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The Queen's Arms public house in the High Street, where the dentist is now. was then next to Mellis's Soap Works and was owned by the Misses Grant.
Next door was 97 High Street, better known to the locals as Grant's Buildings and also owned by the Grant ladies.
The Queen's Arms, like most hostelries. had livery stables consisting of four horses and various vehicles, a cab, a wagonette brake, a dogcart, a hearse etc.. all horse-drawn, of course. My father. Mr George Pow was head coachman from 1907-16 when the horses were commandeered by the Government for service in the Great War. This was the end of the stables and George, because of his work with horses, was then conscripted into the Veterinary Corps.
He was sent to Military Stables at Hounslow. near London, where he met an old friend from Prestonpans. It was quite common during WWI for men in different regiments but from the same town to meet up in other countries but this encounter was more unusual. One day he was doing his rounds in the stables when he heard a horse neighing quite a lot and. on going to investigate. discovered it was one of his old Queen's Arms horses which must have recognised his voice or scent. What a reunion! They were both glad to see each other, being so far from home.
After he came back from the war. George startedup in business in Musselburgh. in a stable just behind the Musselburgh Arms Hotel at the Town Hall. He was always busiest on Race Days. meeting the trains at the old Railway Station up Mall Avenue and bringing those who could afford a cab or a ride in a wagonette down to the Race Course, otherwise it was a case of them walking or catching a tram from the Mall. If the Race Meetings were during the school holidays Mother would take the three youngest of us, the others were working, by trarncar to Levenhall where we would meet Father for a tour of Musselburgh and Inveresk in his cab. returning to the racecourse to pick up passengers for their trains when the Meeting was finished. On one of these outings our neighbours. Mr & Mrs McKinlay were with us and Father decided to go down Shorthope Street to the Esk and let the horse have a drink at the ford. Mrs McKinlay said. "Oh! You're not going to cross the river, are you?" He hadn't intended to but she put the idea in his head and we did cross, with the cab almost floating. I don't think many would have done that and I certainly wouldn't advise it!
Another outing I recall was when the families in Grant's Building got together, the Smiths. McKinlays, Rosses, AlIans and, of course, the Pows. My youngest brother, lain. was only three months old, I was seven and Jean was two years younger, and Father decided it would be a country outing. So a brake and a cab took us to Gifford, each family had their own picnic box and Mr Johnny Ross had an urn to supply the tea. We had a great day but I'm sure the poor horses didn't think so!
None of my brothers was interested in the business and. in the thirties. Father had a bad attack of pneumonia and was unable to continue. Being out in all weathers was not for him any more. My older brothers were more interested in cars and taxis which were then becoming the mode of transport but nothing would change Father's opinion of horses. He loved them to the end.

Ann Pow died in 1999 and this photo shows her as a young girl in Guide uniform - as so many will remember her.

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