Getting from ‘A to B’ in the 1800s

Not everyone had cars in the 1800s so a good public transport system was key to getting around. This service was provided in Kilkeel by Norton and Co.’s Car Service.

This photo shows a group of passengers onboard a Norton and Co. tourist car outside the car office in Kilkeel. This was taken c.1890-1900. As you can see they are loading luggage onto the back. The ‘Norton and Co. Car Service No. 67’ sign can be seen on the wall of the building.

In the late 1800s cars were being manufactured but were very expensive therefore the rich could only afford them. It wasn’t until the introduction of the Model T Ford in the first decades of the 20th century that cars were a commodity everyone could afford.

Norton and Co. ran road services from Kilkeel and Newcastle. These were organised by H. A. Matier serving places in Mourne such as Newcastle, Kilkeel, Rostrevor, Warrenpoint and Annalong which were very successful.

Norton and Co. also ran tours called ‘The Mourne Mountain District and County Down Coast Circular Tour’. This was a popular tourist attraction where people could jump on a car and see Mourne and surrounding areas in one day. A newspaper report on a tour around the Mourne Mountains with Norton and Co. can be found in the Northern Whig newspaper, 1901.

Norton and Co. didn’t just transport people but also packages. They received these at Margaret Square, Newry and then delivered them to Rostrevor and Kilkeel with the prices starting at 4d, depending on weight. They were forwarded by train and taken straight away as long as they were received twenty minutes before departure time. There was also the option of booking a spot on a car for your dog!