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Birmingham's Working Horses

davidfowler

Exiled Brummie
As recently I've been asking for help genealogically-wise, I thought I should try to redress the balance by posting some historical info.
I picked up a book during the summer by Bryan Holden - "Birmingham's Working Horses" - and here are some photos.

We all know that there used to be many coaching inns in the city centre. The flying coaches, as the stagecoaches were originally called, started from many inns. Here's a map showing some (if not all). Unfortunately I don't have a date for this map although I do know that this business started around the 1740's and was still extremely important through the mid 19th century until the railways became established and took over mail distribution.

On the map, if you look on High Street you can see there were 3 coaching inns, the Castle, the George and the Albion. They stood where today we have Marks & Sparks.



Moving on, we have a photo from 1885 taken on Queen's Drive, New Street Station. The horse is pulling a LNWR station bus.



This photo shows a horse-drawn bus going along the Stratford Road in Sparkbrook in 1912.



This last one shows the horses doing a job a number of us older members will recall, the milk delivery. It was taken in the mid 1920's at Handsworth Dairies.



I'll put some more on in a day or so as I'm just off Birmingham for a stint in the Library and then later will be shouting myself hoarse (no pun intended!) at St Andrews.
 
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dek carr

gone but not forgotten
The map is interesting David it shows a prison where Moors St station now is but further along Moor St it says "To the railway station" this would I think be Curzon St with this info the map could be dated.Dek
 

mikejee

Super Moderator
Staff member
Peck lane proson was replaced by Moor st in 1806, and Peck Lane disappeared around 1850. the prison , I believe, but cannot immediately confirm, lasted longer. So map was between 1806 & 1850
 

davidfowler

Exiled Brummie
Here are 2 pics of horses pulling bread delivery carts. The first shows George Bailey and "Bullet" delivering bread from Harding's in 1920.



The second is of Norman Watts and his horse delivering for H Joyner of Stetchford in the late 1920's.

 

davidfowler

Exiled Brummie
The winter of 1947 was one of the worst Birmingham experienced. Here's how the milk was able to be delivered even through the worst of the snows.



After the snow came the floods. In Tame Road, Witton a Co-op customer hopes he doesn't drop the bottle thrown to him.

 

G G Jean

Brummy Wench.
David I remember those floods and what lovely photo's. Us kids swam under the bridge by the IMI as the water was so deep.
 

paul stacey

master brummie
great photos and what a good way to look at old brum, as a kid all our milk and bread was still delivered by horse.
 

G G Jean

Brummy Wench.
This is my granddad and his horse. He lived in Cubbington at the time the photo was taken but did move to Franchise street where he had another milk round. Have not a photo of him there unfortunately. He had another horse then I presume?. Jean.

 
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Rupert

master brummie
What a great thread and wonderfull map...and the blues seem to be doing ok., There seems to be a standard little bread cart that is an elegant design. I love it.
 
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Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
smashing pics david..just goes to show the true brummie grit when the elements were against them...

thank you

lyn
 
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davidfowler

Exiled Brummie
This is my granddad and his horse. He lived in Cubbington at the time the photo was taken but did move to Franchise street where he had another milk round. Have not a photo of him there unfortunately. He had another horse then I presume?. Jean.
Hi Jean, which pic is it?
 

Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
hi jean do you mean that one of davids pics is showing your grandad if so which one is it...

lyn
 

G G Jean

Brummy Wench.
I understand now but the photo is showing up on my computer though. I copied and pasted it. Peculiar. Jean.
 

Radiorails

master brummie
During and just after WW2 many tradesmen had horsedawn carts, floats etc. I recall a coalman with cart, Co-Operative milk float, small traps with milk churns (the milk was ladled in the customers jug(s), bakers carts and so on. Small Bradford vans and elctric milk floats (see the other thread on this Forum) seemed to eventually take over.

One use of horses, which was widespread but not seen by many people, were those wonderful animals who hauled canal narrow boats. Equally, often taken as part of the scenery, were the great horses who worked on farms.

Two of my forbears had horses. One had a large livery business in the London area and the other had a least six canal horses on the BCN: they had Biblical, Old Testament, names which often denoted some form of strength.
 
S

Stitcher

Guest

I have no idea of the location of this photo other than it is Birmingham. 1930
 
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