The easy answer would be to say its inspired by the Adam & the Ants classic hit "Stand & Deliver", but that is only part of how we chose our name. The main inspiration is much older and darker than the classy 80's ditty.
Our coffee shop is situated on the A4 which has always been an important transport route between the wealthy cities of London, Bath & Bristol. The modern A4 runs roughly along the route of the original Bristol to London Road and traditional milestone markers can be found along the route informing travellers of the remaining length of their journey.
In the 18th Century, in the days of horse drawn coaches, it would be a long and sometimes perilous journey to travel between the cities. The routes were rife with Highwaymen who would rob the rich travellers and escape into the night with their loot.
Our village, Cherhill, had a particularly infamous gang of Highwaymen who roamed the trails and pathways between Cherhill, Beckhampton, Marlborough & Devizes. What makes them unique is the fact that in order to further distract and terrorise their victims, and to avoid later identification, the Cherhill Gang would conduct the robbery naked and painted white. It appears they believed that this would distract and upset the delicate ladies and gentlemen travelling to take the waters in Bath or attend to the business in the city.
A plaque and painting of the gang is hung on the wall in The Black Horse Public House.
We'd just like to acknowledge that Highwaymen and robbery are very bad and that real people were hurt and traumatised by their actions. However, we really felt that the story of the naked highwaymen of the Cherhill Gang is too unique to fade into the history books. It belongs up there in folklore along with the tax evading Wiltshireman whose antics resulted in all babies born in Wiltshire being known as Moonrakers!
There are a few mentions on the internet of the gang, but here's a link to one particularly good site for more information:
We are delighted with the Dandy Highwayman logo which we proudly own the copyright of. Having very little digital artistic flair we knew early on that we would need help to design a unique and memorable logo for the business, so we set about running an online design competition. The quanity and quality of the entries was staggering and made choosing a logo extremely difficult.
The final design was created by a young designer in Columbia, South America. This design depicts a white horse, which is so often seen carved into the chalk hills of Wiltshire, wearing a Highwayman's bandit mask and spilling his loot of coffee beans as he runs away.
We felt that the logo was fun, interesting and reflected the local history in its depiction of both the white horse (of which Cherhill has one) and the highwayman (see above!).
SUMMER HOURS - Tuesday to Friday 10am - 4pm , Saturday - Sunday from 9.30am-4.30pm
Dandy Highwayman Coffee Shop, Main Road, Cherhill, Wiltshire, SN11 8UU
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