Dictionary of Sydney

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Mr Carl Borowsky, interviewed in 1986, remembers horse transport in Liverpool in the 1920s

Mr Carl Borowsky came to Liverpool as a boy in 1923. He was interviewed in 1986 for the 'Looking Back at Liverpool: An Oral History of the Liverpool Region 1900-1960' project. Here he remembers Liverpool in the 1920s when it was dominated by horse transport and businesses and industries associated with horses.


CARL: Going back Liverpool was a horse and cart place, if you saw a car you looked. There was a fella at Liverpool station named Barini, he had a horse and sulky with a hood over the top, and before that he had a hansom cab, one you sat inside, like you used to see around Central Station then, horse all done up and used to open the doors and you got inside. Well then there was Jimmy Driscoll, Oz Cowan, there's another old identity in town. They had a livery stable in Terminus Street: about forty stables in it. You could leave your horse and sulky in there if you were going to Sydney.

INTERVIEWER: And they looked after your horse?

CARL: They'd charge you about a shilling to leave your horse in the stable; you used to bring your own feed and feed it. But if you bought a feed off them you wasn't certain they were getting it! Three main blacksmiths in the town; one was Charlie Fehlberg on the corner of, well, it's still Macquarie Street, and Pirie Street, on the highway there. And the other one was McVickers over in Terminus Street, and the other was Hanna's up at the corner of Hoxton Park Road. Wood cutters had private horses and drays. it was a pretty big industry the old firewood in those days.

INTERVIEWER: If you brought your horse and sulky into town, would you leave it on the street or where?

CARL: Well, some had hitch racks, you could tie them up there. There was a water trough in front of the Mainsbridge Hotel and yoU'd give the horse a drink, and there was another up near where Williamson's is now, used to be just along the road from Pearce's butcher shop; and there was another one down at the station. And then later on they moved that one from the main street and took it around the corner into Moore Street there. There was a blacksmith's started up later in life there. You'd tie your horse up in the street, outside the pub I think there was a rail with four or five rings in it. You could tie your horse up to the ring. Braithwaite's had a saddlery shop along the lane way entrance to the pub, had to go around the back. Braithwaite was on the corner and a bit lower down was Mr Wilson; they were the saddle makers. I had the last hand-made saddle made by Mr Wilson.

Contributed By
(Detail from interview with Mr Carl Borowsky and the Borowsky family from the 'Looking back at Liverpool : an oral history of the Liverpool region 1900-1960' conducted in 1986 by Liverpool City Council, editor and project co-ordinator Catherine Johnson ; researchers Angela Imbrosciano, Verica Miiosavijevic, Kathleen Smith.)