Note the head sign – Hamilton Horse Bazaar. Dalgliesh & Co feature in the 1910 New Zealand Post Office Directory and have a half-page advertisement.
Livery and Bait Stables must have been a profitable business to afford such marketing. You can see from the signwriting that they obviously own horses and buggies – the original ‘rental car company’ – and they run coaches to ‘meet all trains’. What they don’t spell out, though in those days it would have been instantly understood by all, is what are ‘livery’ and ‘bait’?
Dr Johnson’s dictionary (which pre-dates this photo a little) defines livery as ‘giving or taking possession’. Bait is defined as ‘stopping on a journey for refreshment’. Later dictionaries define livery (as in stables) as looking after and feeding the horse.
So, here at Dalgleish and Co a horse could be stabled, fed and groomed on a daily charge. Bait is the snack – the between meal snack. If you were stopping your journey to enjoy the table of one of Hamilton’s finer eateries of the time, you would leave your horse at the bait stable where they would perhaps give it some water and some hay or chaff. No grooming or stabling was involved in ‘bait’. According to one dictionary, ‘bait’ is still in colloquial use for the travelling public in Yorkshire.
Hamilton Central Libraries