It was quite a different world before WWII in so many ways, a much slower pace of course, and during the war particularly there were many horses and carts in use again, as petrol was rationed. The greengrocer, coalman, fishmonger, and milkman all had carts in our area of Bramley, Leeds, and delivered goods to the homes or to the end of the street and the mothers would go to the cart, as they do to a shop these days, except that the milkman would ladle the milk into a jug left on the doorstep from a large churn and people would pay him at the end of the week. The coalman would drop the 1.cwt sacks of coal into the manhole which led to the cellars of the back to back houses in many streets, carrying the heavy load on his back from the cart, which would have been very hard work, to be sure. There were stables not far from where I lived where they returned after the day's work, and a number of the local kids would wait at the end of the street to have a ride on the back of the carts to the stables. I'm certain that the owners knew what was happening, but never complained, as they knew that it was the local children, whose fathers were away at the war in the forces, and thought they were giving them some pleasure from the ride.
All the very best.