An Elegant Coaching Picnic Recalls Yesteryear at Greenvale Vineyards

Coaches parading down Bellevue Avenue

It was a scene out of literature, history and myth, as magnificent coaches arrived at the waterfront Greenvale Vineyards for a country picnic. With the dashing whips rode elegant ladies in hats, red-coated footmen at the rear, and the delighted afternoon crowd applauded each coach-and-fours' arrival.


An early party in the classic weekend of events, the picnic showed the coaches doing what they were built for, transporting people across rutted dirt paths and down city lanes, and arriving at a destination.


Host and Hostess Nancy and Bill Wilson greeted guests, who came early
to catch the arrival of each coach, and hear the dramatic clap of hooves before they came into view, passengers waving and smiling.


Outlaw overlooking the River

The two types of open-air vehicles used in the sport of coaching—a Road Coach and the slightly smaller Park Drag—employed a team of four horses. The road coaches had some interesting names, like "Outlaw". All were dazzling, and as the whips alighted with their ladies, guests came to examine the coaches and stroke the horses' noses.


The tradition of coaching grew out of the 18th and 19th century mail runs in England, which later made its way across the Atlantic to the United States. The horse-drawn mail coaches were eventually replaced by railroads, but nostalgia led to the development of coaching as a sport. The Coaching Club of New York was formed in the latter part of the 19th century, eventually becoming part of the social fabric of Newport in the summer. The Wetmores, the Bells, the Vanderbilts and the Belmonts were all active members, brought their coaches together to go to the races, the polo games, and the Casino.


Announcing luncheon from a coach


Harkening back to another century, the coaches began their journey in Newport, and came to Portsmouth for the picnic by back roads. What a delight to onlookers!


After wine and hors d'oeuvres were served plein air, guests went into the tent for a delicious buffet and animated conversation. Nancy Wilson spoke a welcome, and a thank you was given by the President of the Coaching Clubs of America, Tucker S. Johnson.


Then on to a weekend full of events, receptions, demonstrations, private dinner parties and fireworks!





The “whips” (as the drivers are referred to in the sport of coaching) who to attended were: Mr. S. Tucker S. Johnson, of Hobe Sound, Florida, President of the Coaching Club; Ms. Gloria Austin, of Weirsdale, Florida; Dr. Timothy J. Butterfield, of Derry, New Hampshire; Mr. Frederick E. Eayrs, Jr., of Middleboro, Massachusetts; Mr. Walter F. Eayrs, of Mapleville, Rhode Island; Mr. William G. Ginns, of Skeffington, Leicester, United Kingdom; Mr. James Granito, of Southern Pines, North Carolina; Mr. John Frazier Hunt, of Spring City, Pennsylvania; Mr.Herbert Kohler, of Kohler, Wisconsin; Mr. Charles T. Matheson of Middleburg, Virginia; Mr.James Mather Miller and Mrs. Misdee Miller, of Lakewood Ranch, Florida; Sir Paul Nicholson, of Durham, United Kingdom; Mr. Louis G. Piancone, of Gladstone, New Jersey; Mr. Harvey W. Waller, of Stockbridge, Massachusetts; Mr. Glenn Werry, Jr. of Edwards, Illinois; Mr. George A. Weymouth, of Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania; and Mr. John White, of Newton, New Jersey.


Hostess nancy Parker Wilson

Sid & Jean Gorham, Mr. & Mrs. William Clark, and Rod O'Hanley

Naomi Neville, Muhamad Farzan & Tanya Keller

Stuart Bevan with Barbara & Richard Bohan

Tia Scigulinsky, Victoria Johnson & Bob Chase

Union Boat Club's Charles Dumbaugh & Parker Wilson

Peter DeSimone & Jae French

 Lucien Forbes, Kimberly Skeen, Carrie Slee & David Thalmann

Amy & Stoddard Rice, Trisha Courchene

Sarah & Sir Paul Nicholson with Ronald Lee Fleming

Stephen & Yvonne Moynaha, Patricia & Torre Peterson


The Coaches arrive from Newport

Sandra Ourosoff Massey & Holt Massey

arriving with lap robes

Angela & Garry Fischer with Mary Gilbane

A colorful coach

The whips regard their horses

James & Misdee Miller in their private coach

William Staples & Robert Bolcome

Willam Ginns & John White

Angela Moore & John White

Jean-Loup & Felix de Streel, Justin & Nancy Wiley

James & Misdee Miller

Audrey Oswald, Mary & Doug Riggs & Betsy West

Ridgely Beck & Peter Harris

David Ford looking dapper

The tent

Jocelyn Sherman & Trudy Coxe

Ross Cann & Liz Drayton

Ladies in hats

Lilly & Ronald Dick with Jean Gorham

 Guest with host Bill Wilson

Rob Cowley, Nancy Parker Wilson & Guy Torsilieri

Tucker Johnson, President of the Coaching Club of America, offers a toast to the hosts

Trudy Coxe with Benedict Luca & Ed Kane

Johnny Richmond, Jan Gordon & Bill Wilson

Katie Parker-Magyar, Elizabeth Parker-Magyar, Bennett & Billy Wilson


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