Gail Thornton
a pictorial archive of horse


Bakers Vehicles

The first type of delivery cart came in to use around the middle of the 19th century and was a gig-like vehicle.  The compartment behind the driver was used to store the bread, which was loaded through a door at the back.  The rail, which can be seen on top of the compartment was there to stop bread baskets from falling off should additional storage be required.  It could be pulled by a single horse or pony, thereby making it a relatively cheap form of transport to operate.  This van belonged to Dunn, Bakers and Confectioners as advertised on the side but there are no other clues as to the location.

A much heavier vehicle in design suggesting more that it has been converted for this use.  The bakers name can be clearly seen ‘J.Gamson, Royal Bakery’ and at the bottom of the postcard the photographer is named as is the location ‘J.N.Cadwalender, Wolverhampton.  The postcard is not a real photograph and has not been postally used.

This real photographic card shows the rear of the vehicle with a drop down board to allow entry for the merchandise.  The identification of the bakery is very clearly seen ‘ C.Page, hygienic bakery’ with the rear of the vehicle stating that Page’s deliver ‘Pure bread’.  The shop can be located at Salop House but whether this is in Shropshire I cannot say as there are no other distinguishable marks and it has not been postally used.

Though this is not a postcard but an actual photograph it shows clearly the different style of delivery van and with four wheels.  The fully enclosed van with an inner cross-seat was called a ‘Coburg’.  The large side panel provided a valuable advertising medium lending itself admirably for displaying the name and business of the firm.  In this case it is Barkers of 341 Slade Road, which maybe in Birmingham according to the internet.  With the horse so highly decorated I would suggest that they are attending a show or fete.

Here you can see the horse in “open cup blinkers” which allow more vision at the side but none from the back. Though the postcard is not in fantastic condition you can make out the name on the side of the Coburg’s panel which is “Knotts Bakery and Confectionary”. 

Another example of a Coburg van, with what looks like a loaf of bread on the shelf, but unfortunately the postcard is not in very good condition. It is however possible to read the name of the baker on the side of the van which is “J. Watts” of “Ullesthorpe”. The card has been written to someone at 9 Dover Road, Horringlow, Burton on Trent but it hasn’t been posted so there is no stamp or date .

Though there is a name on the panel above the wheel it is difficult to make out due to the condition of the card. Again it mainly due to the apron of the driver that I would guess this is a bakers cart. 

With no advertising on the cart and the postcard in a faded condition it is difficult to say that this is definitely a bakers cart. The only thing that suggests this is the aprons f the gentlemen standing alongside the vehicle. The card has not been written on or postally used so there are no additional clues.