The Tears of a Clown

Now if there's a smile upon my face…

The Ten o’clock Horses

I’m sure others have heard this story by way of a threat, as a youngster? I had often wondered where the strange tale came from. Simply speaking as a boy I was told by my mother that if I didn’t get to bed sharply – despite many protestations to stay up – that the ‘Ten o’clock Horses would come and get me’.

Now I was never sure what form this petrifying threat would assume. Would it be a Revelations-like ‘Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse’ sighting with their pestilence, war, famine and death symbolism bringing a last judgment on my tardiness to enter the land of dreams? Were there actually horsemen present and were they headless? My youthful imagination ‘saw’ a ghostly apparition of an entourage racing down Goodwood Avenue on the way to our home near the main Nottingham-Mansfield Road. There was a large team of horses foaming at the mouth and gnashing at the bit. Funereal-looking outriders hung on to an open-topped carriage to the rear. This was all because I wanted to stay up awhile and watch The Man from UNCLE. I ask you.

Just recently I heard a story of where this scary (to my young ears) tale emanated from. I should stress though that I’m sure the tale has its own form in many localities.

Not far as the crow flies from our home lay the old woodlands of erstwhile Royal hunting lodge,  Bestwood, nowadays a country park. The story went that in an era possibly dating back to the days of Nell Gwynne, there were several horse stable within the park, just as there are today. One particular evening some horses were loaded up for transportation elsewhere and in an unfortunate accident, the horses were all killed in-situ. The beasts were said to have perished at the time of ten o’clock at night. Stories have abounded since that time of the sound of horses galloping through the old oaks and birches of Bestwood and that they can still be heard at the hour of ten o’clock. This was a tale that we heard from our parents but can be uncovered elsewhere from different sources.

I’m not too sure about the sound of ghostly hooves up in the former Sherwood Forest area that is still on my doorstep but it worked well on me as a child.

The Ten o’clock horses will get you.

June 6, 2010 - Posted by | Ripping Yarns | ,

68 Comments »

  1. Hi Stu,
    Yep.. the Ten o Clock Horses were a bed time threat when I was a kid. I always wondered what it was about.

    Colin

    Comment by Colin Berresford | June 10, 2010

  2. I still worry about them, Colin! 🙂

    Comment by Stuart | June 10, 2010

  3. The 10 O’c;ock horse story is really interesting..I wondered if it really happened…Iam sure others who have heard about the story liked it too!

    Comment by Dorothy | July 15, 2010

  4. i remember the ten o,clock horses but in my case it was 9,o,clock that,s the time i had to be in from playtime i don,t know ware it comes from as i didn,t live in nottingham at the time.

    Comment by Moira Richards | August 20, 2011

  5. I to was told to be in bed by nine o’clock or the ten o’clock horses will get me. I live in Melton mowbray. Was you told to behave or Sabat will get you? This was also use in my childhood.

    Comment by Peter carter | September 12, 2011

  6. Very interesting, The ten o’clock horses also got me into bed and asleep when I was a kid growing up in Nottingham, I had no idea it wasn’t something evil my parents had thought up until now, Very Cool, Thanks !
    Tina John

    Comment by Justina John-Taylor | November 1, 2011

  7. The Ten O’Clock horses always got me into bed and asleep long before 10 O’Clock when I was a kid growing up in Lenton, Nottingham. I thought it might have been something horrible my parents thought up….until now. I had no idea it was a local legend. Very Cool. Thanks.

    Tina John

    Comment by Justina John-Taylor | November 1, 2011

  8. im only 21 and i also live in nottingham and my mum used to tell me that all the time ‘Go to bed or the ten o clock horses would get me’ i would cry and run to bed lool she tells my little sister that also who is 6 lol parents are cruel lool

    Comment by jemma | November 24, 2011

  9. I was born in kettering northants, just down from where you all seem to have been raised. I was threatened with the 10 o clock horses as well. There seems to be no other refernces in any other areas of Britain, so maybe the Midlands is trult the origin of the story. I’ve never heard of an origin or source apart from the one you describe above. I don’t use threats like this on my kids, but I do tell them that Grandma used to use it on me.
    Maybe some-one should write an article on the horses.

