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Stopping for Refreshment

In 1801 a coach leaving London for Brighton at seven o'clock in the morning would stop for its passengers at Sutton by nine o'clock. A glass of Miss Jeal's 'smoking hot' elderberry wine would form the fortification at the next stop followed by lunch at Reigate. At Handcross strong liquors were handed out by the landlord and then a 'grand halt' at Staplefield Common meant dinner. Rabbit pudding was the favoured dish and by the time passengers had enjoyed a further drink, another two hours would have passed by. Tea was taken in Patcham before the last leg of the journey. The coach arrived in Brighton at seven o'clock.
There were several routes to Brighton from London and coaches did become much faster in time, mainly because the roads became better and the new routes avoided hills which the passengers had previously to walk up. Well, they had to do something to burn off all their meals!

Jane Odiwe