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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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