Merrylegs

A Billy Wells' pony

By Colin Letchford

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Merrylegs' page
When I worked for Billy Wells with his ponies down the seafront in 1959/62 my first job was to look after Merrylegs. She was a Shetland pony and she pulled a small cart which could seat about six children ...each one paying sixpence.

At first I was disappointed at not having a bigger horse to ride but Merrylegs and me soon became great friends.  I remember that once in the field a boy called Snidge was having a go at me.  I said, "Get him Merrylegs" and to my amazement she attacked him and he broke his arm when he fell over!.

I've found another photo. It shows Tony Frost riding Whitman. Whitman was always the star and to encourage more punters when customers were slack he or Gordon would give a display riding Whitman around the track. The Casino is in the background. The shelter is where we would rest from the rain or sun. The big cart next to the shelter was used to bring our bicycles, water and chaff for the ponies.

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Merrylegs' page

I think the blonde girl is Heather, Gordon's sister.

I saw a photo of the Casino in the floods on one of the sites. If you find it you can clearly see the oval shape of the track, the ponies made, under the water!

This page was added by Colin Letchford on 12/11/2009.
Comments about this page

Thanks Colin

By David Bullock
On 14/11/2009

I remember Colin Letchford with the horses at Billy Wells as me and Roger was also there but at different times, my dad bought folly for me as I always hired him out. There was bobby, silver, whitman, tuffy, daisy, shandy those were good times and have looked every where to see Billy Wells ponys. I was at school with Heather at Furtherwick, my husband Roger lived opposite in the bungalows, we still live on Canvey and have had horses until 5 years ago.

By sandra and roger jordan
On 04/10/2011

I remember Colin we worked there the same time,we worked after school done the seafront giving horse rides.after we would ride back to the stables then go hay making over the creek then we would all climb up on top holding on to a rope that was tethered around the hay which must have been at least 15 foot high,you wouldn't be allowed today.great memories of a happy childhood.MSDW4

By Louise Morgan
On 31/12/2012

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