10:05AM, Friday 14 August 2020
A horse-drawn carriage service in Windsor has become one of the first of its kind in England to install plastic screens to protect the public during the pandemic.
Windsor Carriages has been transporting visitors across the royal town for 171 years and has recently fitted a protective plastic screen on its largest carriage to help control the spread of COVID-19.
Classed as public transport, Windsor Carriages was able to continue service throughout the lockdown but closed as the tourism receded and to keep staff members safe.
It reopened at the end of July and is gradually seeing guests return.
Rebecca Seear, who took over ownership of the family-run business in 2013, said: “Being an outdoor attraction is good and the carriages all get cleaned between trips.”
Originally operating as a taxi service, Windsor Carriages now caters to the tourist market taking guests on guided tours through the town.
“The Long Walk is still the most popular route but we take guests anywhere within Windsor Great Park,” said Rebecca.
Guests also take advantage of the gate-to-gate trip from Windsor Castle to Savill Gardens.
During the heatwave the company’s black Hungarian and Gelderland horses have been fed carrot and diluted apple juice ice lollies to keep them cool while the service is temporarily suspended.
“These heatwave conditions are dangerous not just for the horses but the humans, who can faint or have heatstroke so they have been shut down.”
She added: “My father's horses worked on the Long Walk for over 27 years and lived well into their thirties which is double the average life expectancy for horses.
“What we do puts the horses first.”
Windsor Carriages is hoping to resume service today (Friday).
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