Friday, 14 July 2017

On being a dinosaur and remembering the horse drawn wagon

I am fast becoming a living dinosaur, and I suppose I have to ask how could it be any different?

I was after all born in the first half of the last century, reached the age of four before the  last vestiges of wartime rationing came to an end, and grew up with the wireless as the only source of home entertainment.

Along the way I remember the street grinder, who went from house to house sharpening the family knives, the regular call of the rag and bone man and of course the horse drawn milk float.

By the 1950s these milk carts had rubber tyres but were still a link with that time when almost all carts, wagons and public as well as private transport was pulled by a horse.

We tend to forget just how much was shifted by horse and cart.

In Manchester as in every town and city each railway company had their own stables and in all there were 157 carriers listed in the 1911 street directory and all used horses, as did the local trades people and the bus companies.

Look at any old picture of Chorlton from before the last world war and there are bound to be some horse drawn vehicles.

And so it is time for another of those occasional series which will potter on through the summer looking at how horses pulled the way.

This one  according to the caption was the, “Prince of Wales Horse bus at the green, probably about 1898 before the Corporation took over the Carriage and Tramway Company, but may be slightly later.  Photograph origin unknown.”

Picture; from the Lloyd collection

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