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Where does the driver sit?

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  • Where does the driver sit?

    Pardon my ignorance, but where does the driver sit in this vehicle? Sideways??

    My ears hear a symphony of two mules, trains, and rain. The best is always yet to come, that's what they explained to me. —Bob Dylan

    Fenway Bartholomule ♥ Arrietty G. Teaspoon Brays Of Our Lives

  • #2
    Yep, sideways. Though I would hesitate to call this a true "Governess Cart" as I think they are supposed to be closed in, so they can contain the youngsters.
    "My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we'll change the world." ~ Jack Layton


    • Original Poster

      I see. Thank you.

      I've seen pictures of governess carts that seem to be a basket or bucket shape . . . I always assumed there was a little bench or something for the governess in the front! This funny crossover vehicle gave me a look at the seating arrangements but left me confused about where the driver is supposed to ride, and I appreciate the clarification.
      My ears hear a symphony of two mules, trains, and rain. The best is always yet to come, that's what they explained to me. —Bob Dylan

      Fenway Bartholomule ♥ Arrietty G. Teaspoon Brays Of Our Lives


      • Original Poster


        This is on my post-lottery shopping list . . .
        My ears hear a symphony of two mules, trains, and rain. The best is always yet to come, that's what they explained to me. —Bob Dylan

        Fenway Bartholomule ♥ Arrietty G. Teaspoon Brays Of Our Lives


        • #5
          The classical Governess cart was a small cart with sideways facing benches surrounded by an enclosure

          Frequently in the later 1800s this was a wood body with a wicker fence

          Usually it was a cart for driving a pony - particularly the small Welsh or Shetland

          like this


          they also have a couple other gorgeous carriages to drool over

          The cart you showed IS used as a governess cart but more typically it is called a tub cart, and drawn by a horse, for adults

          the second image shows that cart type with a driver, so you can see the sideways position. Very typical of what it would have looked like with a pony but it would have been loaded with kids

          We had the opportunity to drive one of those many years ago. A friend at our boarding barn imported one from the Gypsies in Ireland but had no horse to drive it

          We had a horse but no fancy cart so we struck a deal . . .
          My first horse Harry "loved" that cart
          even though it was very heavy and he was a bit small for it. It was very well balanced for him and once he got it rolling - it actually rolled "around" him and he could sit back in the traces and just let it happed - smart horse

          My next horse Mel - who was sized right for it - thought it was too much work to pull and was never good with it.


          • Original Poster

            Can the driver choose to sit on either side, or is one side more correct than the other?
            My ears hear a symphony of two mules, trains, and rain. The best is always yet to come, that's what they explained to me. —Bob Dylan

            Fenway Bartholomule ♥ Arrietty G. Teaspoon Brays Of Our Lives


            • #7
              It is neither a governess cart, nor a tub cart - both of which are enclosed on all sides and designed with back entry doors.

              This is nothing more than a common meadowbrook cart with the seat offset to one side so that an opposing seat can be added.

              The right side is traditionally correct..but...because you have to twist your body to drive this hybred creation, I would think you'd sit on whichever side is the most comfortable for you to be turned
              Last edited by 5chestnuts; Oct. 7, 2011, 01:51 PM.


              • #8
                The older drawings I have seen of Governess Carts or Tub Carts containing children, have the Adult in the back corner! This lets Adult keep control of the door to exit, makes a straighter line to the rein terrets. Though if animal is quite small, the line will break over the rein rail from hands to terrets.

                This back corner position allows Adult to keep an eye on ALL the children at ALL TIMES! No cranking your head around, because kids are FAST and can make poor choices quickly!! Adult in back corner is not twisted in body, so ride is more comfortable too.

                I would agree that photo is a VERY strange adaptation of a Roadcart/Meadowbrook basket with shafts and straight axle. Not a Tub or Governess Cart because the basket is so open with slatted floor. Not sure how it would ride, balance would probably be off for the horse with 4 passengers. Might be tippy on rougher ground with so much weight up high. Tub and Governess carts have a "cranked" axle that allows body down between the wheels for keeping weight low and less tippy. Plus they seldom traveled at much speed, to keep kids safer.

                Guess someone had "a vision" when they came up with the parallel seats on that cart. Would be interesting to see it hitched and loaded, watch how it traveled. There is a REASON this is the first time I have EVER seen this design!! Reason is that design probably has strong limitations in real use.