No. 746: Blackhorse Road, E17
Blackhorse Road, London, E17. Photo © Roger Dean 2012
The Horse-World of London – W. J. Gordon, 1893:
A good many of the coal horses are blacks and dark bays, and by some people they are known as ‘the black brigade’; but the real black brigade of London’s trade are the horses used for funerals. […] The ‘funeral furnisher’ is equal to all emergencies on account of the facilities he possesses for hiring to an almost unlimited extent, so long as the death rate is normal. The wholesale men, the ‘black masters,’ are always ready to cope with a rate of twenty per thousand – London’s normal is seventeen – but when it rises above that, as it did in the influenza time, the pressure is so great that the ‘blacks’ have to get help from the ‘coloured,’ and the ‘horse of pleasure’ becomes familiar with the cemetery roads.