Tag Archives: horses

1968 : Turner’s Bakery horse Lizzie retires

From the Mitcham News & Mercury, 20th September, 1968

After over 25 years as a bakery carthorse, Lizzie has moved from the noisy London suburbs to the peace of a country farm.

Lizzie, a liver chestnut Welsh cob who has reached the
distinguished age of 30, has worked for the past 15 years for Turner’s (Mitcham) Bakery, Fair Green, believed to be the only bakery in London which still uses horse-drawn vans for its delivery rounds.

For those 15 years she has been delivering bread in the Pollards Hill area with her driver Mr. Ted Gibson. Lizzie and Ted were a well-established team as they worked together for J. A. Taylor Ltd of Tooting for 10 years before going to Turner’s.

Life for Lizzie has not all been hard work, however. At the Easter Monday Horse Show in Regents Park she won first prize in the van parade and the Welsh rosette for the best Welsh Cob in the show.

Lizzie’s working day lasted about nine hours and she could make up to 450 calls a day. Anybody who maintains the horse is an outdated and uneconomical means of transportation is challenged by Turners who have proved that if a horse is ill the round takes over an hour longer to operate with a petrol vehicle.

Lizzie went into retirement yesterday (September 19) to Cherry Tree Farm, Lingfield, where she will mix with company from ex-race horses to costers’ donkeys.

Her successor, aptly named Lizzie II, is a nine-year-old bay Welsh Cob who will join Sally, Dolley and Kitty in maintaining Turner’s tradition of horse-drawn vans.

Rising costs led to Turner’s Bakery stopping using horses in 1973.

1972 Why Sally put on weight

From Mitcham News & Mercury
21st April 1972

MITCHAM BAKER KEN TURNER wondered why his new horse Sally was putting on weight. He thought it was either the good food she gets at the bakery or children slipping her the odd cake when she was out on her delivery round.

Then last Saturday morning when he went down to her stable he found out. There was Sally and a newly born foal. Said Mr Turner: “I was stunned — she was out doing her round only the day before and seemed perfectly all right. It was a wonderful surprise and we are calling him Lucky.”

Sally, a four year old Kent Cob was bought from a dealer just before Christmas and pulls Mr Turner’s delivery van to keep going a family tradition, which started in 1792 when the bakery opened in Mitcham.

Mr Turner began to suspect that she was in foal and a vet confirmed that this was likely.

“But he assured us that there was plenty of time and she could go on working for a while. So I was really surprised when I looked in the Stable on Saturday morning.”

“It’s a bit of a bonus. When I bought her I never expected another animal as well. When the foal is old enough it is going down to a stud at Ockley. Meanwhile I have borrowed another horse to keep the round going.” he said.

Mr Turner and the dealer he bought Sally from are still mystified as to how she got pregnant.

“She must have er . . . . running loose in the field,” he added.