Anthony Poulton-Smith


Join former coachman John Wheeler on a tour of Warwickshire's coach routes. The year is 1837 and, with his career is coming to an end, he is a passenger on a series of coaches. John leaves Tamworth and in a clockwise circuit of Warwickshire to visit some old haunts and the many friends he made during his long career. In four decades working with coaches he has seen many improvements, most welcome changes. But this is not merely a history of two centuries of coaches. We will hear stories, memories from John and his colleagues and friends. Personal viewpoints of this mode of travel, the long desire to push average speeds to 10mph and above. We will join them at rest spots, hear the characters and their stories. Every event is real and every individual real. Set in 1837, a pivotal year of Victoria's accession, when registration of births and deaths began, when railways were beginning to offer real competition as the means of transporting cargo and passengers. History shows this was the peak year for coaching routes and yet, as we will see, most could never envisage how quickly the routes would vanish.

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