14 Jun 2023 | 7pm | Rausing Building
Tickets available online and in the Athelstan Museum shop
In the 1930s the four major railway companies took a large number of life-expired railway carriages out of traffic and converted them into holiday accommodation. These were sent to rural stations all over the system and hired out to the public during the summer season. These original schemes were very successful and only curtailed by the outbreak of World War II.
Mike considered that rather than focus on the coaches themselves it would be a rewarding exercise in social history to find people who took these holidays in South Wales and the West Country and record their adventures, and via appeals in local newspapers over a period of twelve years set about visiting the folk who responded to contribute their memories and photographs. There were many folk nationwide who had these holiday experiences and were still around in the last decade of the 20th Century.
This illustrated talk lasts ninety minutes and focuses on the Great Western’s scheme during 1934-40, using original archive material and photographs contributed from family holiday albums, a step back into the atmosphere of England at a time when the very concept of a family vacation was a relatively new idea.