Only one cowkeeper was listed in Walthamstow from 1839 to 1859. A dairyman was first listed in 1866. By 1906 some 46 dairymen were listed, three of them being cowkeepers. One of the three was John Hitchman, who came to Chapel End in 1867. He leased and later bought Wadham Lodge farm, and from 1886 also leased Clay Street or Chestnuts farm. Hitchman began retailing milk in the 1880s.
In 1918 the firm of John Hitchman and Sons, dairymen and cowkeepers, was bought out by D. A. Davies, a partner in the firm of Davies and Williams, dairymen in Walthamstow since the early years of the century. The firms were amalgamated as Hitchman's Dairies Ltd., based on Green Pond farm, Higham Hill Road, where cows were still being kept in 1926. In 1938 a large modern dairy for processing milk was opened on Walthamstow Avenue. In 1968 Hitchman's, a member of the Unigate group, had branch dairies in South Chingford, Walthamstow, and Leytonstone.