The Tradesman Donkey Cart.
We have used quite a lot of photographs attributed to William Bailey, who has been described by trade as a Painter Decorator. The difference between the two trades of the late 1800’s and 2012 are quite different. First most of the materials used by Bailey would from a local source, the example being, sand, clay, lime and chalk together with hazel and willow branches which went to make up wattles used in making walls. Even the Distemper paint was made up by the man himself, yes I have not made a mistake, and Distemper is paint as well as being a complaint caught by cats and dogs!
To move his equipment and material like so many trades people of that era, was made by using a donkey cart, as in the photo above where two donkeys are being used. In this photo above my fellow researcher and I agree that the photo taken outside East Flint in the High Street, and sitting in the drivers seat is one of William Bailey’s daughters. This mode of transport would enable him to take materials to wherever he was working in the area.
Even as a young lad I remember that Distemper powder was available and was applied during spring cleaning time at Widbrook Cottage by my mother. It came from most Ironmongers including Mr. Church on Station Approach, and was available in many colours, of which Brimstone and White were the colours my mother used. Also in the 1930’s the first of the wall boarding was introduced called “Essexboard.” This was the forerunner of what is known today as gypsum plasterboard. So you can see that William Bailey had to have far more skills then, as quite a lot of plaster work including mouldings would have been part of his decorating skills.