Tuesday, 7 April 2009

The last carter in Ayr

A horsecart in Santiago de Cuba.Image via Wikipedia

In the mid 1960s the last carter in Ayr was still delivering goods with his one horse powered cart pulled by an enormous Clydesdale that, along with his owner (Boaby Rab as he was affectionately know by everyone in the town) lived to see the passing of this once familiar sight.
Boaby, a stout ruddy faced man owing to his outdoor occupation had been kept on by the haulage company "Peter Duncan" who had through the family business progressed from horses and carts to owning a large fleet of lorries and gave Boaby the odd load of sand to transport to local building sites. As Boaby and his horse were well past retirement age but had no intention of doing so the company kept him on out of loyalty and sympathy giving him the odd load to make him feel useful. They both became characters of the town but I never got to know the name of the horse because when Boaby was heading a slow moving line of traffic across the New Brig in Ayr he would stand on his feet whip in hand, cracking it above the horses head in an attempt to get it moving faster shouting "go on f*@*ing move it yah b******d",never mentioning the horses name but amusing the pedestrians in the process even though, he was swearing although the drivers behind him were using the same vocabulary but they were directing theirs at him.
Mischievious schoolboys like myself used to taunt him and he would turn and crack the whip at us along with a mouthful of his colourful language which only encouraged us to continue.
Sadly the horse died without knowing the joys of retirement and once his reason for living had been taken away from him Boaby passed away too never wanting to retire but leaving behind memories of a character and a form of transport that Ayr would never see the likes of or be able to abide ever again.

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1 comment:

  1. Wonderful story! You are a very good storyteller, and I love the pictures in your blog.