    Comment by Vinny | December 1, 2011

  10. Just saw that there is a local nottingham band called the 10 o’clock horses!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Comment by Vinny | December 1, 2011

  11. the ten oclock horsers origanate from victorian time when horse drawn sanitary carts used to come and empty your toilet tubs and bowls at night mainly children were used to do this job and the horsers made a scarry noise on the cobble stones

    Comment by ernie | February 25, 2012

  12. Interesting, My mother also told me about the “Ten O’Clock horses” here in the US. More interesting is the fact the her family were from Nottingham and Manfield as well.

    Comment by Kate | April 1, 2012

  13. I’m 26 years old and live in Coventry, my parents used this ‘threat’ on me!!

    Guessing it did originate in the midlands then!

    Comment by Chrisd | May 2, 2012

  14. Glad to hear the tradition continues Chris! It’s more widespread than I had thought.

    Comment by Stuart | May 3, 2012

  15. Wow. I remeber this from when i was about 8 years old (13 years ago). Its hard to believe something like this is so wide spread. i live in sydney australia and to hear you giys were threatned as a kid in the UK. that is awesome!

    Comment by Dave | July 4, 2012

  16. Interesting to learn that the story has spread so far Dave!

    Thanks for the comment.

    Comment by Stuart | July 4, 2012

  17. I, too, now live in Australia (Cygnet, Tasmania), but as a small child in Oadby, Leicestershire, I was threatened by the 9 o’clock horses. I recently googled this saying and it seems to have originated in Leicestershire. Nottinghamshire kids obviously get an extra hour!! The collection of waste at night is certainly one of the more widely believed origins.

    Comment by Ann Martin | July 10, 2012

  18. I’ve just read all of these comments to my 7 year old grandson as he has been very frightened by this saying as I was as a small child. I hope that all the things I have just read to him will convince him its nonsense. Thankyou to all those who contributed. Sue Wilson from Leicester.

    Comment by Sue Wilson | August 10, 2012

  19. as above

    Comment by Sue Wilson | August 10, 2012

  20. I’m pretty sure this is a Midlands thing. My mum’s family used to say it to me and I have since heard it but only from people who have ties to the midlands.
    For me it began as the nine o’clock horses but graduated to the ten o’clock horses as I got older……..
    I too had images of apocalyptic horsemen charging across the countryside. Later, when I read about the mythical Wild Hunt I wondered if the Horses were an offshoot of this………..

    Comment by Nerissa | September 22, 2012

  21. I too was brought up with this saying, told by my gran and my mum. I carried this on with my children, it always worked! When my youngest son was 3 1/2 years old, we had to go to the co-op early evening for something i had forgotten to buy. As i was paying at the till my son sat on the window sill inside the shop, a group of horses from the local riding school passed by, my son threw himself onto the floor, hiding against the wall, screaming ‘Its the 9 o’clock horses mummy’ everyone fell about laughing. It took me ages to get him to leave the shop, assuring him they had gone and he was safe!

    Comment by Sue | December 31, 2012

  22. THE BOGEYMAN

    A bogeyman lives in our cellar; mam says he’s ugly and old,
    He waits to grab us children, if we don’t do as we’re told.
    He’ll beat us with his wizened fist or a nasty gnarled oak stick.
    I don’t know who is scared the most, me or my brother Mick.
    Thus mam keeps us on our toes, for all we do seems wrong
    And so we fetch and carry for her, errand running all day long.
    We don’t know what he looks like, though I think we both can guess
    I think he’s the image of our mam in slippers and a floral dress.

    The ‘ten o’ clock horses’ are on their way as off to bed we go
    But reluctantly climbing the rickety stairs, we find another foe.
    Billy the Wind lives in our attic where Mick and me must sleep,
    and we hug in terror as down the flue we hear Billy creep.
    We dive to safety under the coats and wonder where he can be,
    Is he beneath our bed or in that corner too dark to see?
    But much as we try, sleep won’t come to us kids anytime soon
    and now here comes my personal fiend, the baleful, cruel moon!

