Gail Thornton
a pictorial archive of horse


The Sociable-Landau

The original Sociable was smaller in design to the vehicles shown here, carrying fewer passengers, usually four, with the rear of the vehicle resembling more of a hooded gig.  These vehicles are larger and later in design starting around 1880’s and commonly used on excursions to transport a large party of people altogether.  Barouche Sociables were designed with a double hood to protect passengers from the weather.  This postcard  shows a curved bodied Sociable-Landau but unfortunately has no information as to the location, photographer or who the party are, though at a guess it looks very much like a family outing with Grandma on board as well.  I would also guess that the vehicle is hired as the driver is not dressed smart enough for either a member of the party or their private coachman.

With this Sociable-Landau the door is higher than the vehicle on the left, you can just make out the handle on the door.  It would probably have another door on the other side as these vehicles could be entered from either side.  It shows another family seen, though later in date, but again has no information as to location, photographer or identity of anyone in the postcard.

Again no distinguishable features to identify this postcard but with the dress code one could guess that it is a day out in Summer.  These vehicles were often used for trips out to the races or seaside or special events.  The occupants certainly look smart, even the driver which suggests that the party have hired the vehicle but chosen to drive it themselves.  The pair of greys look well turned out and look to have docked tails to stop them getting caught up in the traces.

It is well recorded that at the beginning of the 20th century there was more disposable income and an increase in leisure time.  Day trips out and holidays to beautiful locations became possible for more than the just the rich and famous.  One popular location was the Isle of Mann, particularly Ramsey and there are many postcards taken on and around this island by the photographer Arthur Hadley.  A good way of seeing the island was by travelling in a Sociable-Landau.  Here we have a group of tourists posing for a keepsake of their trip to Ramsey.  Other than the photographers name and location there is nothing else to identify this postcard as it has not been postally used.