BR Excursions of Old

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Masboroughlad

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When I was a lad, I used to go on Merrymaker excursions from South Yorkshire to places here, there and everywhere! Scotland, Devon, Anglia, Wales, East Coast, London etc etc etc.

These were run by the BR Divisonal Office in Sheffield.

I was wondering how these days out were ever planned? There were no computers, minimal technology and the like.

Given that excursions from lots of different counties would hit resorts at weekends, how were these organised? Who took the lead? The departure stations or the destinations?

For example, I went on a BR Sheffield Division Merrymaker from Rotherham to Torquay and Paignton in 1976. How on earth would this have been planned?

Probably straightforward today, but 35 years ago? Just interested!
 
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Went on several of these from West Drayton (Western Region) 4 x 3 car DMU's got as far as Blackpool once. Not the most comfortable ride but a good day out.

Train started out from Paddington and called at all (most) stations to Slough, I believe, then Reading and t'north.

Sometimes no destination was advertised and tour was advertised as a Mystey Tour. Great fun.
 

steamybrian

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.

I was wondering how these days out were ever planned? There were no computers, minimal technology and the like....
By telephone and experience ...! Experienced train planners had local knowledge or used timings from previous special trains. If timings at the destination were critical then timings were "back timed" that is timings were started from the destination and worked out backwards to the start point using point to point timings stored on paper files.

Probably straightforward today, but 35 years ago? Just interested!
More easier than today because 35 years ago there was only one company that planned the train service, owned the rolling stock, manned the stations, and trains, maintained the track and signalling, etc........British Railways.

from a retired BR train planner
 

oldspot

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The mystery tours from Cheltenham and Gloucester were always great fun, although working on the S & T Dept. and stationed at Gloucester Panel, I always knew in advance where they were going and which ones to bother with.
They used the Cheltenham - London Paddington stock which was spare on Sundays and reached such destinations as Southport, Blackpool, Newquay, Scarborough, Tenby, Cleethorpes, Great Yarmouth, Margate, Bognor Regis and Penzance.
Happy days!
 

Ploughman

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I went on a LUPPET tour in the mid 70s (LUPPET Liverpool University Passenger Transport society)
I think the tour from Liverpool by DMU involved every branch line around Manchester and I seem to remember the figure of 17 reversals.
 

D1009

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More easier than today because 35 years ago there was only one company that planned the train service, owned the rolling stock, manned the stations, and trains, maintained the track and signalling, etc........British Railways.

from a retired BR train planner
Might have been easier, but it took longer because there were lots of train planning offices all responsible for their own little patch. Now it's (almost) all done in one place once the TOCs have decided what they want. The end result isn't necessarily better though.

(from an almost retired train planner)
 

clarkster

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I to remember these tours ,going to Dawlish on a Peak ,and a good atmopsphere on board ,also did a trip to York which coincided with the open day on 15 September 1984 ,local pick ups and non stop from Worcester to York,imagine that these days !,on the off chance does anyone have any logs of these trips as im desperate to know which 45 i had for haulage on the above trip for my railmiles
many thanks
Clarkster
 
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Which brings to mind the dippy train announcer at Cambridge one Sunday morning circa 1974. "The train now at platform one is the oh-eight-fifty-five mystery excursion to Hastings".
Cue desperate telephone calls from Cambridge control office to their Southern equivalents to get the train re-routed and destined. It went to Folkestone.
 

D841 Roebuck

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I remember reading a story yonks ago (late 70's) of a couple from Herne Bay who went on holiday to Barry Island. Whilst there, they decided to have a day out on a MYSTEX - and ended up in Herne Bay for the afternoon...
 

eastwestdivide

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I remember reading a story yonks ago (late 70's) of a couple from Herne Bay who went on holiday to Barry Island. Whilst there, they decided to have a day out on a MYSTEX - and ended up in Herne Bay for the afternoon...
I grew up in Kent, and went to Leicester to study. Got on a mystery excursion from Leicester to... Ramsgate, via my home station.
 

Ploughman

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When I used to reside in Southport and was heavily involved at Steamport.
A number of us made use of an excursion to Barry Island.
Instead of heading for the bright lights and other "Attractions" at Barry we headed fo rthe scrap yard complete with small workshop trolley and numerous tools in a parts recovery operation for the Std 4 and Jinty that had arrived at Southport recently.

The guard on the train was a bit taken aback by the heap of scrap metal in the compartment on the return trip.
 
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