Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
A Guide to the Georgian Coaching Inn (about1816.wordpress.com)
42 points by nonoobs 22 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 15 comments

>> This blog is collated from my new social history of Britain 1780 to 1840.

While I am very much interested in this sort of history, I doubt I would enjoy this book. This blog entry is too sensationally for my tastes. It appears to be based on contemporary journals, newspapers and advice pamphlets. Rather than secondhand summaries of secondhand stories, I would prefer to see a more academic examination of the situation. How much did it cost to operate these establishments? How much effort was it to maintain a pair of horses? And what were the other options? The dangers of not staying in an inn might seem obvious, but was one legally obligated to stay at an inn rather than drive through the night?

> secondhand summaries of secondhand stories

Reading these sorts of articles makes me feel like if people tried to describe current-day life based on instagram posts or something. Sure, its not necessarily completely false, but it also fails to capture how mainstream people experience life.

>> While I am very much interested in this sort of history, I doubt I would enjoy this book.

I tend to agree. I felt like I was being asked a lot of questions with few answers or explanation. The pictures were not elaborated on either, so I’m still not sure what the threat lurking outside the window at the coach house breakfast was.

I think that at some point the horses would need changing or resting, so you'd be obliged to stop.

Horses were like gas tanks. When they got tired you picked up new ones as easily as we would pump gas. They were not pets. Once they were too old or lame to keep the standard pace they became food.

How did this work when swapping horses of different fitness? Did people have to negotiate the price differential every time? I can see how it would work for a network like the pony express, but harder to imagine for individuals.

In another article on that blog, the author hints that it was all quite organized:

"William Waterhouse of the Swan with Two Necks Coaching Inn owned 400 horses, which he used to pull stagecoaches for their first part of the journey out of London. By 1817 he claimed to be spending £2 per horse on food, accommodation, tax .Waterhouse had distribution centres all over the Home Counties, including a warehouse in South Mimms in Essex."


"Once they were too old or lame to keep the standard pace they became food."

That is still common in some areas.

For the late-19th century version of this, check out "To the Edge of the World", Christian Wolmar's account of the construction of the Trans-Siberian and particularly the experience of traveling by land across Russia on the Trakt before the railway. Handy tips include carrying four saucers and a can of petrol, so you can place these under the legs of your bed and deter at least some of the creepy-crawlies from making their way into it.

There are still pubs floating about with different rooms for locals and travellers, although the rooms aren't used like that any more. I think the rooms are typically called "coach" and "lounge". Need to check that though.

I was completely wrong - the bars are "Saloon" and "Public", presumably the saloon being for travellers? [EDIT: Looked it up and apparently it was a class division. Public bar for the workers, saloon for the worthies. I suppose if you were travelling in style you'd use the saloon. Learned something this morning..]

Pub lover from the UK checking in.

There are a few pubs - not many, but some - knocking about the UK where if you are in workwear (boots, high-biz jackets, etc.), you be asked to not drink in the saloon and move to the public bar, and in one pub I know near central London the landlady used to just simply ask you to drink elsewhere if you had clearly just come in from a building site.

In the countryside you may be asked to remove your walking boots if it's a muddy day before walking on the carpeted area or the saloon bar.

And while it's pretty rare now for there to be a true class division in the pub itself, there is definitely market positioning of pubs. A flat roofed pub with England flags around it will attract a very definite kind of clientele to a traditional pub with hanging baskets outside and a restaurant within.

You know I've never experienced pubs making a distinction between the two bars. Just that occasionally you see the signs above the doors.

I can absolutely expect landlords not being keen on super-muddy shoes or workwear, but genuinely, having the public bar as a lower-effort alternative is completely alien to me. I'd love to know where these places are - guessing rural, perhaps?

Seen it in Manchester, Fulham, Peak District, Lake District, Birmingham, Cheshire. I go to traditional pubs a lot.

your story reminds me of my youth in the 70s/80s. I vaguely remember going into various pubs for wedding/ christing receptions.

From my vaugue memory most pubs had many different 3+ rooms (in addition to were the party was) that we was not supposed to go in to... after going in to all of them (unchallenged) people were dressed and acted different (dressed differently , some loud or queit)

we seem to settle in the room were the people was gambling since we was given varous amounts of money just for watching them win!

Guidelines | FAQ | Lists | API | Security | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact