THE COACHING AGE

Driving the Mail

‍Here is a description from the driver’s perspective, written in the 1830s:-

‍“There was no better way to travel in my day than by the Holyhead Mail, which passed through Shrewsbury. It was as fast a coach as any going and was rated by the Post Office at eleven miles an hour including stoppages. Driving it was exciting and skilful. With your whip in one hand and your reins in the other you had to keep the horses galloping the greater part of the way in order to keep time. The theory and practice of eleven miles an hour are very different. I have often covered fourteen or fifteen miles in a single hour, but to average eleven miles an hour for eighty or ninety miles is a very different proposition. Your horses must be good and they must be well driven.”

‍– C.T.H Birch Reynardson

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