During the London Olympic Games, various London funeral parlours were very concerned that the masses of extra traffic on the London streets would make negotiating roads difficult for their horse drawn hearses. Victorian style horse-drawn hearses can be hired in the UK and in other countries for funerals, even Canada and the USA. While some of the Victorian accouterments and social customs have long since been discarded like giving out jewellery, braided hair art, scarves and gloves along with hired mourners, pall bearers with batons, pages, mutes and feathermen, the use of horse-drawn hearses remains largely the same today. Then you can also rent something like this.
Bill Matthews of Carleton Place had such a horse driven hearse in his undertaking business. It had very high wheels and looked to be quite top heavy. Inside were draped black curtains with a heavy silk fringe. For years Bolton Culbertson with his beautiful black horses drove the hearse. The horses wore throws or blankets in black also large tassels were positioned on the horses ears.
Joann Voyce said Patterson and Sons also had one in Carleton Place. It was stored for many years in the old Hearse House on Bridge St. She remembers back in the 50’s dragging it out onto the road and getting the boys to be their horses. They did get into a bit of trouble over that and never saw it again! Thanks Joann!