of the decision, “A whistling milkman is part of British life but they want to stop it. It’s madness.”
The 52-year-old was furious because he believes his warning is completely unjust, stating, “I think they were claiming breaching the peace or something ridiculous. They say I woke them up. They should just roll over and go back to sleep, but these people decided to phone the dairy. Are they going to complain about the birds singing as well? They make more noise than I do.”
Discussing his whistling, Gifford remarked, “If I know the words I sing and if I don’t, I whistle. I think I cheer people up because I’m not very good at singing — I won’t be going on X Factor, that’s for sure.”
Gifford also added that he was surprised people complained, noting, “Lots of my customers love it. One lady came out of her house at 4.30am to say she thought it was wonderful, but I guess another tradition is getting a kicking. It’s pretty much a ban on whistling or singing, because they say I can do it after 8am but I’ve more or less finished my rounds by then.”
Kevin’s bosses at Kirby & West Dairy, confirmed that he been disciplined, but not threatened with losing job, after they received numerous complaints about his whistling.
Kelvin Young, the companies general manager, noted, “Kevin was asked to reduce the noise. Unfortunately he didn’t heed those warnings and we were left with no choice. I believe we were fair.”
Kevin responded by adding, “All the other milkmen think it’s stupid. I just think it’s a storm in a teacup. When I was a kid the binman, the postman and everybody made a noise and nobody complained. I’m always in a good mood in the morning. We go out in the snow, wind and rain — what’s the point of being miserable? You’ve got to do your job.”
Do you think Kevin Gifford should be banned from whistling on his milk round?