At Chantilly

Peter Campbell

Young’s Brewery is quitting Wandsworth. Its drays, loaded with casks and drawn by shire horses which also did a stint pulling the lord mayor’s coach, were still on the streets when we moved there in the 1960s. They won’t return. But troops of horses of the Household Cavalry, which woke us when we lived off Portobello Road, can still be encountered on their early morning journeys across London. The smell of horse announces the ambling excursions of pairs of mounted police in the streets around King’s Cross, and mounted rangers keep an eye on Wimbledon Common. There, or anywhere in the home counties which has a spare paddock or two and a bridleway, you are likely to meet strings of ponies or a lady rider who will nod down agreeably to pedestrians and offer a living illustration of de haut en bas and even of noblesse oblige.

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