John Dibble’s Posting Establishment
Somerset House – John Dibble’s Posting Establishment.
Built in 1882, from 1883 this house became the home of John and Sybilla from Stogursey and Nether Stowey, Bridgewater, Somerset.
John married Sybilla in 1863 and worked for a while in the Royal Arsenal at Woolwich as a brass trimmer before moving north with his young wife to Barrow in Furness where he became storekeeper in the famous shipyard, living in Robert Street. In later years he operated a horse-drawn cab and a carting business during which he overturned his 4-wheeler in a collision and suffered bone breaking injuries. His doctor recommended moving to the quieter and safer Grange over Sands.
The Dibbles named their new house after their beloved home county. After 10 years Dibble built up his business to a stud of 13 horses stabled in Laundry Hill, on the opposite side of Kents Bank Road and, by the time he was celebrating his Golden Wedding in 1913, owned a fleet of carriages including a phaeton, a landau, a wagonnette and a char-a-banc with which he operated local tours of the Lakes in partnership with Furness railway company and as a regional agent for Cooks, the famous international travel firm.
Dibble met every train at Grange Station, and offered disembarking passengers onward transport or accomodation in “Private Apartments”, run by Sybilla.
He built a reputation for the humane treatment of what he called his “four-footed friends”, and was renowned for his safety record, in having no passengers injured in 30 years. The business went on to become known as “Parker’s Motors”. John and Sybilla had 5 girls and a boy, and 13 grandchildren up to 1913.