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A mystery solved

Back in 2015, the late great Malcolm Jeal wrote Snapshot No. 10: Webb’s garage 1913/14 (which you can still see on the website). The garage was in Southwold, on the Suffolk coast some 12 miles south of Lowestoft. At the end of his customary erudite and knowledgeable piece, Malcolm admitted to being stumped by one thing in the picture:

“… there is a real puzzle which may not be readily apparent unless the photo is studied closely, this being the vehicle sideways on behind the SAVA. It is a horse-drawn stagecoach from an earlier era, and its signboard on the roof reads ‘Marlborough’. There is only one place in Britain of that name, and that is in far away Wiltshire. What the coach was doing in a Suffolk garage at this period in its history is anyone’s guess.”

Sadly, we do not have the original image, so we cannot blow it up to show the signboard. But David Grimstead has contacted us with the solution:

“I was looking at Snapshot 10 on the SAHB site – Why was there a coach with “Marlborough” written on it in Webb’s Garage, Southwold in 1913? Because there was a Southwold Hotel called the Marlborough, which advertised itself: “…near the golf links and garage…”  It opened in 1900 and between 1905 and 1914 advertised that “The hotel omnibus meets all trains”. The hotel  leaser went bankrupt in 1907 but there was a new manager by at least 1912 and the Montgomery Yeomanry had its Quartermaster’s Stores at Webb’s Garage in March 1916. The hotel was damaged by bombs in 1943 and probably demolished in the 1950s.”

Thank you David. A mystery finally solved.


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