The summer program of meetings was brought to a close
by Mr Duncan Jagger who hugely entertained an audience of 33 members and
guests with a talk entitled "An Hour With the Ostler". Duncan
has worked with and owned horses for over 35 years, in spite of being
told by his father " keeping horses makes rich men poor and poor
men lousey"! This was not enough to deter him and he now owns a company
which supplies horses and carriages for weddings, funerals and film work.
During his career he was coachman at the Museum of the Working Horse Halifax
and horse keeper at The National Coalmining Museum at Wakefield.
Duncan began his talk by describing how he purchased his first pony for
£19.00 from a man who was threatening to shoot it, and took several
weeks to admit this fact to his wife! The pony meanwhile was being housed
by an assortment of well meaning friends. In a talk which literally had
the audience holding their sides with laughter he regaled us with many
stories of his life with horses. Such as the time he drove a newly acquired
team of black horses to Brighouse in order to convey Father Christmas
to his grotto, and the horses were so frightened by an outside radio van
that one fell to its knees and the other one was rooted to the spot. Despite
all Duncan's best efforts the horses could not be moved, traffic in Brighouse
came to a standstill, and Father Christmas had to continue his journey
by vintage car. Duncan expressed surprise that he was not paid for that
Or, when working at the Halifax museum, he was asked to provide a horse
to pull a barge along the canal - a new service to be introduced by the
Museum. His hilarious description of the inaugural journey which culminated
in both horse and minder ending up in the cut brought howls of delighted
laughter from his audience.
Although lasting over an hour, his talk seemed to come to an end all too
soon and he left his audience clamouring for more. This was certainly
a fitting talk with which to end the current season and break for the
The next meeting will be on Monday 29th September when archaeologist Eric
Houlder will present an illustrated talk entitled "Mortal Remains"