& Company's hospital for horses
& Co, the carriers, appear to have been started late in the
seventeenth century and continued, in some form or other, right up to
the present day.
From the beginning, horses were
used for transporting goods and were still doing so well after the end
of World War II. The number owned by the company must have peaked
towards the end of the nineteenth century.
Pickfords had 1,900 horse-drawn vehicles in London alone, and 1,580 horses to draw them,
although by now they already had forty-six motors vehicles. By 1933
there were 628 motors, yet the company still had 866 horse vehicles and
509 horses to keep them in operation. Even as late as 1946 there were
300 horse vans in circulation.
1872, Pickfords built a Turkish bath for their horses at their large
During the previous decade a number of such baths had been used for
keeping racing horses in good condition and Pickfords must have found
this method of sweating their horses equally beneficial.
bath was heated by what was, in effect, the industry standard Turkish
bath heater, Constantine's Convoluted Stove.
Constantine, ever keen to obtain a
publishable testimonial for inclusion
in his advertisements, wrote to Messrs Pickford three years later to find out
how the stove was progressing. Pickford's Mr J Hayward replied:
We use it regularly three days per week, and sometimes oftener. Never less than twenty horses per week are put into it, undergoing sweating, washing, and drying again in an
procedure used to sweat their horses in the Turkish bath was almost
certainly the same as was later used by the
Northern Railway, Pickford's Totteridge neighbours.
years after its installation, in 1884, Constantine wrote again and this
time received a reply from Mr J H Brett who assured him that they still used his bath and found it 'useful and beneficial to the horses.'
It is not yet known for how many
years longer the bath remained in operation.
contact us if you know of any references
relating to these baths
and especially in relation to their closing date.