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     Tickhill Carriers: The Saxton Family


Joan Saxton, a Tickhill resident, recalls a time when her ancestors were well-known as Tickhill carriers: ‘Joseph Saxton (1843-1925), my great grandad, was a carrier of goods to Doncaster at least at the time of his wedding in May 1877. He went to Doncaster Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday arriving at 11 a.m. and left at 4p.m. from outside the Black Bull Inn, Market Place. He charged 2d per journey to Tickhill from the railway station (1 miles). In 1910 Tickhill-Doncaster First Class fare was 10d, Third Class 6d. He took parcels for 1d each parcel. His daughter-in-law Florence drove the coach from about 1910. 

His son Alfred (1880-1965), my grandfather, did the same runs to town with a horse called Paddy. He retired in 1956, but I’m not sure when he started – he was listed as a carrier on his marriage certificate in 1906. He also did many weddings and funerals. I remember him telling me that ‘young Brown’ (I think killed in the war) was the last to go in the hearse, i.e. that was the last funeral he did. The best funerals were at Rossington where a pot of beer was put on the coffins, a drink grandad enjoyed, hence at one time his weight was 20 stones. He did many runs for the ‘gentry’ and he knew the Scarbrough family at Sandbeck. The biggest trouble on journeys, he used to say, was getting the bustles through the carriage doors! Alfred used to say that at least ‘he’ (the deceased) knew where he was going at the funeral whereas at a wedding ‘he’ didn’t! I remember listening to many tales grandad Alfred used to tell me after a Sunday tea. Alfred married Florence Shaw on 10 December 1906. Her great uncle was Henry Shaw who left money for the Public Library to be built with two clock faces. 

The next generation was my father Joe (the Post) Saxton, son of Alfred. He was also a carrier – of the Royal Mail – and worked in Tickhill from 1939-1972. He was the only full time postman for most of those years. Joe used to bring home all the vegetables including peas on stalks etc from the ‘outsiders’ – being the farms around Tickhill. He knew all the dogs! He could spin a yarn just like his father Alfred and both had a great sense of humour.’ 

In her survey of Tickhill in 1957, Janet Sully recorded that Joe Saxton worked from 6.15 a.m. to 10.30 a.m. when he cycled 16 miles delivering post. He then cycled a further twelve miles with deliveries between 1 p.m. and 4.15 p.m. His delivery route reached to the edge of Rossington and included Stancil and Wellingley. As well as taking the post, Mr Saxton took the daily newspapers to one or two outlying farms. Two part-time post women made the postal deliveries in the centre of Tickhill and to farms to the south west down as far as Blythegate Farm. Eventually Mr Saxton was able to do his postal round in a van. 

Joan Saxton has kindly allowed the Society to copy some of her family photographs as part of the HLF Project. Some are included in the supplement.
















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