Basingstoke Local Carrier Network 1828-1952
The accompanying graph shows the growth of carriers’ services centred on Basingstoke and extending to villages within a 6 to 8 mile radius of the town. Usually the carrier, who was normally based in the outlying village, took goods and passengers into the town in the morning. During the day he, or in a few cases she, carried out errands to the shops and offices and then returned in the late afternoon to the village. The carriers based themselves at a public house in the town; the most popular was the Feathers in Wote Street used by no fewer than sixteen carriers in 1911.
Carriers used a wagon with one horse but by the early years of the 20th century a few such as J C King of Weston Patrick moved on to mechanically powered vehicles. Mr King used a steam powered van built by the Basingstoke firm of Wallis and Steevens. There cannot have been much room in it once the boiler had been accommodated.
The next development was the use of petrol driven lorries. Their use was stimulated by the availability of large numbers of war surplus vehicles after the end of World War One. Frederick Monger ran a Ford one-ton van (OR2705) carrier service from Odiham to Basingstoke daily from October 1923. This was fitted with 14 seats. This carrier service was superseded by bus services which ran several times a day to a set timetable. By 1950 carriers were almost extinct and replaced by bus services.
Content derived during research for the new VCH Hampshire volume, Basingstoke and its surroundings.