    Throughout the house the bogey men keep us kids in line
    but now mam’s dulcet tones, send chills right up our spine;
    ‘Nip down the cellar and fetch us up a bucketful of coal.’
    Mick and me look at each other, who will brave that hellish hole?
    She smiles at our fears and tells us both we’re being awfully silly
    There’s no such thing as bogey men and there’s no one here called Billy.
    Who’ll go down in Gods own light to the man made dark below?
    But the boss of the demons is tapping her foot and one of us must go……

    You can’t put an old head on young shoulders, on that we must agree But you can’t lose the child in the adult, who grew into you and me.
    I cannot take away the horrors that blighted that little girl’s life
    Nor yet wipe away her bruises and sobs or soothe her in her strife.
    What I can do is take her hand, walk her into the dark and gloom;
    prove to her there’s nothing to dread no matter how black the room.
    Show how I conquered for her, all those child destroying fears,
    make sure she never frets again as we walk side by side through the years….

    Joy James

    Comment by Joy James | February 24, 2013

  23. That’s really interesting, never heard that before. Thanks very much, Joy!

    Comment by Stuart | February 24, 2013

  24. That’s because I only wrote it this monring….

    Comment by Joy James | February 24, 2013

  25. Hey Stuart, what part of the country do you live?

    Comment by Joy James | February 24, 2013

  26. Hi Joy, I live in Redhill, Nottingham.

    Comment by Stuart | February 24, 2013

  27. It’s very nice, thank you!

    Comment by Stuart | February 24, 2013

  28. Know it well. I live in Colwick Village and retired at 60 then found I could write at the grand old age of 69! Since then my life has taken off. I am also a parish councillor in this neck of the woods.

    Comment by Joy James | February 24, 2013

  29. You certainly can write, Joy! I’m glad you found it – even if took you a while to get around to it! It’s a pleasure to read your output, both here and on Nottstalgia.

    Comment by Stuart | February 24, 2013

  30. Thanks I just wish I’d had the courage to believe in myself years ago. I thought what I wrote was crap.

    Comment by Joy James | February 24, 2013

  31. Hi,

    Was thinking about ten o’clock horses when all this horse meat scandal came out watching news at 10. So i googled it and found this link. Im 29 and now live in Kent but my family came from Toton in Nottingham. My Nan and my mum always used this threat on us and as my Nan still has a cobbled drive i always used to imagine headless horseman types coming up to get us. Asked my in-laws down here in Kent about it and they dont know a thing about it.

    Andy T

    Comment by Andy Thompson | March 16, 2013

  32. Being a Nott’m born son you would like my books then. The1st one Yo’d Mek a Parson Swear! (bet you’ve heard that phrase too!) is about life in the St Ann’s district during the poverty stricken early years of the 2nd world war. That and four other titles covering Broxtowe, Hyson Green and Clifton and they are available at Waterstone’s.
    GOODBYE DRURY HILL & SNEINTON MARKET

    Why did they pull down Drury Hill? Why waste it that infamous day?
    From Weekday Cross to old Broad Marsh it had ever led the way.
    Small it was and oh so steep, but worthy of this humble ditty,
    with tiny footpath, this cobbled street, run down yet oh so pretty.
    Never could a car get past, its road being far too narrow,
    the only traffic built for it, were feet and the odd wheelbarrow.
    A bookshop stood here, a dress shop on the right, a cobblers and clockmakers too,
    and traders lived behind their shops, though of comforts there were few.
    In summer the sun was warm and kind and bathed it in golden light,
    and it was postcard pretty when frosted over in glorious winter white.
    Slippy it was sometimes and I took the odd tumble there.
    But it didn’t ever stop me using that ancient thoroughfare.
    Yet ‘they’ thought it in the way and would stop their shopping mall,
    so they took a vote and sent this street cruelly to the wall.
    Oh later they said they were sorry, it had been a big mistake!
    And now the market at Sneinton is facing the same horrid fate.
    We finally know it’s going, the council is seeing it off,
    frequented for centuries by the poor man and the toff.
    It’s supported thousands of families, clothed and fed many more.
    Kept Nottingham City going, right through the second world war.
    Through all these many centuries, of the market folk t’was said,
    ‘They stood out in all weathers to earn their daily bread.’
    Jacky Pownall sold baskets of pots, he’d haul them up on his hip,
    throw them high in the air and they’d crash down with never a chip.
    I’m glad old Sally Slick Slacks gone, all alone she just sold rags.
    A tanner for a bunch of lace, earned enough for her pint and fags!
    ‘Reg the veg’ stood near the school, everyone’s mate, no-one’s fool.
    Tough as old boots who midst the clamour,
    filled pensioners bags and said “Giz a tanner.”
    I went there wi’ our mam once, she bought me a cardi of blue.
    I’d never owned anything before so soft and pretty a hue.
    She paid a penny halfpenny and I wore it with great pride,
    till she washed and spoilt it and I cried and cried and cried.
    And shoes I got with ankle straps, brown leather with a shine.
    On showing them to my friend Pat, she said “They once were mine.”
    Every market manager, be he Joseph , Sam or Jack,
    was always known as ‘Toby’, bet a quid you didn’t know that.
    And there have been hundreds of ‘Toby’s’, on that market through many a year,
    but on their death bed you can be sure; the council won’t shed a tear.
    Oh Sneinton I shall miss you, your noise and friendly chatter,
    some brave folk tried to stop them but it was far too late to matter.
    They’ll swap this institution for high gloss granite and chrome
    and fancified upholstery of chipboard and coloured foam.

