Turners Bakery Horses

From Mitcham News and Mercury
10th August 1973

SALLY the famous horse used by Turners, the Mitcham bakery, has delivered her last loaf of bread. She’s been driven off the streets, together with stable mates Billy and Brandy, because of the rising costs of their own staple food, hay and oats. After nearly 200 years, Turners, one of Merton’s oldest bakeries, have decided that the four footed deliveries of bread and cakes are getting too expensive.

So the three horses have had to go and will be replaced by vans to cover the five mile routes where they were firm favourites with housewives, old folk, children, and gardeners.

During the last two years the firm have tried to ignore the steadily rising prices of feed and shoe-ing because their horses and carts were a tradition and good public relations.

“But in the last few months these have shot up no much in price, shoe-ing has doubled in price for example, that we just can’t afford them any more” said general manager, Mr Ken Turner.

“It’s very sad. I know everyone wilt miss them. I will myself after all these years of keeping horses I’m 60 per cent baker and 40 per cent horse-man.

“The kids loved to feed them and they loved their work. When they went on holiday they often fretted to come back. But they are just not economic any more.”

The three were stabled at the back of the bakery at Fair Green and daily covered most of Mitcham between them.

“There was also the problem that the men who used to drive them have recently retired and its difficult to find young men willing to learn to drive a horse and cart” said Mr Turner.

The firm have always used horses for deliveries to customers, although a fleet of vans has also covered routes between the four shops in the Mitcham area. Recently Turners, a family business since 1792, was taken over by Spillers.

“But the decision has had nothing to do with them. I think they are as sorry as we are. All the staff will miss them too,” said Mr Turner.

The three, Sally, (pictured above), Brandy and Billy are all aged between 12 and 14 years-old. Last year Sally surprised the firm by producing a foal as a momentoe of a holiday romance the previous year.

Now the three have been stabled with some friends of Mr Turner’s at Epsom where they will work in a riding school.

1 thought on “Turners Bakery Horses

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