Tommy, the Council’s Horse
Eighty years ago this summer, a new horse was needed for Neston’s Team Labour. Little Neston farmer Robert Scott who had Ivy Farm and White House Farm at the time, 1937, had been helpful before in the purchase of horses, so he was called on again. He managed to locate a 5 year-old bay (reddish brown) gelding, 17 hands high, blaze (a wide stripe down the middle of his face), near hind leg white. The horse, Tommy, was examined by the vet, Mr Baird of Cranmore, Hooton (a practise established in 1873 and still going strong) and classed as sound.
He was kept in one of Scott’s fields whilst on what was supposed to be a week’s trial with the council, but they were reluctant to come to a decision, and Mr Scott had to threaten to stop them taking Tommy out of the field, saying he would just as soon see him going for a month’s holiday out at grass.
So Tommy was given the job of hauling the council’s refuse and general carting, which he did for twelve years, but by 1950 it was time for him to retire from such heavy work, though he was still fit for other jobs, so the council advertised in the Echo for expressions of interest.
Councillor Reg Chrimes reported concerns of the RSPCA that Tommy might be sold for slaughter, so he hoped
the charity would allow him to go to their home for retired horses, but the council’s Clerk pointed out that the District Auditor had to be satisfied that all reasonable steps to sell him had been taken.
Several offers were made, W. K.Nicholls of Parkgate Parade offered £20, (he had offered to take Betty the old mare a couple of years previously), Bensons offered £15 for the horse with cart, there was even an offer from a lady in Formby and a cartage contractor in Liverpool. Gordon Cowie of Goldstraw Farm in Ness offered £25; he had just taken over that farm and would find the horse useful. Various equipment was included , harness, bridle and such like, plus 40lbs of bran for 7s 6d and 40lbs of brown oats for 9s 6d. Presumably the District Auditor was happy with the deal.