The stage-coach service to and from Southwold was erratic in the early 19th century, always struggling to make a profit. James Martin, landlord of the Red Lion started a very basic, open 'Wain' service to Norwich and back in about 1820. Henry Foyster took it over in 1826, picking up custom from the main stage-coach service which had ceased that year.
In 1828 a new 'proper' coach service to Nowich, known as the ’Pilot’ started up. But it only operated in the summer. In the winter, just when passengers would have appreciated a bit of cover and comfort, they had to revert to the open wain service. Iin 1830
the ’Old Blue’ coach provided a service to Halesworth, Saxmundham
and London. The same year the ’Shannon’ also ran but only
for six weeks. Both stopped operating in October of that year because
of a lack of trade . People had to wait another 14 years before there
was a stage-coach service again. In 1844 a summer- only service from the
Crown Hotel ran to Norwich and connected with the London coach at the
Angel Inn at Wangford. This survived until 1850.
In 1860 Mrs. Catton ran a public omnibus service from the Swan Hotel to Darsham railway station which continued until the Southwold Railway opened in 1879.
Mrs Catton's horse-drawn omnibus outside the Swan Hotel P1642