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Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Workaday Wednesday - Working with Horses

Horses are absolutely necessary in this part of the country, for it is by them the farmers labour their farms and drive their corn to market.  They never work with oxen now as they did formerly" - a quote from the chapter on Earlston, Berwickshire in  "The First Statistical Account of Scotland" written 1791-1799.  
Sixty years on,  the 1851 census for Earlston (population 1,819)  lists 9 men working as  blacksmiths, 7 carters/carriers, 3 saddlers, 2  stable boys, an ostler, a farrier, a groom and a coachman - plus of course all those who would be working  with horses on the many farms in the parish.  

Anyone tracing their family history may well have  a "carter or carrier " in their ancestry - an essential occupation in transporting goods around - as shown in these vintage photographs from  the collection of my local heritage group Auld Earlston.  

A horse and cart beside the trough and old Pump Well in Earlston's Market Square.   The Well was demolished  in 1920 to make way for the War Memorial. 

The Smiddy in the Square
Below three photographs of Brotherstone,  Blacksmith's, run by the family for several generations.  

 Gypsies at the Horse Fair on East Green. c.1900

 1907 and the church choir outing on a crowded wagonette  

A winter photograph  of the Red Lion Hotel  in the Square.    The driver of this unusual sledge seems to be dressed very formally in a top hat and is not particularly well  wrapped up against the elements.  And who was he waiting for?  There does not seem to be any path cleared through the snow from  the hotel.  Or was it a promotional photograph?    From the collection of the Heritage Hub, Hawick.

Onto photographs from my family collection  and the Oldham family of Blackpool  who were carters and coalmen down three generations - Joseph Prince Oldham (1855-1921), his son John William Oldham (1880-1939) and his granddaughter Elsie Smith, nee Oldham (1906-1989).

The business was founded around 1890, steadily became prosperous and in 1905 moved to near North Station, Blackpool, Lancashire in a house with a large yard, hay loft, tack room. and stabling for around 7 horses.

 John William Oldham on one of the carriages in the family business.
 Elsie's daughter Gloria atop one of the last horses.

The coal merchant business was eventfully sold around 1948 to another local firm,
 thus ending over 60 years of the family concern. 

Workaday Wednesday is one of many daily prompt from Geneabloggers, to encourage bloggers to record their family history. 

1 comment:

  1. Somehow I'm surprised that my grandfather could ride a horse...silly isn't it?


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