Northern holiday special trains

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Ken H

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There was. Different towns would have different weeks.

There was a further benefit to this. The mills would use the shutdown for heavy maintenance, often using specialist contractors. Clearly these contractors couldn't be everywhere at the same time so the wakes weeks would be spread across July and August. It also meant that school holidays varied between towns. When I first moved to Crewe I discovered that our summer holiday was two weeks at the beginning of July, back to school for a fortnight then the whole of August off!
They also didnt want a holiday town full of people from 2 towns that were close. Can you imagine a drunken fight between Accrington and Blackburn mill workers?
 
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Harvester

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'The Railways of Ryedale' by Patric Howat has photographs of diesel locomotives (Class 40) hauling holiday specials through Ryedale (Pilmoor to Malton), fo example Glasgow to Scarborough.
This route was last used in 1962 for some summer Saturday trains from Scotland and the North East, to Scarborough and Filey. A derailment wrecked the junction at Pilmoor in March 1963, and it was never restored, so all future Summer extras went by York.

In 1962 the Glasgow-Scarborough, and Newcastle-Scarborough and Filey traffic via Pilmoor was usually steam hauled by classes B1, B16, V2 and sometime Pacifics. Diesel haulage on these trains would not have been a common occurrence.
 

SouthDevonian

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For anyone who can get their hands on the July 2016 edition of Back Track magazine, there is an excellent description of the getaway traffic from Bolton at the start of the annual holiday fortnight in 1962. This covered the Friday night and Saturday of 29/30 June 1962. There is a list of the specials and most of the locos used. Longer distance trains included the 10 coach Lostock Junction (dep Bolton Friday 20.10) to Newquay and its following relief with 8 coaches for Newquay & 2 for Falmouth.

Party bookings was a feature mentioned and the Coop was quoted as an example. On the Friday evening in question, a CWS group had booked a dedicated 3 coach portion from Bolton (dep 23.45) which ran non-stop to Stockport for attaching to the regular 00.45 Piccadilly to Plymouth. Another feature covered was the various convoluted routes from Bolton for picking up passengers to ensure the maximum number of towns were catered for.
 

Ianno87

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From 1980 to 1984, we were members of the British Rail operated Manchester Rail Travel Club, that ran weekend trips to places far afield, which for us from stations in the Manchester area saw unusual long distance runs to places such as Southend and Folkestone. Every so often, the printed monthly itinerary that was posted to us included a "Mystery Tour". My twin sons, aged 8 in 1983, noting one of these was going to a seaside destination, wanted the excitement of travel to a far-off seaside resort they might not have visited before and brought their buckets and spades in carrier bags, to use when we arrived. The train set off with all on board still oblivious to the final destination and it was when the train was passing through Daisy Hill station that the announcement was made that the destination was Largs on the Ayrshire coast. When we arrived, the boys were horrified to see a pebble beach, not a sandy one!!

Mystery Tours work less well in the days of RealTimeTrains :)
 

Bevan Price

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'The Railways of Ryedale' by Patric Howat has photographs of diesel locomotives (Class 40) hauling holiday specials through Ryedale (Pilmoor to Malton), fo example Glasgow to Scarborough.

I am not sure if this has been mentioned before but there is a series of books (now out of print I think) from Foxline Publishing entitled 'Journeys by Excursion Train from East Lancashire' by Stuart Taylor. Part One covers Colne to Blackburn, the later ones cover the routes from there to the coast: Southport, Blackpool, Morecambe etc..

My only journey on a Wakes train was probably in 1959 when I travelled to scout camp in Cornwall. Late Friday evening we caught a special train from Bury Bolton Street direct to Penzance. I don't remember too much about the journey, but we went through Shrewsbury, around Hereford, avoided Newport and I think Bristol. The return journey was on a Saturday only train from Penzance to Manchester Exchange, and then an electric to Bury. Owing to some technical problem the train was diverted off the main line before Pontypool Road but I can't really work out the route.
Your diversion may have been the one I used in reverse on a Crewe/Cardiff service a few years later, but which is now closed. Travelling north, it branched left at Llantarnam Jn, joining the (also closed) Eastern Valleys line from Newport at the original Cwmbran station. It passed through Upper Pontnewydd then Panteg & Griffithstown, regaining the normal route south of Pontypool Road.
(My southbound trip was with 37220, substituting for a Class 120 dmu)
 

AY1975

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From 1980 to 1984, we were members of the British Rail operated Manchester Rail Travel Club, that ran weekend trips to places far afield, which for us from stations in the Manchester area saw unusual long distance runs to places such as Southend and Folkestone. Every so often, the printed monthly itinerary that was posted to us included a "Mystery Tour". My twin sons, aged 8 in 1983, noting one of these was going to a seaside destination, wanted the excitement of travel to a far-off seaside resort they might not have visited before and brought their buckets and spades in carrier bags, to use when we arrived. The train set off with all on board still oblivious to the final destination and it was when the train was passing through Daisy Hill station that the announcement was made that the destination was Largs on the Ayrshire coast. When we arrived, the boys were horrified to see a pebble beach, not a sandy one!!
Apart from these (which I guess were not the same as the traditional Wakes Weeks holiday trains) did any Wakes Weeks holiday trains still run after the end of the steam era in 1968 or had they all finished by then? If they did run after this date, when did the last Wakes Weeks specials run?
 

SouthDevonian

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I picked up a leaflet at Preston station in summer 1977 titled ‘Accrington, Blackburn, Chorley, Leyland & Preston Town Holidays’. It lists additional trains departing on Friday night, 15th July and Saturday 16th July only and describes the return arrangements for Saturdays 23rd and 30th July. It mentions that another leaflet would be issued for day excursions so as not to confuse holidaymakers with day trippers.

The services were as follows. PUs denote first and last pick up stations whilst SDs denote first and last set down destinations

  • PUs: Burnley Central (20.30) – Leyland. SDs: Newton Abbot – Newquay.
  • PUs: Burnley Central (21.17) – Adlington. SDs: Weston-s-Mare – Paignton.
  • PUs: Burnley Central (21.30) – Adlington. SDs: Southampton – Weymouth (for CIs).
  • PUs: Accrington (22.00) – Leyland. SD: Liverpool (for IoM night steamer).
  • PUs: Accrington (07.15) – Bamber Bridge. SD: Liverpool (for IoM day steamer).
  • PUs: Blackrod (07.40) – Leyland. SD: Liverpool (for IoM day steamer).
  • PUs: Burnley Central (07.15) – Leyland. SDs: Chester –Llandudno.
  • PUs: Accrington (09.00) – Preston. SD: Morecambe.
  • PUs: Accrington (09.30) – Blackburn. SD: Blackpool North.
  • PUs: Accrington (09.42) – Bamber Bridge. SD: Blackpool North.
  • PUs: Preston (10.00) – Accrington. SD: Bridlington - Filey Holiday Camp.
  • PUs: Accrington (10.42) – Blackburn. SD: Blackpool North.
  • PUs: Accrington (12.00) – Bamber Bridge. SD: St Annes - Blackpool South.

Information about return services is much less detailed and involves a mixture of special trains or recommended service trains. Three services to Scotland from Preston are also mentioned but these seem like regular service trains.
 
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