Besuited men behind desks considered it a nationwide dose of protein, but out in the field it was always a cheap and hasty alternative to breakfast or forking out for crisps at break-time. Free school milk had been on tap for all British state schools since the late 1930s, introduced to combat spiralling levels of childhood malnutrition and later becoming an enduring post-war tonic to supposedly ensure the next generation had ‘good bones’. Notoriously prolific – crates of untouched curdling bottles were always hanging around the most over-heated corridor in the building – the hearty swig on a weedy straw through the blue or red topped pints was, for ages, as much a part of the morning routine as running about whooping at a dog loose in the playground. Then Margaret Thatcher famously curtailed universal guzzling of the white stuff when the country sank into yet another 1970s economic slump, though nursery and primary schools were allowed to continue siphoning it out for another decade. The final deliveries were made in 1986 – until, that is, local authorities in Scotland recently decided to re-introduce it, thereby rather charitably allowing kids to partake in the right kind of nostalgia even before they could read or write.