Horse and Cart

Not so very long ago the horse and cart was the major form of transport. The Coop dairy still had 13 horse and carts in 1962. Coalmen and the rag and bone men also used horses until quite late. A local character with an horse and cart was George Gee in Rickard Street as a Rag and Bone man. Bert Matthew with a big black horse that was a mad as a hatter was a coal man.

H Lever in 1907

A G Letts of 143 Euston Rad with Mr Greeson to the left

Higgins Coal

Coop Milk Float 1962
The man in charge of cart is my oldest brother, Jack Onley, "young Jack so as not to be confused with our father, "old" Jack Onley. Young Jack died in November 2003; old Jack died in March 1997 at the age of 90, having worked at the Co-op dairy from 1924 to his retirement in 1971. These were amongst the last horse and cart combinations at the dairy - my father, who had never driven a motorised vehicle in his life, passed the test for a milk float first time, (which he reckoned could have allowed him to career around the town in a car according to the licence he received). Brother Jack was, if memory serves me properly, a little bit earlier in passing his test. He had started working life as a bar lad at the railway shed (the loco as it was always called) in 1943. In about 1956, having become a "passed fireman", which was next to becoming a driver, he left the railway and went to the dairy, but eventually (some time around 1970) went back to the railway as a guard, retiring in 1994.

Ransome road dairy stables above with milk floats underneath

The next two photos are James Bland with his horse and cart the second of which is in Henley Street

Silvanus William Wreford in 1904

Wreford cart in the 1990's

Hilliers coals Midlands goods yard 1950s