Today’s busy and noisy high streets were much quieter and safer 100 years ago. So before cars, what methods of transport ruled our streets? Listen to ways that the high street and transport changed at that time. Before World War One, horses were used for nearly all ways to get people and cargo around and about. For longer distances, steam trains whistled and whooshed as they chugged into stations to collect passengers and parcels. Even though motor buses and electric trams had become popular ways to travel, the war effort meant that horses and carts returned to make many of the deliveries of letters, parcels, laundry, milk, coal, beer, bread and groceries. Horse-drawn carriages or cabs were also used to carry passengers around town. However, bicycles would always be popular. Delivery boys still pedalled around town delivering parcels to homes and, when not patrolling the streets by foot, policemen cycled.

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Teach

Using clips of streets form towns or cities at the time, children could write a commentary similar to the one from the animation. They could research and produce a timeline of transport inventions and changes. They could write a diary or commentary of a day in the life of a cart horse from the perspective of the horse or the person using the horse.