'Britain's oldest' milkman from Coventry turns 90

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image captionDerek Arch has been carrying out milk rounds since 1943

A man who believes he is the UK's oldest milkman has celebrated his 90th birthday and vowed to carrying on delivering until he turns 100.

Derek Arch was just a 14-year-old schoolboy when he started the profession in 1943.

The grandfather gets up at 02:30 BST and heads to the dairy to prepare for his round, which starts at 05:30.

He then delivers milk bottles to more than 200 homes in his hometown of Coventry over three hours.

Mr Arch said: "They say I'm the world's oldest milkman, but maybe that's because they don't really have them abroad.

"I'm certainly the UK's oldest milkman."

image captionDerek Arch has vowed to deliver until he's 100 - unless his son retires in the next six years

Mr Arch said the secret of his success is keeping active, adding: "I feel like I'm 20 and only still a boy as my limbs aren't too bad."

"As long as my health stays good and the custom keeps coming in then I can keep going if I live to 100."

His grandfather founded the family run milk business, D Arch and Son, in 1873.

Mr Arch said: "Dad gave me a bike, two buckets and a milk book and that was it, I was off. I was 14 and a half and got hooked on it then."

image captionThe milkman has delivered to some residents for 60 years
image captionDerek aged 18 when he was a private in the army for two years

The pensioner - who has been married to 88-year-old Betty for 68 years this Sunday - said he still enjoys meeting the locals.

"Some of the old dears I've served for 60 years. I tell them my troubles and they tell me theirs.

"What would I do if I didn't go out? I'd sit in a chair and grow old and get on my wife's nerves."

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Mr Arch is celebrating his birthday with loved ones over afternoon tea this weekend.

"I used to be a party animal and go out and drink like a fish. I never touch alcohol now unless it's a Sunday or I go on holiday," he said.

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