    Oh there’ll be gyms and fancy shops, of those we have enough
    and to folk like me who mourn its loss, the council men say ‘Tough!’
    And not too far along the years, trust me, just you wait,
    some council man will make his name and say it’s out of date!
    I know not who thought this one up, by face nor yet by name,
    but I sincerely hope I live to see you hang your head in shame.

    Comment by joyjames2013 | March 16, 2013

  33. Hi Joy, I’m not a Nottingham born son, actually proudly Edinburgh, but I’ve been here long enough to know my way around (since schooldays)!

    Thanks for the poem, I really enjoyed reading that, it’s excellent. I wish I could remember Drury Hill but I’d be lying if I said I could. Strange really because I recall lots of other Nottingham landmarks which disappeared in a similar era such as Victoria Station and Central Market. I do recall Sneinton Market too which I would get taken to on visits to the Victoria Baths as a youngster. All sadly missed.

    Comment by Stuart | March 16, 2013

  34. Hi Andy. A few people have reported hearing the tale from quite far afield but it does seem strongest in Nottingham and the East Midlands in general. Changing times soon for your family ‘home’ of Toton with the proposed coming of the high speed railway. Thanks for dropping by.

    Comment by Stuart | March 16, 2013

  35. Nice to hear from you. We have a friend in common I believe? Marie Scott?

    Comment by joyjames2013 | March 16, 2013

  36. Alongside Drury Hill was another equally well known street of houses named Middle Hill . On one side an unremitting line of terraced houses clung together like a string of beads and the elderly residents would come out and sit on a chair in the afternoon sunshine. I recall how scrupulously clean and shiny their windows were and the reason for that was that directly opposite was a huge brick wall and behind that was the railway lines that carried steam engines. The whole street became instantly shrouded in steam and this played havoc with the 1960’s bee-hive hair do’s of the day!

    In the late 60’s early 70’s the film Son’s and Lovers was filmed there. And in the 80’s I played the part of a bar maid in a repeat film of the same name at the Dixie’s Arms in Derbyshire. It was set in the 1800’s and was the scene of a village party. I had to come out of the pub carrying a huge basket of bread; spread a tablecloth; haul the bread onto it; return to the pub and come back out with 2 massive flagons of ale. …….And action: out I came spread the cloth, hauled up the bread and ‘Nee naw nee naw nee naw…’ a very none Victorian police car raced down the hill. .’……..and cut! Reset everybody.’ I took off the bread basket, removed the cloth folded it up and took myself back into the pub.
    ‘……….and action.’ Ditto on the above but this time I got half way across to the pub to pick up the ale when a man in a grey lounge suit wandered out with a glass of scotch and asked what we were doing. ‘…..and cut! and reset everybody!’ The next shot we got three young lads on BMX’s ride into the carnival set. ‘…..and cut! and reset everybody!’ Next came a train roaring through just a few hundred yds away. ‘…..and cut! and reset everybody!’ By know I was knackered and it didn’t help that my genuine Victorian shoes had a large nail sticking up and I was limping badly. The final straw for me was a moped pop popping down the hill. ……..and cut and reset.’ I lost it and yelled ‘This bleedin’ tables been laid more times than me!’ You can imagine the hilarity my remark made. The director Stuart Burge told us all to go and get our lunch and we’d try later. When we got back, flocks of hungry rooks had eaten every last scrap of bread!

