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Author Topic: Horse drawn stagecoach to Minehead.  (Read 1500 times)
broadgage
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« on: September 01, 2021, 09:37:50 pm »

I have heard, but can not substantiate, that one of the last horse drawn stage coaches, maybe THE last one, served Minehead.

IIRC (if I recall/remember/read correctly) correctly, a very early movie showed this conveyance. It was reputed to be the only film of a working horse drawn stage coach, the other routes having ceased operation prior to the invention of movies.

I refer here of course to horse stage coaches as an early public transport service, running to a published timetable, and not to later re-enactments for filming, tv, or historical interest.

Can anyone confirm or deny, or provide a link to video. IIRC it was shown on local TV a few years ago, possibly as part of a history or documentary.
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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU (Diesel Multiple Unit) is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
grahame
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« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2021, 09:53:00 pm »

I have heard, but can not substantiate, that one of the last horse drawn stage coaches, maybe THE last one, served Minehead.

You may be right on road coaches - on rail I think Fintona and Port Carlisle may have run later.
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Lee
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« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2021, 10:11:07 pm »

I have heard, but can not substantiate, that one of the last horse drawn stage coaches, maybe THE last one, served Minehead.

IIRC (if I recall/remember/read correctly) correctly, a very early movie showed this conveyance. It was reputed to be the only film of a working horse drawn stage coach, the other routes having ceased operation prior to the invention of movies.

I refer here of course to horse stage coaches as an early public transport service, running to a published timetable, and not to later re-enactments for filming, tv, or historical interest.

Can anyone confirm or deny, or provide a link to video. IIRC it was shown on local TV a few years ago, possibly as part of a history or documentary.

I can confirm it, based on this link.

Quote
A mail coach ran from Taunton to Minehead and Dunster, and there were coaching inns here. These enabled passengers going to Porlock, Lynmouth and Lynton to stop for a rest and some refreshment while the coachmen changed their horses.

In the winter there was a coach that ran once a week to Lynton and Lynmouth, and another than ran three times a week to Porlock. In the summer tourist season, coaches ran every day to all three places.
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grahame
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« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2021, 10:25:10 pm »

Fascinating link, Lee ... with questions therein ...

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What makes South West England famous for its clotted cream and its cream teas?

Social Media and VisitCornwall  Grin  Grin
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stuving
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« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2021, 10:28:03 pm »

I refer here of course to horse stage coaches as an early public transport service, running to a published timetable, and not to later re-enactments for filming, tv, or historical interest.

It may be hard to tell what fits that definition and what does not. After railways had replaced coaches as main the transport provider, the old coaches were still operated as a kind of heritage service to resorts, summer season only. There were also enthusiasts for them, some of whom ran paid-for services to pay part of their costs. This issue of the Journal of the Roads and Road Transport History Association goes into more detail.

The dates given are mainly pre-1900, but the author does address the question of how much longer this went one, and says:
Quote
A handful of advertised (which should be our criteria) trips are evident in the inter-war period, notably to Epsom for the Derby right up to 1939. That perhaps meets our ultimate goal of being the `last` advertised stagecoach

Of course your definition may be more restrictive.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2021, 09:07:15 am by stuving » Logged
stuving
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« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2021, 10:38:22 pm »

I have also found a newspaper report (Taunton Courier, and Western Advertiser 22 August 1959) of a politician (John Boyd-Carpenter) making a visit to give an election speech, saying he would "drive to the Dunster rally in the Minehead stagecoach, decorated with blue rosettes. They are due to leave the Plume and Feathers Hotel, Minehead, at 6 p.m."). That suggests to me that the phrase "Minehead stagecoach" may also refer to a preserved coach, used no doubt for weddings as well as politics. Of course nothing in that proves it really was or ever had been a real stagecoach!
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Worcester_Passenger
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« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2021, 05:28:38 am »

The map at the back of the 1910 Bradshaw reprint has an extensive network of coach routes in the north of Scotland, but nothing in the south west of England. Alas, timetables for the coach routes are not included, though some coach connections do appear.
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Oxonhutch
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« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2021, 08:44:45 am »

I don't know about Minehead, but when I worked in Elko in northeast Nevada in the early noughties, I learned that the very last stagecoach robbery in the old West occurred nearby at Jarbidge in 1916. I told the tale to my grandmother who was aged six at the time.
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2021, 09:16:57 am »

Many decades ago I had a flatmate from Chard. Sally was a lovely flatmate but she was a bit... unconventional, to the extent that my friend Paddy exclaimed "She's your flatmate? But she's an utter nutter!" Which she was, but in a good way. Back in Chard, she claimed to have a friend, whose name I can't remember, who was even nuttier than her and not necessarily in a good way. He had a horse's shin bone which he treated as a pet. Weird. He was also, supposedly, the grandson the last person in England to be hanged for highway robbery, and on one infamous occasion he decided to relive the family's profession. He headed out to a quiet country lane, flagged down a suitable car, and then produced a shotgun and demanded cash and valuables. It seems he did not utter the infamous words "Your money or your life" which is just as well, as then he'd probably have faced a long jail term for making death threats rather than a shorter one for attempted robbery, because the very next vehicle to come round the corner was a police car.
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Clan Line
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« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2021, 10:07:41 am »

I told the tale to my grandmother who was aged six at the time.

Back to the Future ??  Grin
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broadgage
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« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2021, 08:13:37 pm »

I have also found a newspaper report (Taunton Courier, and Western Advertiser 22 August 1959) of a politician (John Boyd-Carpenter) making a visit to give an election speech, saying he would "drive to the Dunster rally in the Minehead stagecoach, decorated with blue rosettes. They are due to leave the Plume and Feathers Hotel, Minehead, at 6 p.m."). That suggests to me that the phrase "Minehead stagecoach" may also refer to a preserved coach, used no doubt for weddings as well as politics. Of course nothing in that proves it really was or ever had been a real stagecoach!

An interesting recollection, but by 1959, railways, cars, and motor buses were in general use and horse drawn coaches already an historical curio rather than a mainstream mode of transport.

The wording "drive to the Dunster rally------" May imply that the politician was going to drive the vehicle himself, rather than being conveyed in a vehicle operated by others.
I also doubt that use of a public transport vehicle for political purposes would be allowed. A privately hired vehicle would be fine, just as present day politicians often hire buses.
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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU (Diesel Multiple Unit) is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
eXPassenger
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« Reply #11 on: September 02, 2021, 11:11:29 pm »

Based on the title I expected to hear that, with Broadgage's full approval, a stagecoach service was to commence between Taunton and Minehead.
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MVR S&T
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« Reply #12 on: September 03, 2021, 12:00:31 am »

Based on the title I expected to hear that, with Broadgage's full approval, a stagecoach service was to commence between Taunton and Minehead.
there may be a market for that, as horse has priority over motor ?
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #13 on: September 03, 2021, 12:03:46 pm »

There would need to be in-coach dining. Not so much Pullman as Pull-horse.
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broadgage
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« Reply #14 on: October 06, 2021, 03:27:40 pm »

I have been conveyed on a horse drawn cart or wagon for several local journeys. The horse seems willing to cover many miles a day provided that the load is modest.
For heavy loads it needs either a pair of horses, or frequent changes.

A farm cart not a stage coach, but fun and green.
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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU (Diesel Multiple Unit) is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
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