Page:Omnibuses and Cabs.djvu/32

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12
Omnibuses and Cabs

Three or four short-stage-coaches had been running on that road for many years, but as they took three hours to get from Paddington to the City, and charged two shillings for outside seats and three shillings for inside ones, they were not patronised by able-bodied people, who usually preferred to walk. Moreover, the short-stage-coaches were uncomfortably loaded with luggage, which they collected and delivered every journey.

On the morning of July 4, 1829, Shillibeer's two new omnibuses began to run. A large crowd assembled to witness the start, and general admiration was expressed at the smart appearance of the vehicles, which were built to carry twenty-two passengers, all inside, and were drawn by three beautiful bays, harnessed abreast. The word "Omnibus" was painted in large letters on both sides of the vehicles. The fare from the Yorkshire Stingo to the Bank was one shilling; half way, sixpence. Newspapers and magazines were provided free of charge. The conductors, too, came in for considerable notice, for it had become known that they were both the sons of British naval officers—friends of Shillibeer. These amateur conductors had resided for some years in Paris,