The toll gate
By Arthur Hall
Seeing this picture of Bushey Arches with the horse and carts, reminded me of a sign that I saw in 1940, fixed to the wall of the arch on the right of this picture, it read, ‘Slacken Bearing Reign Before going up the hill’, I was 8, and did not know what it meant.
My Mum informed me that when horses ran they stretched their necks, a bearing reign, apparently, was a short strap attached from the halter to the breast strap, used to prevent the horse from stretching its neck, and assisted in controlling the horse, however, a horse needed to stretch its neck when pulling a loaded cart, up a hill, hence the warning sign. Perhaps the hill may have been Chalk Hill!
I took my children to see the sign in 1967, however, it had been removed, probably by a collector, or it may be in either Bushey or Watford Museum.