Pegton [89, 54]
A bit of rural relief from the drudgery of eastern Pegton's slums, Mule Drive was the centre of Malton's once-thriving mule market.
Quite how Mules Drive became a key mule-trading centre is unclear, but it is thought that today's Harden Park and London Park (in Dentonside) are the remnants of a much-larger old royal parkland, decreed by King Norbert I in the 9th century as a royal hunting reserve. The huntsmen wanted plenty of mead and capons for their nightly revelries, and these victuals were brought in by mule train.
Even though the parkland was subsequently curtailed and split in two, the mule trade remained, and was the principal form of transport for heavy goods until the coming of Malton Rail to Pegton via Whitlock Way.
Local mule-man Padraic Laghelegh, known as The Mule Whisperer, was the kingpin of the trade in its twilight years. His contribution to the pre-industrial local economy is recognised in the street that bears his name.
Suffering along with eastern Pegton’s other rundown streets, the Drive later became a key recruiting point for unemployed youths willing to swallow condoms full of narcotics and smuggle them to cities with plenty of coke-hounds.