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Liverpool Family Business

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Proffitt Family Carting Business from 1908 - 1942

In 1908, my father William John Proffitt ran a small carting business in Liverpool. The stables were housed at Lochinvar Street, Near Queens Drive, Walton. The family lived in a little house in Index Street by Goodison Park.
Father drove the team wagon, carting cargoes to local merchants and to the dockyards.  "It was all horses and cart work those days" father would say. "Everything would have to be carted to warehouses, railways and to the ships."  As a boy, I can remember going to Birkenhead with father, as there was no tunnels. "It was all luggage boats and ferries and the life of the carter was hard."
When World War I started, father volunteered for the Army, He was told, " You have to keep  your business going as it is important for supporting the war effort carting food and equipment to and from the docks."  
I can remember when the carter's brought their team- wagons and horses back home to the stables after a days work. A government man would be waiting outside in the street. The man would be there to check to see if the horses looked fit or otherwise. There was a hill just outside the stables. Father would place a horse in a team wagon and put the brake on the wheel, including a chain clipped onto the spoke of the wheel. The wheels were wooden with steel rims on the outside. If the horse pulled the wagon on its own up the hill, once the brake was taken off, it was passed fit. The stronger horses were repeatedly confiscated by the government man and shipped to France to tow gun carriages for the Artillery. It was a sorrowful site to see the horses leaving the stables, as it had an effect on the carter's livelihood.  At one stage during the war, father was down to just two horses, with several team-wagons parked empty. Father loved the horses and I remember on one occasion, he took us by cart as far as Chester.
The business continued on through World War I and World War II until father passed away in 1942.
                                                                          Memoirs of  W.J.Proffitt. (jnr)


  The way we where

Proffitt Carter's

Typical single horse driven cart used by Proffitt carting business to and from the docks and merchant warehouses. Other team-wagons used had two or more horses




     Hey La  -  The girl with the fair hair   -  You know what I mean  -  Yeh Yeh