Mail Coach Tragedy On Wootton Bridge 1896
While researching into my family’s history I discovered that my grand-father, Herbert Hansford Hayward, was a mail driver in Ryde and Cowes for ten years, from the time of his marriage in 1886 until his death in 1896.
Apparently the Royal Mail coach he was driving with the horses overturned on Wootton Bridge and he strained his heart trying to lift it back upright.
My grandmother was left a widow with four children at the age of 32 years, no welfare assistance or family allowance in those days!
I will be visiting the Island again in mid April with my husband and we have thought perhaps there is a family, who took over from my grandfather in the 1890’s who would have some recollection of the Royal Mail coach and horses. If so I would be interested to hear from them.
My grandmother was born in a cottage on the Fernhill estate in 1864 where her father, Abel Old, was a coachman.
My father, George Wyatt, was a postman at Wootton Bridge in the late 1920s and early 1930s, I attended the Wootton Bridge Infant School in Red Road, and the Ryde Upper Grade School.
Recently my husband Alex and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary with our son Alex and family and our daughter Frances and family.
We emigrated to Australia 27 years ago from Claredon Road, Shanklin, where we had a delicatessen.
We thought this news might be of interest to friends we knew and perhaps someone would like to get in touch during our stay back in the old country.
56b Adrian Street
Letters to the Editor – Isle of Wight County Press – Friday 5th March, 1993