Charlie Buck’s horse riding school & stables

A few months into litter picking we discovered the area around the Sandy Park (Gertrude Road) park used to be a horse riding school. Which closed down in the 90’s. We still have the ‘careful horses crossing’ road sign on Mousehold Ave!

Charlie Buck’s stables were on the George White playing field and slope next to the park. I have managed to piece together some information from chatting with local residents but would be great to have a guest blogger re-write this post and help preserve this piece of our local history. Even a few testimonies from your time here. These stables were a big part of a lot of people’s childhood.

You can see the council garages on the now St. Martins site and Florida Group shoe factory, which closed in 2018 I believe.

After discovering this vital piece of history it explained why the soil and land here is so rich in nutrition.

Gertrude Road houses in the background. The slope is looking very bare in this photo compared to how it is today.
Paul aged 4. Local resident who has been helping with the litter picking. You can see the council garages on the now St. Martins site and the top of Anglia Square. Trigger the palomino. August 1978.

The flytipping and rubbish here dates back to when this site used to be a horse riding stable. We even found a riding helmet!

Found winter 2021 on-site!

In the 90’s Charlie Buck sadly passed away and the Norfolk County Council leased the land to George White school on Crome Road. During this process, the slope between the field and the kid’s park got forgotten. Over the 20-30 years it slowly became a forgotten dumping ground until winter of 2020 when we as a group started to slowly clear the rubbish away being extremely careful to not damage the habit.

I believe the stable house was on the Swanton care site. The blue area was leased to the school.

Please get in touch to share your memories. We love seeing old photos!

11 thoughts on “Charlie Buck’s horse riding school & stables”

  1. I used to have a workshop in the old stables now redeveloped as the care site. You can still see the drop kerb on Crome Road where the entrance was.
    Used to get teas and snacks from Josie’s cafe on Mousehold Avenue, also long gone and built over

  2. Tree View used to be The Palamino Cafe, a local haunt with council workers and alike. Parking was not a problem as there was no restrictions on Mousehold Avenue. As for the stables, I believe they where on Crome Road on what is now the George White playing field. Hope this is of use.

      1. I had my first ride on a horse on the waste land behind the stables. A couple of girls walking horses let me sit. I wasn’t to old but I was hooked then and now have my own horses. My nanny and grandad lived in a house just a few doors up. Lots of steps from the Rd to the front door so had a good view. You could hear the horses clip copping before you saw them. I would run to the window to watch them go by. My fondest memory.

  3. Aah the memories .CHARLIE BUCKS PALOMINO RIDING STABLES. 1971-1976. Ponies Rusty, Chris, Blacky, Ricky, Micky, Nicky, Tommy(a sweetie), Pharaoh and star. I remember the girl who taught me, she was quite strict, bless her and thanks. Riding on Mousehold was a treat, I still remember the route and jumping over parts of vinegar pond. Robert was quite cheeky did he get a place at Newmarket?. In the 4th photo down is the golden white maned palomino pony that threw me into the biggest patch of mud you ever saw. I was covered, Robert could not stop laughing. He also raced Rusty with a girl on Star. Mr and Mrs Charlie Buck were a lovely couple my dad always had time for Charlie ( his favourite pony Tommy). In the Summer holidays the ponies would vacate to a large field near Whitlingham, When first arriving it was lovely to watch them frolic. Next to the main stables was a small wood hut/shed were you would pay 50p. Charlie and wife always had time to talk and would sell horse posters every month.,My walls were full. I still have an old riding hat, crop, and maybe a poster but sadly no photos. I have enjoyed looking at those posted, thanks. The main stables were on the biggest field with a fence and gate to another field on the same plot in blue. Swanton Care Tree view court is where the smaller stables were. In front of them was a cafe, laundrette and later a shop called Stitch and Save and I think Charlie owned these but not sure. Opposite the main field in blue, the other side of Mousehold Ave was a small triangular field near the allotments and church. It now looks like scrubland i hope this helps. Mr and Mrs Buck were a lovely couple dedicated to their Palomino riding stables and ensuring that the children of Norwich had the Opportunity to learn to ride. I had been looking on line for a few years and thought it had been forgotten. Thank you for the memories.

    1. This was really lovely to read. I am pleased it brought back great memories for you. I also heard from chatting to the locals that there used to be a bingo hall where the factory now has its car park? Hopefully, over time more people will find this blog post and share more photos/ memories.

  4. Richenda Farman

    I was taught to ride at Charlie Bucks. I think it was about 1971 when I first started. I went every Saturday morning for several years. I remember some of the horses: Blackie, Christopher, Pharoh, Ricky, Rusty and Star. Once we had learnt to ride in the field, on the corner of Crome Road, we used to ride out onto Mousehold Avenue and up to Mousehold Heath for a canter around the Heath. This could be a bit nerve wracking at times. I remember riding Star who was a bit skittish, she was an ex race horse and could be a bit unpredictable but she was a beautiful horse so I felt very proud to ride her. Unfortunately a rattling milk cart upset her on our ride to the Heath one day and she kicked out at it, I’m not sure who was the most frightened; me or the milkman!
    I remember it cost 50 pence for an hour long lesson and a girl called Bridget who worked there and helped a lot of kids to ride. I am now over 60 years old but I remember those days with great affection.

  5. It was around 1980 when my mum my friend Tanya and her mum started riding at charlie bucks. We had to pick a hat ….none of them ever fitted!! We had to have a few ‘lessons ‘ in the field at the front near the road. Once we could stay on off we would all go to mousehold. The horses would jump tree trunks etc and we clung on but more often someone would come off!! No rules. We’d have races in the field near gur ey Road I think it was. We didn’t really get taught. We were self taught! Absolutely LOVED it ❤
    Then we went to salhouse and had great memories but that also closed 🥺

  6. I can remember helping out at a stables which I thought was on Silver Road, I thought that that was Charlie Bucks School, I can’t remember the horses names but the horses were all lovely and so well looked after, the owners adored them all I thought that there was a school ring and also we went onto mousehold with them.

  7. My Father was best friends with Charlie and his wife Hilda and remained close friends with Hilda after Charlie passed away!! Charlie left my Father his signet ring in his Will which Hilda presented him after Charlie’s funeral. It was with great sadness that my Father a few year’s later collapsed at Hilda’s home and passed away…. I have very very many fond memories of Charlie and Hilda too many to right down but if anyone would like to hear some just ask !!

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