The name given to a horse-drawn funeral carriage designed and built by James Parr, coachbuilder of 15-16 Laura Place (later re-numbered 50-52 London Road). It was first made, in 1889, to the order of William Thomas Wallace, proprietor of Bedford Mews. James Parr was the son of John Parr, the previous owner (1867-74) of the mews. James had worked for the London coachbuilders Heffer and Co before running his own carriage bazaar in Southampton between about 1880 and 1905. It latterly traded as the Avenue Carriage Manufactory. He was a prolific inventor and patentee of carriage improvements.

The top of the vehicle was supported by four Corinthian pillars. The door opened with an automatic spring, to prevent the wind or other cause closing it at the wrong moment. Inside was an adjustable frame worked by a screw, to keep the coffin fixed in the centre of the hearse and to prevent any shifting that might be caused by an incline in the road. The flowers and wreaths were fastened to the coffin by a novel telescopic arrangement. The car was glazed on all sides with patent plate-glass, and inside was an adjustable curtain. The glass and curtain could be removed to convert the hearse into an open car. It was mounted with nickel rails and silver-plated lamps. The drapery was of dark blue velvet, to match the body of the car, which had the added adornment of a blue and white fringe. Silver and nickel ornaments topped the whole. It was fitted for four horses if required.

The car was used for several high-profile funerals in and around Southampton, including those of Henry Buchan (July 1891), Jonas Nichols (August 1891) and Edward Harold Browne, late bishop of Winchester (December 1891).


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