    A little addition to this tale was that Stuart remembered my words and a few years down the line specifically asked that I be his midwife in D H Lawrence’s The Rainbow. I was paid handsomely for the part and from leaving home to returning was only away for a very short time and pocketed well in excess of £2.000

    Comment by joyjames2013 | March 16, 2013

  37. The description of Middle Hill is very evocative, Joy. It’s still a very interesting area of the city I think, especially if you can use your imagination a little. Last week I walked nearby around Hollowstone, Stoney Street, Broadway and Plumptre Street where I used to work years ago, taking time to look up and study the buildings etc. The area is so interesting with so many tales to tell.

    Your abortive filming at The Dixies Arms made me laugh, Joy! Would that be the pub of the same name at Bagthorpe by any chance? A charming place. Perhaps not as there must be several pubs of the same name.

    Comment by Stuart | March 16, 2013

  38. Ohh, just LOOK what I found.

    I am just out of shot sweeping the bleddy street!!!!!

    Comment by joyjames2013 | March 17, 2013

  39. Give me a way to send you two actual shots of the day.

    Comment by joyjames2013 | March 17, 2013

  40. I have now jotted down this Dixie’s Arms story and now have the basis for my next book I have dozens of like tales that I can tell of my extra days. Thanks! x

    Comment by joyjames2013 | March 17, 2013

  41. Love the video, Joy, thanks very much. What a shame you were out of shot! Best wishes with the development of your new book, I know it will be excellent. I can imagine that there will be many interesting tales!

    I’ve forwarded you my email address (taken yours from my private settings here, hope you don’t mind). I look forward to seeing the pics.

    Best wishes, Stuart.

    Comment by Stuart | March 17, 2013

  42. How kind of you for such a young man, early 30’s eh? I can wait………..I

    Comment by joyjames2013 | March 18, 2013

  43. Haha! Early 30s – I wish!

    Comment by Stuart | March 18, 2013

  44. so do I but on the proviso I know more then than I did then!!

    Comment by joyjames2013 | March 18, 2013

  45. I think I’d just got over the trauma of the Ten o’clock horses story by that age, Joy. 😉

    Comment by Stuart | March 18, 2013

  46. Remember being threatened by 8 o’clock horse when a small child, as i grew older the horse was altered to 9 o’clock and then 10 o’clock. Brought up in the north part of Lincolnshire but mother’s father from Flintham, near Newark and her mother from Claypole, Lincs, both villages in triangle formed by Great North Road and Fosse Way, Always assumed that some messenger came into Newark at 8/9/10 oclock along one of these roads, hence the warning. The burning stables are an interesting different version. I am now 70 years old and thought it had all died out, but my nephew in London told me a few weeks ago that he had been terrified by this when a child.

    Eileen/ 20th May 2013

    Comment by Eileen Dawson | May 20, 2013

  47. Thanks for your comments and story, Eileen. I have been pleasantly surprised at how much interest this old tale has gained. Your original 8 o’clock horses are a new one for me! Perhaps your story was derived from coaches and horses on the Fosse as you say.

    Thanks again, Stu

    Comment by Stuart | May 20, 2013

  48. This is a really interesting thread.

    I suspect that the 10 o’clock horses could have an older origin. In the Anglo Saxon Chronicle, the Peterborough manuscript records an odd thing that happened between February and April 1127 “after, several persons saw and heard many huntsmen hunting. The hunters were swarthy, and huge, and ugly; and their hounds were all swarthy, and broad-eyed, and ugly. And they rode on swarthy horses, and swarthy bucks. This was seen in the very deer-fold in the town of Peterborough, and in all the woods from that same town to Stamford. And the monks heard the horn blow that they blew in the night. Credible men, who watched them in the night, said that they thought there might well be about twenty or thirty horn-blowers. This was seen and heard from the time that he (158) came thither, all the Lent-tide onward to Easter.” Which I interpret as one of two things
    1) Aurora – Many times during this period the aurora is so intense that it is seen this far south and when it is it often is described as being like a battle – with horsemen. This is probably the origin of all wild hunt folklaw.
    2) A band of local (perhaps occult) militia that terrorized the town for a bit during the political unrest surrounding the unpopular appointment of a new Abbot.

