On 16 May 1923, at the Penguin Police Court, George Dick was summoned by Senior Constable Button, who found him on Riana Road, riding a wagon without reins. George admitted that the reins were not in his hands, “which would make a man look a fool,” but were fastened to the breeching of the shafter within reach of the driver. The Bench considered he had not full control of the horses and therefore imposed a fine of 10 shillings.
During the 1920s, there was a police blitz of some sorts with the aim of eradicating the practice of driving horses without reins. The Police Magistrate at Burnie exhorted, “This is a very dangerous practice, particularly in these times of motor cars, and must be stopped.”
I don’t profess to know much about horses but I have seen rein-less horse drawn milk carts in my childhood. It was music to my ears when every morning at first light, bar Sunday mornings, you would hear the clippity-clop approaching down the street and the milkman depositing bottles of milk at each home just inside the front fence. The milkman and horse worked in tandem, with the horse maintaining a consistent pace, stopping only when the milkman stopped behind the milk cart to collect more bottles.
The horse drawn milk cart above is almost identical to one I remember from my childhood. Does anyone have a similar photo in their collection?
Milk delivery in Sheffield during a snow storm in 1954
It was at the tail end of an era when life seemed to cruise along at a much slower pace.