PUBLIC transport from the 18th century has made a colourful return to South Staffordshire.
The golden age of the stagecoach is being recreated on a five day journey from Meriden, Warwickshire, to the Lion Hotel in Shrewsbury.
Two replica coaches, The Monarch and The Nimrod, are making the trip along the original stagecoach route across the Midlands, calling in at historic inns in Derbyshire, Staffordshire and Shropshire on the way.
Six support staff and 24 guests are making the trip to raise funds for Help the Heroes and the Household Cavalry Operational Casualties Fund.
Yesterday their schedule included the Bull and Spectacles in Blithbury, lunch at The Chase Pub in Rugeley, an afternoon visit to Springslade Lodge Tea Room on Cannock Chase and an overnight stop at The Moat House in Acton Trussell.
Today the coaches were due to call in at Boscobel House, Bishops Wood, 11am- 12.15pm before visiting Weston Park for lunch 1pm-3pm.
Coaches used to come through Staffordshire regularly in the late 18th and early 19th century, stopping at stages along the way for the sets of horses to be changed over.
Barbara Stockton, owner of the Monarch and joint organiser of the charity trip, said beforehand: “This is the first time we have done this historic Midlands stagecoach journey and we and all the guests are really looking forward to it.”
“It will be a spectacular event and a great boost for the tourism of the towns on the way.”
At the party’s final destination, the 18th century Lion Ballroom in Shrewsbury, tomorrow, they will be joined by another 30 guests for an end of tour dinner and a talk on stagecoaches.