Saxilby and District History Group

Early 20th Century Village Transport Services

Before the end of the 19th century, people and goods were carried by either boat, horse or train.

Like modern service stations, there were a number of blacksmiths and saddlers in the village.

Most of these businesses were located on Bridge Street, which before the new A57 road and rail bridge was built in 1937, was known as Lincoln Road.

One blacksmiths shop, with Tom Watson's saddler's shop next door, was located at what is now the entrance to Bridge Place, run by Francis Dickenson.

The village blacksmiths also carried out more unusual jobs, as an article in the Lincolnshire Chronicle of 1931 reveals. On two occasions men called on Mr. Harrison to have teeth extracted, and a lady took her spectacles to be repaired. One day, an individual who was somewhat of a local celebrity walked into the shop with a request that the smith would repair a very dilapidated umbrella!

One of the blacksmiths forges, located on the High Street opposite William Street, has recently been converted to a holiday let.

In 1851 Edward Harrison was working as an apprentice to another blacksmith, John Cavill, whose shop was located at the rear of the former Tong’s DIY on Bridge Street. 10 years later, Edward is listed as a blacksmith on his own account.

His forge (on the right of the picture) was at the junction of what is now Manor Road and High Street. He lived in the house next door between his forge and the new chapel.

  He was succeeded in the business by his son Charles.

At the beginning of the 20th century, there were two saddlers and harness makers in the village, run by two brothers, Trafford (born 1865) and Tom (born 1875) Watson. They were the sons of Trafford Watson, who was a saddler in Scopwick.

Trafford ran his business at what is now the former Tong's DIY Shop. He married Mary Shephard in Saxilby in 1893. He volunteered for military service during WWI in 1915, and served in the Army Service Corps as a saddler. He returned to the village after the war. He died in 1927.

His brother Tom came to the village in 1905, and opened his business next door to Mr Dickenson's blacksmith forge on Bridge Street. Tom later opened a business on Mill Lane (the small building in the centre of the photo), which stood at what is now the entrance to Daubeney Avenue. The business was still listed in 1937, and Tom died in 1954.