Cockington Carriages plan for the future

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The Cockington Carriage Company is one of a number of creative businesses at Cockington Court Craft Centre which is run by Torbay Development Agency as a visitor attraction and innovation centre.

Rick Passmore of the Cockington Carriage Company passed away a year ago. Now his three children, Marc, Dani and Kelly who have taken over the business are thanking the public for their support and say they have many plans for the future of the iconic horse and carriage rides.

The company provides a horse drawn carriage taxi service until the end of October half term around Cockington and wedding carriage service year round and says one initiative which will be repeated this year is a calendar based on photos of the horses which will be available through its website and Facebook page.

Other ambitions include extending its range of clothing – currently a selection of hoodies is available – and introducing spooky carriage rides and ghost tours around Cockington for Halloween.

“The last year has been difficult but the public has been amazing with donations and calendar sales helping to raise money,” said Kelly. “We’ve had great sponsorship from companies; Hotline donated an electric fence after ours was stolen, we were Waitrose Community Matters for July, the public come down with treats for the horses and the tea rooms’ chef gives us the veg cuttings. It’s all fantastic and we’re very grateful.”

She added: “Rick was thought of so fondly by everyone, it’s one of the motivations to keep the horses going.

“We’d hate to have to sell the horses and see them go and are going to do everything we can to keep the business going.”

The business currently has seven horses which need to be looked after, although only two are able to work.

“We have had four lame horses this year which have had to be stabled with the additional costs plus extra vets bills,” explained Kelly. “Bracken and Brandy are now retired and Lurie is in training but we are hoping to buy another trained horse.”

Another family member, Adam Williams, is learning to be a carriage driver and is to take his hackney licence next year which will add flexibility to the business.

And Kelly praised Marissa Wakefield, Cockington Court Centre Director for her enthusiasm towards the business.

“Marissa has been brilliant, fighting our corner wherever she can,” said Kelly. “Everyone at Cockington has been great and we are very grateful.”

Marissa added: “The horses and carriages of Cockington Carriage Company are an iconic feature of Cockington and much loved by visitors. Rick’s family has worked very hard to keep the business going and have some great plans for the future.”

Torbay Development Agency’s Innovation Centres Manager, Adrian Sheen, added: “It’s wonderful to hear of the amount of support from the local community which has been given to Cockington Carriage Company. Rick was very well thought of and I’m sure his family will continue to benefit from everyone’s encouragement.”

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