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Quicksilver and the history of the mail coach Returning a legendary mail coach to its original form was a considerable task requiring detailed craftsmanship

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n 1782, John Palmer, a theatre owner in Bath and Bristol, became so frustrated at long postal delays that he took his idea of a postal service using a coach with armed guards to Parliament. In 1784, after a trial run, sanctioned by the then Chancellor of the Exchequer, William Pitt, who saw the revenue potential in such a service, Palmer was given the go ahead. The trial run had cut 35 hours

from the delivery time for mail from London to Bristol and, by 1796, there were more than 40 routes across the country. The mail coach system was up and running, but more money and more coaches were needed. Palmer was approached by John Besant, an eccentric designer who also happened to be a wheelwright. Besant patented a design for a new coach and, in 1788, the first purpose-built 16

06 Story of coach and restoration.indd 16

03/06/2019 14:31

Profile for Harfield Media

The Worshipful Company of Coachmakers and Coach Harness Makers’ Banquet 2019  

Programme for an evening of fine dining and sublime entertainment in the historic Guildhall of London. Featuring a programme of musical ente...

The Worshipful Company of Coachmakers and Coach Harness Makers’ Banquet 2019  

Programme for an evening of fine dining and sublime entertainment in the historic Guildhall of London. Featuring a programme of musical ente...