The halcyon days of the coachmen and their horses were re-lived recently when Mrs Isla Shilton of Murray Bridge visited the Court House Museum, with her daughter Annette Turner.

The Shilton name will be forever associated with the horse-drawn coaches that carried passengers and mail around our district, regardless of rain, floods, or scorching heat.

Charles Shilton (1854-1945) drove for Cobb & Co and later for John Hill & Co. He travelled the Adelaide to Willunga passenger and mail coach route for fourteen years from 1880 and 1895, and drove on other routes including Blackwood, Normanville and Noarlunga. His sons Frank, Harry and Percy were regular coach drivers on many routes in the Adelaide hills.

Charles Shilton’s whips and lunch-bag are on display at the Court House Museum, together with photos and family reminiscences.

During her visit, Annette Turner presented to the Museum a photo of the prize-winning Drivers’ Union float which took part in the Eight Hours celebrations in 1913. She also donated a Time Capsule which had been placed by Frank Shilton at the Pioneer Memorial Village at Morphett Vale, since closed. Both items are now on display at Willunga Court House.

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