Graham Middleton remembers the former location of stables on Tunnel Road

Resource Type: Audio | Posted on 10th October 2014 by Jenny Porter

What is a short distance for adults, can resemble an eternity of travel away for children. This is very true for Graham’s former relation to the far end of Chatsworth Street. Today, not only this estimation of spatial distance has changed. Graham also recalls the former usage of today’s Tunnel Furniture Company, as stables for the horses connected with the railway.

Interviewee: Graham Middleton

Date of Interview: 14th August 2014

Interview Transcript

Graham: My mum, when she was young, she did go to Chatsworth Street School which was at the far end of Chatsworth Street. The building is still there, I may be wrong but, I think they are still there. We attended – I mean that was like, almost like a foreign country up there, we never went this far, it was miles away, and when you go down, now, it’s nothing, but it seemed a long way – so we tended to stay in this area around here. And that Tunnel Furniture place, that was a stables for the horses for the railway. And my uncle got to know whoever the fellow who was looking after them was, and he used to go down, clean them out, feed them and pet them and that sort of thing. And that’s how he occupied himself.
Jenny: Were they just workhorses, or?
Graham: I got the impression they was, I don’t certainly remember. I know I was told that’s what he did – and I would suspect that they were workhorses. I was under the impression that they were connected with the railway, but they may not have been. They may have been – the guy was a rag & bone man – they were like sort of carthorse type. They weren’t proper. They were the equivalent of mongrel horses, I suppose, I suspect. But that is as far as I can remember.

Tagged under: tunnel road, chatsworth street, railway, workhorses, chatsworth street school

Categorised under: The Station & Railway Pioneers, Work & Industry

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By Ian Edgar on 20th August 2016

They were definitely LMS parcel delivery wagon horses. My grandfather Alf Benntt looked after the horses till his retirement. He, with wife, my Mum and Dad lived in the house alongside the stables. It’still there.Only one stable remains now, the rest were demolished with the old Tunnel Road Public House.  Altogether, as far as I remember there would have been at least 50 stalls.  I am 77 now and I would have been a bit more than a toddler then so the stables were still operating in the late 40’s. Horses were replaced by the three wheel Mechanical Horse articulated unit. How come the stables remain when everything else has gone.  Are they listed? They should be. The sandstone probably came from Williamson’s Tunnels not that far away.

Corporation Refuse Cart Horses were stabled at Crown Street and not Tunnel Road.

By Eric Estlin on 11th January 2017

The horses were Railway cart horses, and were used for deliveries through the day.
I used to visit with my Grandfather, who was a retired carter.
The horses knew when the end of their working day was close and would fairly skip along Botanic Road
on their way back to the stables.

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