From Flickr: “London & North Eastern Railway – Camping Holidays booklet, 1938” by mikeyashworth

May 2, 2015 Uncategorized

No.17 in the ‘annual publications list’ of the LNER is the Camping Holidays booklet – and seen here with a wonderfully atmospheric cover illustration by Tom Purvis, one of the LNER’s excellent stable of artists and designers. The company were, of the Big Four railways between the two wars, probably the most adventurous when it came to advertising and publicity – Purvis was a prolific poster artist and illustrator of the day. The scene shows one of the inspired ‘camping coaches’ that the LNER (and other railways) made available for hire. Old carriages were converted and equipped, almost as static caravans, and then placed on sidings and branch lines to be used as bases for holidays – sounds so very childrens storybook! The locations were often quite remote places that had in some cases even lost their passenger servcies and so – oddly – one or two places are noted as ‘nearest station – and then by bus’! The guide book also lists camping sites in the east of England and Scotland as well as one rather grand sounding holiday offer – the ‘touring camping coach’. This pre-booked delight was a railway carriage (coach) similarly converted to provide living and sleeping accomodation that from its base in York, where you boarded, was attached to a train and taken on the rails via Harrogate to the delightful village station at Pateley Bridge, then after a couple of days, propelled to Aysgarth before a final journey across Yorkshire via Northallerton to Glaisdale on the coast for a few days before being brought back to York. Now that sounds, to be, simply delightful.
Camping Coaches themselves (of the static variety) survived the war and nationalisation – but generally, in the ‘new Elizabethan age’, camping became less popular and the railway’s didn’t produce such a lavish publication as this. The ‘touring camping coach’ doesn’t appear to have survived either.

via Flickr

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