Horse boxes and race meetings

smyles
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Horse boxes and race meetings

Postby smyles » Mon Jan 27, 2014 4:57 pm

I like horseboxes and before designing a layout I need some information about how the horses were brought to racecourses and unloaded in Edwardian times. When the horses were unloaded were they stabled at the unloading sidings or transported to stables at the course? Or would they remain in their horsebox until walking to the track ready for their race. Would the horseboxes remain where they were unloaded or moved to holding sidings leaving the unloading platform for the arrival of more livestock?
I have seen photos of passengers arriving at racecourse stations but have no information about the horsebox workings. Any information would be very welcome.
Thanks,
Mike

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Tim V
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Re: Horse boxes and race meetings

Postby Tim V » Mon Jan 27, 2014 7:16 pm

Quite a lot of detail in the Lambourn Branch book on horse traffic, but that was at the Stables end of the traffic.
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billbedford
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Re: Horse boxes and race meetings

Postby billbedford » Tue Jan 28, 2014 12:22 pm

smyles wrote:I like horseboxes and before designing a layout I need some information about how the horses were brought to racecourses and unloaded in Edwardian times. When the horses were unloaded were they stabled at the unloading sidings or transported to stables at the course? Or would they remain in their horsebox until walking to the track ready for their race. Would the horseboxes remain where they were unloaded or moved to holding sidings leaving the unloading platform for the arrival of more livestock?


Wouldn't that all depend on the facilities at the racecourse?
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Andy W
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Re: Horse boxes and race meetings

Postby Andy W » Tue Jan 28, 2014 12:49 pm

I think each location would have to be researched independently. As far as my home town of Worcester is concerned, this article from the Worcester News mentions the traffic. It's taken from their website so © is theirs.

Worcester News: A historic view of the old spur branch line which ran along the riverside from Pitchcroft to South Quay, Worcester.
This week in 1957:
Image
A piece of railway history was being removed from the Worcester scene this week as gangers worked to tear up the spur line which ran down from Foregate Street to the riverside at Pitchcroft. The reason? A railway official said the spur line had been used principally in recent times for horse-box traffic to Worcester Racecourse but it was no longer worth keeping open for the occasional van of this type. In Victorian and Edwardian times, the spur line ran from Foregate Street, over Croft Road and then along the riverside, through Worcester Bridge and on to the South Quay. It had once been proposed that the spur line should continue on to the Diglis Docks.

http://www.worcesternews.co.uk/news/121 ... ebruary_24
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Build a wall along the Herefordshire border and make them pay for it.

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Noel
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Re: Horse boxes and race meetings

Postby Noel » Tue Jan 28, 2014 5:40 pm

I don't know the answer, but have a few thoughts. Racehorses are valuable, temperamental, often nervous, and physically delicate. My partner, who used to ride [not racehorses], says they would be much better out of the horseboxes and seeing what was going on around them than shut in. Most horse boxes could carry more than one horse, and the other(s) would probably be for different races, creating access issues. Large meetings might involve a lot of horses and just one individual race special might involve over a dozen horseboxes; keeping horses in the boxes would either require a lot of loading bank space or a lot of shunting [probably not good for the horses just before a race]. Some horses would need to arrive early so that they had time to recover from the journey before they raced. For these reasons and for security I would expect the horses to be moved to the course asap after arrival. Where the empties were parked would depend on what facilities were available and where; whatever was convenient to the railway concerned.

Noel
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Noel

jayell

Re: Horse boxes and race meetings

Postby jayell » Tue Jan 28, 2014 10:50 pm

Tim V wrote:Quite a lot of detail in the Lambourn Branch book on horse traffic, but that was at the Stables end of the traffic.


some photos of horses being loaded at Lambourne here

http://www.lambournvalleyrailway.co.uk/ ... mbourn.htm

need to scroll down quite a way

John

Terry Bendall
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Re: Horse boxes and race meetings

Postby Terry Bendall » Wed Jan 29, 2014 8:02 am

If the area that you are modelling is covered by any of the Middleton press books, that might be a starting point. They often contain little gems of in formation about traffic. The ones that I have that cover the former LBSC line from Midhurst to Chichester include Singleton which was the nearest station to Goodwood race course, which was about two miles from the station.

At Singleton there was a long dock, with two faces for unloading horse boxes but the book states that sometimes this was not sufficient and they would be unloaded at Lavant, the next station to the south and about 3 ½ miles from the race course. There was no provision for stables so I guess the horses would be walked up to the race course after being unloaded.

The second volume of the three books on Midhurst includes a picture of a ticket for a groom issued in the grouping period which was for a single journey from Singleton to Newmarket travelling via New Cross Gate, the East London railway and then the LNER.

Passenger race course traffic was of course another aspect. At Singleton there was sufficient siding space for fourteen trains of 20 four-wheel coaches. All for use on a few days in the year.

Terry Bendall

Lindsay G
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Re: Horse boxes and race meetings

Postby Lindsay G » Wed Jan 29, 2014 11:12 am

I'll follow this thread with interest.

