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Day Trippers and Holiday Specials – How the Railway Revolutionised the British Seaside

‘Up to about forty or fifty years ago travelling was a solemn act, not to be enterprised nor taken in hand unadvisedly, lightly, or wantonly,’ so writes the Belfast News-Letter in September 1888. But all of this had changed; from the inception of the railways ‘day excursions’ had become ‘entirely modern pleasures,’ the British seaside and countryside opened up to visitors who could travel there easily by train. This was the railway revolution, which opened up the seaside to ordinary, working class people.

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A Seaside Drama – The 1935 Murder of Francis Rattenbury

In March 1935 the seaside resort town of Bournemouth was shaken by a sensational murder. Retired architect Francis Mawson Rattenbury, aged 67, was found dead at his home, Villa Madeira, on Manor Road. Accused of his murder were his younger wife Alma Rattenbury, and her lover, 18-year-old gardener George Stoner. This case would end in further tragedy, and in this special blog, using pages from the British Newspaper Archive, we explore how murder came to the genteel town of Bournemouth

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‘Death in a Bathing Machine’ & Other Bathing Machine Headlines

The bathing machine, once a familiar sight at British seaside resorts, has all but become extinct, its legacy only really reflected in the beach huts which still line coasts up and down the United Kingdom. In this special blog we take a look at some of the wonderful photographs and illustrations of bathing machines that can be found using the British Newspaper Archive. The Bystander | 7 August 1912 There is some conjecture as to where the bathing machine originated –

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‘The Most Remarkable, Invigorating, and Enjoyable Holiday You Will Ever Have’ – The Holiday Camp Phenomenon

By 1939 there were an estimated three to four hundred holiday camps established across the United Kingdom, with the smallest housing fifty beds, and the largest with six thousand or more. What was behind the surge in popularity? We explore the holiday camp phenomenon by delving into the pages of the British Newspaper Archive, using the myriad of advertisements, photographs and articles located there to discover more about this mainstay of the British seaside resort. In 1936 William ‘Billy’ Butlin

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‘Brighton – For Health and Pleasure’ – The History of a Seaside Resort

‘What Pompeii was to the Romans…Brighton is to Londoners,’ comments an article on the famous British seaside town in the Penny Illustrated Paper, 10 August 1889. Using articles, photographs and illustrations from The Archive, in this special blog we will take a look at the history of this ‘Queen of Watering-places,’ from its establishment as a health resort in the eighteenth century, its growth as a fashionable destination thanks to the Prince Regent, to its railway heyday, and its infamous

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