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Holiday Haunts

Holidays by GWR
Planning your holidays this year?

If you’re tightening your purse strings in the wake of the recession, why not re-discover the delights of the traditional resorts which your parents and Grand-Parents enjoyed back in the glory days of the seaside holiday?

For those of you interested in the nostalgia of the British seaside, every month this year we will feature a holiday image from our Railway Collection.

Larger version of Holidays poster


February 2011 – Winter Resorts


The second in our series of GWR holiday images from our Railway Collection.

Destinations such as Newquay and Torquay were promoted by the GWR as excellent winter holiday destinations due to their mild and dry climates.

Larger version of Winter Resorts

Source: - Great Western Railway miscellaneous publications. Vol. 7 1932

Shelved at A 385.10942 Social Sciences Floor 4.


March 2011 – Camp Coach Holidays (1938)


The third in our series of GWR holiday images from our Railway Collection.

GWR Camp Coach holidays were a unique form of holiday camping.

Specially equipped railway coaches were sited near station premises at beauty spots in Cornwall, Thames Valley, Wye Valley, Severn Valley, Gloucestershire, Central and West Wales.

Accommodation for 6, 8 or 10 people included sleeping compartments, a living or dining section and a galley for preparing meals. They were provided for those who travelled by rail for their holidays. In 1938, the rent per week of a 6 berth coach was £3.

Larger Version Camp Coach Holidays

Source: - Great Western Railway miscellaneous publications. Vol 21

Shelved at A 385.10942 Social Sciences Floor 4.

April 2011 – Holiday Haunts 1929

The fourth in our series of GWR holiday images from our Railway Collection.

‘Holiday Haunts’ was the official GWR holiday guide. 1929 was the first year it was published with full colour covers. They were used on all subsequent issues apart from 1940 when a photographic image was used instead. The art deco influence is very clear.

The guide was published annually in March and covered England, Wales, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. It was beautifully illustrated and came complete with maps. It contained addresses of thousands of hotels, boarding houses, seaside and country lodgings.

Larger version of Holiday Haunts 1929

Source: - GWR Holiday Haunts 1929

Shelved at B 385.10942 Social Sciences Floor 4.

May 2011 – Holiday Haunts 1938

The Hoe bathing pool Plymouth. The fifth in our series of GWR holiday images from our Railway collection.

The Tinside Lido was built in 1935. The pool was a 180 foot semi circle. It had 3 fountains or cascades for aerating the water. At night the water and cascades were floodlit from below and went through a sequence of 3 colour changes. The Lido was designed by S. Wibberley, City Engineer and was officially opened on October 2nd 1935. During the 1980’s it fell into disrepair but was re-developed and finally re-opened on August 15th 2003.

Larger version of Holiday Haunts 1938

Source: - GWR Holiday Haunts 1938

Shelved at B 385.10942 Social Sciences Floor 4.

June 2011 - Holiday Haunts 1933

On Douglas Sands Isle of Man. The Isle of Man was described in ‘Holiday Haunts’ as ‘Just like a sea cruise from a health point of view, because you are amid sea breezes all the time. There’s more than the average sunshine, and lots of unusual things to see and do in this great little holiday island.’

Larger version of Holiday Haunts 1933

Source: - GWR Holiday Haunts 1933

Shelved at B 385.10942 Social Sciences Floor 4.

July 2011 – Surf Riders, Newquay, Cornwall, Holiday Haunts 1932

In 1912 and 1920, Hawaiian surfer Duke Kahanamoku won Olympic gold’s in swimming. He subsequently gave exhibitions of surfing in California and Australia. The sport began to take off. In Britain, the first 2 spots which led the way were St Queens’s bay in Jersey and Newquay in Cornwall.

Larger version of Holiday Haunts 1932

Source: - GWR Holiday Haunts 1932

Shelved at B 385.10942 Social Sciences Floor 4

August 2011 – Torquay – The Riviera of Devon, Holiday Haunts 1935

After the Great War an effective advertising campaign by GWR was responsible for making Torquay a major resort. The busiest day was August Bank holiday 1938, just before the outbreak of WW2. 20,000 passengers arrived in Torquay station, followed by 50 trains the next day.

Larger version of Holiday Haunts 1935

Source: - GWR Holiday Haunts 1935

Shelved at B 385.10942 Social Sciences Floor 4.

September 2011 – Rambles in Shakespeare Land and the Cotswolds 1938

The depression of the 1930’s increased the popularity of cheaper holiday pursuits such as camping and rambling. Schemes were introduced to attract this market.

The ‘Holidays with Pay’ act (1938) ensured that every worker was entitled to a weeks paid holiday from this date.

In 1920, around one million workers enjoyed a weeks paid leave, this increased after the act to 11 million in 1939.

Larger version of Rambles in Shakespeareland

Source: - Great Western Railway Miscellaneous Publications Vol 4

Shelved at A 385.10942 Social Sciences Floor 4

October 2011 – Tours in Ireland 1898 and 1903

During the summer months (May to October), tickets could be purchased for 4 circular tours of Ireland via Waterford, Cork and Belfast.

The Waterford and Cork boat expresses ran in direct connection with fast trains from and to all parts of the Company’s system and other companies’ lines. Birmingham was one of the principal Towns served by the Great Western Line.

Source: - Great Western Railway Miscellaneous Publications Vol 20

Shelved at A 385.10942 Social Sciences Floor 4

Larger version of Tours in Ireland 1898 and 1903


November 2011 – The Malverns 1928


The hills are famous for their natural mineral springs and wells, which were responsible for the development of Great Malvern as a spa in the early 19th century. Until recently, Malvern water was bottled commercially on a large scale and sold worldwide.

In the late 1920s the Malvern Festival was created by Sir Barry Jackson. George Bernard Shaw wrote many plays especially for the festival (five of his plays had their premiere at Malvern) and, of course, Sir Edward Elgar was a notable figure at the festivals in the early '30s.

Large version of The Malverns 1928

December 2011 – Weston Super Mare 1925

The 1920s and 1930s saw an increase in development. The Marine Lake was built to provide a safe shallow beach where the tide was always in. The Winter Gardens and Pavilion opened in 1927, followed in the 1930s by the Open Air Pool, Odeon Cinema and an airport.

Larger version of Weston-Super-Mare 1925