In a parallel universe, a racecourse was opened on the Cammo Estate just a few hundred yards from Barnton station (all very plausible except in this universe the owners of Cammo were more reclusive than sporting). So for a few days a year there was an influx of horseboxes from all over Scotland and the North of England and the appearance of Caley coaching stock and ageing engines not seen on day to day running of the branch. It made a big change from one passenger train an hour/one goods train a day.

Lindsay

smyles
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Re: Horse boxes and race meetings

Postby smyles » Thu Jan 30, 2014 7:25 pm

Many thanks for your interest and help. I have some ideas now of what went on. Race traffic seems to be a topic not covered very much in all the railway literature.
Cheers,
Mike

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MarkS
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Re: Horse boxes and race meetings

Postby MarkS » Wed Feb 05, 2014 10:30 pm

Nothing to do with traffic, but this photo shows what appears to be a 6 wheel horse box.
Can anyone shed some light on it?

http://www.davidheyscollection.com/userimages/00001-norman-hamshere-6-42.jpg
Cheers,

Mark.
"In the end, when all is said and done, more will have been said than done..."

billbedford
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Re: Horse boxes and race meetings

Postby billbedford » Thu Feb 06, 2014 10:17 am

Built by the LBSCR. I have no further details.
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beachboy
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Re: Horse boxes and race meetings

Postby beachboy » Thu Feb 06, 2014 12:38 pm

Mike,

You may already know. But John Lewis penned an article in GWJ 76 that goes into some detail of Horse Box operation, and responsibilities of staff etc. Lots of general snippets of useful info.

I have just noticed a list of some 15 Companies listed, where provision of Westinghouse Brakes was required in 1913.

Some Horse Boxes that were parked and cleaned out at some Station bay's / sidings, might explain why such a healthy display of flowers were evident.

Steve.

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Re: Horse boxes and race meetings

Postby Terry Bendall » Fri Feb 07, 2014 7:10 am

MarkS wrote:Can anyone shed some light on it?


You could try the Brighton Circle at http://www.lbscr.org/circle/ or Mike King - Southern Drawings e-mail mike.king12@btinternet.com

Terry Bendall

David Knight
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Re: Horse boxes and race meetings

Postby David Knight » Fri Feb 07, 2014 2:45 pm

MarkS wrote:Can anyone shed some light on it?



You might want to try Mike Watts.

Cheers,

David

Natalie Graham

Re: Horse boxes and race meetings

Postby Natalie Graham » Fri Feb 07, 2014 6:11 pm

July 1957 Model Railway News has a drawing of a "LBSCR Double Horse Box" apparently. I haven't seen it but it sounds like it might be the one.

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MarkS
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Re: Horse boxes and race meetings

Postby MarkS » Fri Feb 07, 2014 8:58 pm

That is the one Natalie! A quick scan of the web found this...
Jul-57 LBSCR DOUBLE HORSE BOX 1907 LB&SCR 141,142 S R No.3316, 3317. Note converted in September 1942 to Telephone Exchange Vans No.s 1759S and 1762S, withdrawn in 1945.

Might make an interesting project - someday...
Cheers,

Mark.
"In the end, when all is said and done, more will have been said than done..."

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barhamd
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Re: Horse boxes and race meetings

Postby barhamd » Fri Mar 06, 2020 11:57 pm

On a similar vane I have just started converting the Hornby BR (ex-LMS) horse box to P4 and had a question about operation on a branch line like the Stour Valley (Cambridge-Marks Tey).

By the 1950's the cattle dock at Clare was used for loading grain and I think cattle traffic would have ceased. However if a local stud wanted to get their price race horses to a meeting I presuming that a horsebox or two could still have been made available?

What would the practice probably have been? Would you have a horsebox coupled to the end of a branch passenger train and the owner would have met the train and loaded his horse in from the platform or would the horsebox have been detached from one train, moved into the yard (presumably by horse or pinch bar because clearly a passenger train wouldn't have reversed into the hard to drop it off) and then moved back from the yard onto a different passenger service as it departed?

I'm presuming also that the horsebox wouldn't just have been part of the pick-up goods, at least when loaded.

Also, what might the arrangements have been for the Lord's prize bull, as he is due to visit the Royal Agricultural Society show?

(isn't this hobby wonderfully obscure at times!)

David

petermeyer
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Re: Horse boxes and race meetings

Postby petermeyer » Sat Mar 07, 2020 10:07 am

The majority of photos of horseboxes in transit show them next to the engine. This presumably to minimise sudden movement as the train moves off. It would be possible for the train to be detached and the engine to shunt the horse box into the yard under such circumstances.

Horses in Victorian and Edwardian times were valuable and the rule book has whole sections devoted to how they should be handled.

At the station I model, the dock had no railings track side and I have thought it was installed mainly for horse traffic, so I have assumed that horses would have been lead straight into horseboxes rather than corralled in the dock the way sheep and cattle were handled. Similarly they would have been lead away straight from arrival.

