Seaside Holidays in the past : Train journey

Blackpool Tower. Photographed by Rich Daley (O...

Blackpool Tower

To the Seaside by Train

The History of the Seaside and the development and expansion of the Railways are closely linked. Before the invention of the motor car steam trains provided the only way to travel quickly over long distances.

As the Seaside grew in popularity the railways carried ever increasing numbers to the coastal seaside resorts.

This account describes a train journey to the seaside from Bolton to Blackpool in 1938.

Lots of children and cases line the platform, babies, hand bags, toddlers, everyone is loaded down. Nobody moves much and the scene is a parade of all in ‘Sunday Best’ in honour of the occasion. Most of the women are wearing coats and hats, although one observer still notes traces of the mill on two young women ‘with the mill fluff on their tams’. Men wear freshly pressed , often new suits…. A group begins to sing and their mood spreads infectiously across ( the station ) to children and adults alike… Accordion played, ‘Count thy blessings, one by one’ Everyone singing…[ on the train ]…For the first part their is almost always restraint and silence. Girls read Woman’s Own, Passing Show or Silver Star, men smoke and the train moves on to stops at Chorley and Preston…Beyond Preston the traveller reaches the world of the dunes and the Tower comes into view, dominating the flat landscape. No longer is the mill chimney the inescapable symbol; the ‘other world’ has been reached. Inside the train, the mood changes; the travellers are now bound together as ‘fellows’ by this common rallying point. The restraint clearly visible at the outset has dropped from sight. Cotton and factory chimney are finshed with…( sweets and cigarettes are handed around and singing begins )…The skyline has changed; the land has changed. It’s all Blackpool – all magic – now. The ordinary, the common, the usual is all far left behind, left in the mill town.

Inspire your children!

Book a Seaside Workshop Day to bring your Seaside Topic to life.

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469 thoughts on “Seaside Holidays in the past : Train journey

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