EAST GRINSTEAD AND ITS COACHING HISTORY. 153
Another volume published at the same time, entitled " The Three Grand Routes from Brighton to London," announced, as one of the attractions of the town at that time, that at the Dorset Arms Hotel a ball was annually given by the subscribers of a Book Society. In a contemporary diary is recorded, " 1842, Oct. 19. Book Club Ball at the Crown. A scene of vanity." Dumsdale, a tailor in a small way of business in East Grinstead, had a son who was a cripple from his childhood, and he built for him a light four-wheeled cart, to which young Dumsdale used to harness an unicorn team of bulldogs. He made his way to London in February, 1830, and drove down the Strand. He used to do the 28 miles from East Grinstead to Brighton comfortably in four hours, and often beat the coach that travelled by this road, occasionally doing ten miles an hour. Dumsdale was generally permitted by the toll-gate keepers to travel toll free.
Some ten years later a pair-horse coach used to run daily from the Dorset Arms through Lingfield on to Godstone, with passengers. Here they were met by a four-horse coach which ran from Bletchingley to London, until the line from Godstone to London was opened, and then on October oth, 1842, a daily service between East Grinstead and Godstone Station was commenced. This was temporarily stopped on March 20th, 1843, but resumed in the course of a few months. The coaches seem to have been fairly free of mishaps, but on September 7th, 1842, the Grinstead coach was overturned on the Common. The horses were blinded by a flash of lightning, got off the road and upset the coach, but the six passengers all escaped with nothing worse than a severe shaking.
This pair-horse coach was for a long time driven by a man named Bashford, who died on December 31st, 1846, and to him succeeded William Thomas, whom many will still remember as the driver of Mr. Southey's hearse. The Godstone vehicle was always called "the bus" and had its headquarters at the Dorset. On May 16th, 1849, it commenced to do the journey twice daily. The