Early Letchworth Transport

By John Sanderson

Winners of the Bristish Tab interworks 25-mile time trial c1936

Everybody had bicycles – well, 99% per cent had bicycles and at half past twelve the hooters used to go and everybody came out and they were four abreast going one way and four abreast going the other so Works Road was eight abreast in bikes. Hell for leather, but you had to be ultra careful. Don’t forget there was still a lot of horse-drawn traffic on the road and it wasn’t always very pleasant, it was a bit smelly. And if it was wet roads, you got sprayed with horse manure if you weren’t careful. Old Charley Ball still had a lot of horse-drawn carts on the road. Doesn’t seem feasible to us nowadays does it? But the roses were good. When the coal merchant or the milk people came along or Redrup and Starking’s bread, who had a great big horse in their cart, Mum would say, ‘Quick get the bucket, nip out there’s a ha’penny for you.’Bucket of manure. Lovely roses.

extract from “Letchworth Recollections” – memories of Letchworth 1903 to 1939

This page was added on 23/05/2010.

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  • I certainly remember lots of bikes, milkman with horse and cart deliveries, and various other similar small delivery carts. However, the one that really sticks in my mind, was the heavy delivery wagon of Carter Patterson with two heavy shires, Gert and Daisy, pulling it. This delivered items that had come in by rail and was based in the railway yard which was behind what is now Norton Way Motors. Another tradesman, Clary Rand had a tricycle powered delivery van, a bit like the old ice cream trikes, but maybe a bit bigger.

    By Dave Thompson (16/05/2013)