    Either way – all the local towns would have been familiar with this event.

    Having myself been brought up in Leicester I remember my Gran telling me that her Gran once pointed to the sky and said the 10 o’clock horses were coming.

    Of course it might not be but then again its just an idea!

    Comment by Dr Boyce | December 22, 2013

  49. That’a a very interesting and detailed theory, thank you!

    Comment by Stuart | December 22, 2013

  50. That’s fascinating and could well be the true origin of the tradition of the Ten 0’clock horses. I, too, was born in Leicester and for me and others it was the Nine 0,clock horses who would be coming if I wasn’t in bed. A great item of folklore and long may it flourish!

    Comment by Ann Martin | December 22, 2013

  51. My mother would say this to me if I put up a fuss about going to bed. Then she would say, “you’ld stay up until the devil squeals.”

    Comment by Bill Smith | December 31, 2013

  52. Cheers Bill. I haven’t heard the second one before!

    Comment by Stuart | December 31, 2013

  53. My parents would tell my brother and I to get to bed quickly as the 10 O’ horses would soon be arriving. My childhood visions of this allowed my imagination to expect a scary outcome if I didn’t get to bed fairly quickly. My mother lived in a mining community near Mansfield, Notts which once again points to the origin of the location of this saying.

    Comment by Keith Snashall | December 31, 2013

  54. Not too far from myself, Keith. It’s interesting to me how this story resonates with so many people. Thanks for your comments.

    Stu

    Comment by Stuart | December 31, 2013

  55. Lovely to here from you again. I don’t know how I lost touch with you but its been great to get this reminder.
    I’ve since written this poem about those scary horses. Hope you like it.

    THE TEN O’CLOCK HORSES!

    They came every bedtime the children to scare, hooves sparking like flint on the stones,
    ‘You must be asleep by ten’, they’d declare, or we’ll stomp you and break all your bones’.
    Rearing and shrieking with eyes of blood red, Mane’s flaring they’d race down the roads
    Grabbing each kid found out of bed, knowing well all the children’s abodes.
    But I couldn’t believe the very next day, as I struggled to wake from my slumber
    That the soft clip clop of the milkman’s dray was the cause of last night’s thunder.
    From my window I watched the old grey mare, head bowed in the miserable sleet,
    breath turning to mist in the dawning air, as she battled uphill through the street.
    A farm horse totes fruit to the market, a jet black one hauls sack loads of coal,
    Carefully stopping to park her, bridle wrapped round a telegraph pole.
    (Bare handed my dad would seize its dung, black gold to plants yet to flower,
    No mind to its feel or the stench in his lung, through folklore he’d learned of its power.)
    Proud the one stood kerbside in full sight, waiting for gentry dressed up to the nine’s,
    For some of his kind seldom see light, held captive for years in the hell of the mines.
    The white blazed bay laden with ale, ‘Queens Head’ the first stop then plods to the ‘Ship’.
    Kegs lifted by men both hearty and hale, whilst she calmly waits, one eye on the whip.
    Still haunted by terrors that came in the night, un-blinkered brown eyes sometimes weep,
    fed and stabled she sinks to a well earned respite, then thankfully drifts into sleep.
    ‘Raggabone Raggabone..’ up goes the shout, half awake she clip-clops on frilled feet,
    while slimy deposits drip from her snout, she heaves bottles and rags up the street.
    But on Sunday they wake to church bell peals and although half asleep, bide awhile
    Today they’ll run free with grass under their heels, I swear if they could they would smile.
    In the towns and cities on a rare still night, when streets are hushed and folk abed
    Of the ten o’clock horses you may yet catch sight, hear the whinny and clip-clop of friends long dead.

    Comment by joyjames2013 | August 2, 2014

  56. Hi again Joy – lovely to hear from you! Love the poem! That brought back a few memories, especially of the rag and bone men. Remember where we lived that they used to come around and hang a bag of children’s goodies on people’s letterboxes in exchange for some potential goods. I never got to keep one of those bags – boo! I’ll never know EXACTLY what was inside them…

    Love to read your writings in the Post. Much happened in my life since your last visit here. Keep well.

