Coachlines - October 2022

27.10.22 Honorary Assistant Lesley Upham

Coachmakers on a coaching tour

On Wednesday 12th October the sound of coach-horns echoed around Burford, Oxfordshire. Accompanied by the jingle of harnesses and the rumble of iron tyres, two 19th century-style horse-drawn stage coaches set off from the Burford Garden Company, stopping to collect passengers from The Bay Tree, Burford before heading off to the Badminton Estate.

Nimrod in action

‘Nimrod’ was drawn by four powerful bay Gelderlander horses and the ‘Monarch’ by a team of home-bred British Hackneys from a stud in Staffordshire. The 65-mile journey which took four days to complete wound through East Leach Martin, Lechlade, Kempsford, Cricklade and Malmesbury before arriving at Badminton on Saturday 15th. As the coaches passed through the towns and villages, stopping at the occasional local (as they would have done almost 200 years ago), bucket collections were made raising funds for cancer charities.

In previous years the two coaches have travelled from Windsor Castle to Warwick Castle, London to Portsmouth, and through the Snowdonia National Park on similar fundraising ventures. Nimrod owner, Liveryman John Brown said, “Travel by stage-coach played a major part in life throughout the 19th century and I am delighted to bring back the romance of those journeys in support of such worthy causes”.

The Monarch’s Hackney horses were bred by Rod and Barbara Stockton who commented, “The Hackney is on the endangered list of rare breeds, and this is a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate the versatility and elegance of the breed.” Barbara won the Coachmakers’ Carriage Driving Award in 2018.

Liveryman William Malone, who collects carriages and whose interests include carriage driving and restoration also took part in the tour, which was an unusual adventure with a charitable purpose undertaken by a group of friends who are all four-in-hand coaching enthusiasts.