WHEATLEY Village History

The Stagecoach

Coach-and-four
Private coach-and-four being turned outside Aldens Farm, London Road, east of Wheatley Bridge, Coronation Year, 1937. The top-hatted occupant seems to be en route to a formal social event. A public stagecoach like this ran the London to Oxford road through Wheatley for nearly two centuries until steam took over from the horse. It also ran for a month in 1928. (Olive Gee)

‘I made friends with Mary Stanley (now Buckland) when she helped on her father’s stall at the Tap Yard fair in the 192oS. We became close family friends, but lost touch in the 197os. Then I saw her on a TV news item and we’re back together again. She’s 8 and still in the Showman’s Guild. A great singer.

‘The Prince of Wales (Edward VIII) drank at The King’s Arms with his friends. I saw him get out of his open car—he didn’t open the door, he jumped over it! [The visits of the Prince of Wales to The Crown while beagling are remembered by several villagers. Editor] Across the road from us in Robbins Row was the deer park wall. They finally took the deer to Stowe Wood, near Beckley, when the soldiers came.

‘I also saw the last stagecoach go through Wheatley, up Old London Road and past The King’s Arms. I watched it from our house window on Robbins Row. Four dark horses, a maroon coach, the driver in a red coat and the man on the back blowing a long trumpet for all he was worth.

Contributed by Joan Tomlinson née Shepherd, and ‘Tom’ Tomlinson, 1999

[In 1928, the Berkeley Hotel, London, revived the London-Oxford stage coach, Old Berkeley, for a month, ‘for leisured folk who love tradition,’ as Jackson’s Oxford Journal put it. The paper published photographs of the coach and passengers at The Mitre. In May 1929, a similar attempt was made to revive the Tally Ho coach. Editor]

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