    Stu

    Comment by Stuart | August 2, 2014

  57. Have just launched my new book My Dear Mother and All… Letters From the WW1 Trenches and its been a helluva worry! Its out of my comfort zone and not my usual tried and tested genre. A friend inherited the family home Burgess House in Farnsfield and after 4 years of clearing the eons of accumulated dross, finally got down to sorting out the family paperwork. It was then she found a box of letters from her uncle dating from pre WW1 and told the fascinating tale of a young man whose feet ached to be planted in the soil of the Oxton Grange family farm. He worked in an office in London where his mother, a future heiress of the house and his father a board of Trade 0fficial lived and worked in Whitehall. We follow him as he goes to Australia to become a farmer and lands in the worst drought in its history. I became fixated on him and wrote his life story, often being at my pc for 14 15 hours a day. What a man – what a story! Almost 50 people turned up yesterday to attend the launch and today I have had enquiries from several libraries to go in and introduce the book there and its already doing well in Waterstone’s.

    Comment by Joy James | August 29, 2014

  58. That sounds quite some story, Joy! Good luck with the book and I’m sure it will do well. I can see what you mean about it being a new and different exercise for you so well done. To sit at the pc for that length of time is very dedicated. It sounds like your presentation of the book would go down well in organisations such as the local history group I am affiliated with: Arnold Local History Group http://www.arnold-history-group.org/ They have a monthly guest speaker in their meetings and would probably welcome something like that. Why don’t you contact them and similar?

    Comment by Stuart | August 30, 2014

  59. i used to share a house in Nuneaton with a girl who originated from Hinckley in Leicestershire. As a child she was told about the 8 O’clock Horses by her parents. She would joke if any of us were going out to make sure we were in on time or the horses would get us.
    Years later I subsequently wrote a song called 8 O’clock horses which is included on the cd International Pop Overthrow vol 17 which came out this year. There is an early version of the song on YouTube by my old band Grover.

    Comment by Chris | September 21, 2014

  60. Hi, I was born in Nottingham and my Grandparents were from Derby. I was also threatened by the 10 O’clock horses by them. I have a total phobia to horses and can’t go near them. I was told this story, that they would come and take me away if I wasn’t in bed and asleep by 10. The first time I recall being told the story was round about the time I had first seen the original Disney Fantasia and had visions of these skeletal horses breathing fire from their nostrils grabbing hold of me and taking me to the mountain of “The Devil” I had seen at the cinema. I was never told this just that the 10 O’clock horses would get me….. the rest my imagination filled in!

    Comment by Mellonie Adams | January 15, 2015

  61. That’s a lifetime of pain they served on you there, Mellonie! I’m glad the horses never came to take you away!

    Stu

    Comment by Stuart | January 15, 2015

  62. Hi my mum used to tell me the same story and its all true about the 10 clock horses its a old Nottingham saying people may have heard it around the world but its from Nottingham 100 per cent the horses came down Mansfield rd at night they used to race them on the forest where the goose fair is now some people even die doing this lots off ghosts in Nottingham most haunted place in England fact sleep well 😊

    Comment by neil | July 26, 2015

  63. I’m seventy years old and was born in Nottingham. My mother would warn me about the Ten O’clock Horses. She’d also say I’d be up until the devil squeals.

    Comment by William Smith | November 27, 2015

  64. I was born and bred in Mansfied on Big Barn Lane,some 60 plus years ago and my parents used to threaten my brother and me with the 10 o’clock horses ,I always wondered what was the story behind it.

    Comment by Pat Davies | December 11, 2015

  65. I was born and bred in Mansfield on Big Barn Lane some 60plus years ago,my parents used to threaten my brother and me if we played up ‘re,bedtime,not heard it for many a year till reading the comments often wondered what the story was.
    ,

    Comment by Pat Davies | December 11, 2015

  66. My parents were warning me about the 10 ‘0 clock horse. I live in New Jersey.

    Comment by James | November 11, 2016

  67. My mom saw the ten ‘0 clock horse when she was 10 years old. I was scared of the 10 ‘0 clock horses and I need it to go to bed or my mom would tell me to get to bed because the ten ‘0 clock horse or I will die!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Comment by James | November 11, 2016

  68. when I was scared of the 10 ‘0 clock horses I was worried of them. so now I sleep down stirs with my mom mom and pop pop and now i am not scared of the 10 ‘0 clock horses anymore

    Comment by James | November 11, 2016


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