A HEREFORDSHIRE pub has set up a ‘no fuel’ delivery service using a horse and cart for its weekly cider order.
The Slip Tavern, in Much Marcle, between Ledbury and Ross-on-Wye, have spent the past six weeks receiving deliveries on horseback from their neighbors Westons Cider.
The traditional Shire horse and cart delivery service is run by 12-year-old stallion Reg, who weighs 800kg.
Every Wednesday at 1pm, Reg can be seen pulling the cider cart down the hill to the tavern to fill up the pub’s weekly cider stock.
Amy Jade Thompson, 27, front desk manager and owner’s daughter, said it had always been a popular show.
She added: “Pub visitors love to see the Shire horses.
“Recently, we’ve had quite a few customers who have booked for lunch just to see them and have the experience.
The tavern in Much Marcle, Herefordshire, has introduced a ‘no fuel’ delivery service using a horse and cart for its weekly cider order from Westons Cider
“Westons Cider used to train the horse around the village. We saw this as an opportunity and thought that between us we could help the horses get the rides they needed, and we started to receive deliveries from them.
“Now even though we don’t have a delivery that week the Shire horses still visit the pub so people can see them. The only time the horses don’t come is if the weather is really Wrong.
“It’s a very old and traditional way of getting our ciders delivered and, as it’s a fuel-free service, it’s also an eco-friendly service.”
She said the cider company is very keen on promoting and working Shire horses, and they also regularly appear in country shows like the Bromyard Gala.
“Although they are not really necessary in our society today to work, it is good that we can continue to use them,” she added.
“Normally Reg does the deliveries, but they have another gray horse called Boris training to do them.
“Westons Cider have also just had a 15 month old colt called Buzz and he recently came to visit the pub too.”
Traditionally, Shire horses played an important role in cider production – driving the mills to crush apples.
But as technology has advanced over the years, they are less necessary. They have since become a symbol of heritage in Westons.