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Noel
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Re: Horse boxes and race meetings

Postby Noel » Sat Mar 07, 2020 11:20 am

barhamd wrote: presuming also that the horsebox wouldn't just have been part of the pick-up goods, at least when loaded.Also, what might the arrangements have been for the Lord's prize bull, as he is due to visit the Royal Agricultural Society show?


Delivery of the empty for loading and the removal of the empty after unloading would be by any convenient train, almost certainly the local goods for the removal. Delivery of the empty was probably the same way if possible [users had to give 24 hours notice of their requirements]. There were instructions in the General Appendix that loco drivers must be warned when the horse box they were moving was loaded and take extra care. It shouldn't matter which end of the train the HB was attached, as it was VB fitted and attached by screw coupling with the buffers closed up, so no untoward movement; the position in the train was probably down to operating convenience, although how that squares with a HB in the middle of a passenger train I don't know [at least one photo exists...]

Racehorses always travelled with a groom in the HB, possibly more than one if there was more than one horse travelling [HBs could carry two or three depending on design]. Normal practice, as I understand it, was to load the horse sufficiently early to get it settled well before the train arrived to collect the HB, loading being carried out asap after the horse's arrival at the loading point. Racehorses are temperamental delicate creatures and not always cooperative; they are always loaded and unloaded by being led by their handler. Hunters were normally treated the same way, except that there might not be a travelling attendant, depending on the value and character of the horse.

Being pedantic, studs don't send horses to races [racing stables do] as theirs are all retired; their traffic was in brood mares [also very valuable] to and from the stud's stallions.

So far as the bull is concerned, the procedure is pretty much the same. They are always led, with a rope through the nose ring. Being as unpredictable as racehorse, but much heavier, more difficult to control and potentially more dangerous, [un]loading usually involved several people. The cattle pens would not be used [nor would they for the racehorse or hunter]; people and a bull in a confined space is not conducive to a good outcome. Prize bulls often had a travelling handler and could travel in a HB, but, for variety, you could also use a Prize or Special Cattle Van [PCV or SCV] which also had a compartment for a travelling handler.
Regards
Noel

shipbadger
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Re: Horse boxes and race meetings

Postby shipbadger » Sat Mar 07, 2020 6:37 pm

Slightly OT but not that far away. Having read through this thread two thoughts occurred to me. When did the mounted regiments of the British Army cease to move their horses by rail? And in a similar vein, when was the last foxhunt conveyed by rail, I suspect before WW2 but I really have no idea but I'm sure I've seen a record of this, possibly in Leicestershire?

Tony Comber

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Noel
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Re: Horse boxes and race meetings

Postby Noel » Sat Mar 07, 2020 8:43 pm

shipbadger wrote:When did the mounted regiments of the British Army cease to move their horses by rail? And in a similar vein, when was the last foxhunt conveyed by rail, I suspect before WW2 but I really have no idea but I'm sure I've seen a record of this, possibly in Leicestershire?


Can't help on the fox hunting, but UK based cavalry regiments were mechanised by 1938/9 [apart from ceremonial functions - the Household cavalry still have horses as well as armoured vehicles], as were all transport functions [which had had more horses than the cavalry]. Officers' private hunters and the like lasted a little longer.
Regards
Noel

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barhamd
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Re: Horse boxes and race meetings

Postby barhamd » Sat Mar 07, 2020 9:07 pm

[quote="petermeyer"]The majority of photos of horseboxes in transit show them next to the engine. This presumably to minimise sudden movement as the train moves off. It would be possible for the train to be detached and the engine to shunt the horse box into the yard under such circumstances.

Horses in Victorian and Edwardian times were valuable and the rule book has whole sections devoted to how they should be handled.
/quote]

That is interesting as all the references I could find were insisting that horse boxes must be marshaled behind and bogie coaching stock. I'm guessing that if they were in a mixed braked goods train however that they would have been behind the engine in the braked portion.

thanks
David

IANATEXTON
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Re: Horse boxes and race meetings

Postby IANATEXTON » Sat Mar 07, 2020 11:10 pm

The Great Western published daily notices which covered horse box movements and other special traffic. These notices included instructions on whether the horse box was to be marshalled at the head or tail of the passenger train. The position seems to have been dictated by what would have been most convenient for transfer to another train at a junction station, or detaching at the destination station for the horse box.

Ian

Clive Impey
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Re: Horse boxes and race meetings

Postby Clive Impey » Sun Mar 08, 2020 5:02 pm

Shipbadger asked if there had been any special trains for fox hunts post WW2. There was at least one, this was for the Suffolk hunt on 9th Feb 1957 during the petrol crisis. The train consisted of 10 horseboxes with a brake third (brake first?) at each end pulled by emaculately turned out D16/3 62615. There is an Dr. Ian Allen photo of the train leaving the branch platform at Mellis on the East Suffolk line.

Phil O
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Re: Horse boxes and race meetings

Postby Phil O » Fri Mar 13, 2020 8:00 pm

One reason for the majority of horse boxes being mostly marshalled next to the engine is the requirement to water the horses, the water being available from water cranes. I believe that similar arrangements were used with cattle wagons, for the same reason, the availability of water.

Cheers,

Phil.


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