Posted by: Jim Bell | March 12, 2011

Run Away Mail Coach – 1827

“Dumfries Courier” November 13th, 1827.

An accident bad enough in itself, and which might have been attended with more serious consequences, happened to the Galloway mail on the night of Wednesday last at 7 o’clock. When about 4 miles to the west of Castle Douglas, the horses took fright at something on the road, and rushed or rather leapt to the one side. By this sudden and unexpected movement the poor driver was pitched from his seat, and dashed with such violence on the stony ground that his arm was fractured and his body otherwise seriously bruised. When freed from all control the horses set off at full speed and continued careering at the same pace until they had passed the village of Twynholm. Here the guard, Hunter, much to his credit, and at the imminent hazard, we believe, of his life, passed over the vehicle to the back of the wheelers, and both by restraining and soothing these succeeded in checking the fury of the leaders. The Kirkcudbright postman, while waiting at Tarf Bridge, observed the coach pass without stopping, and not choosing to be cheated out of his usual burden, and suspecting moreover that all was not right, he immediately galloped after the truant mail. From the darkness of the night, no one could observe the absence of the driver, and it was fortunate the man possessed so much presence of mind; and from the state of the reins it required both the guard and the postman to pilot the horses to the burgh of Gatehouse. The high mettled steeds, before they were stopped, had galloped a distance of 4 miles, and passed in their course Red Lion Village [now known as Ringford], Meiklewood toll bar, and two bridges, one of which from its narrowness and the awkward way in which it angles with the road requires careful driving even in daylight. It so happened that there were no passengers either in or on the mail, and the only sufferer is the poor driver, who, on recovering from the stunning effects of his fall, got to a house, where he now lies in a critical, though not, it is hoped, in a dangerous way.

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